GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Week 1 is in the books, but there’s plenty of high school football to be played before the holiday weekend.

Most games will be played on Thursday, with a smaller slate on Friday. Here is a closer look at the spotlight games for both nights.



Forest Hills Central opened its season with an impressive 37-9 win over Jenison and has now won 14 of its last 15 games.

The Rangers enjoyed its deepest playoff run since 2017 last year, advancing to the Division 2 state title game before losing to Warren De La Salle.

FHC set a school record for most wins in a season, finishing 13-1 .

Portage Central is trying to return to the success it enjoyed for a decade before struggling last season.

The Mustangs went 4-5 last year, snapping a string of 10 consecutive years in the postseason.

Portage Central used a strong defensive effort to knock off East Lansing, 17-7, in its season opener.


A key early non-conference clash will take place when East Kentwood hosts Byron Center.

The Falcons won their season opener for the first time since 2017, defeating Hartland, 35-10.

East Kentwood hasn’t had a winning record since 2019, but can build momentum toward that with a victory over the talented Bulldogs.

Byron Center routed Battle Creek Central 55-14 to open the season.

The Bulldogs have finished 7-3 the past two seasons. 

This will be only the 7th all-time meeting between the two teams.


Muskegon Oakridge opened the new season on a high note with a 27-15 road win over Sparta.

The Eagles’ defense shut out the Spartans in the first half while scoring on a pair of second-quarter drives to grab a 14-0 lead that they would never relinquish.

Unity Christian gave Whitehall all it could handle in its season opener before losing 34-28. 

The Crusaders are hoping to avoid an 0-2 start for the second straight season.



The marquee match-up of the night features two perennial powerhouses in the state.

Rockford will travel to the Lakeshore for the second straight week after defeating Muskegon 27-7 to open the season.

The Rams haven’t lost a regular-season game since 2019 against Grandville.

Mona Shores looks to avenge last year’s 31-27 loss to the Rams.

The Sailors went across the lake last week and routed Manitowoc (WI) Lincoln 58-7.

Mona Shores has gone 8-3 the past two seasons after winning a state title in 2020. 


The Sailors opened up defense of their Division 4 state title with a high-scoring 66-42 win over Grand Rapids Christian.

Quarterback Carson Vis shined in his first start, as did senior wide receiver Jake Vermaas.

South Christian won its season opener for the eighth straight season.

East Grand Rapids used a stout defense to win its first season opener since 2017 by shutting out Cedar Springs 14-0.

The Pioneers are hoping to avoid a third straight losing season and have history on their side against the Sailors.

East Grand Rapids had won five consecutive meetings against South Christian before last year’s 36-6 setback. 

UNION (1-0) at WEST CATHOLIC (1-0)

Two former City League rivals will square off in a battle between neighboring schools.

West Catholic, last year’s Division 6 state champions, posted a convincing 56-12 win over Edwardsburg to open the season.

Union has steadily improved under coach Don Fellows the past two seasons, winning a total of eight games.

The Red Hawks won only one game from 2016-20.

Union defeated Ottawa Hills 60-16 in its season opener and is in search of its third straight 2-0 start to open a season. 

West Catholic and Union haven’t played against each other since 2015.