Frenzy preview: Rivalry game in Portage

Football Frenzy
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Looking ahead at the spotlight games for the Sept. 7 Football Frenzy.

PORTAGE CENTRAL at PORTAGE NORTHERN

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

The clash of Southwestern Michigan Athletic Conference-West neighborhood rivals takes place Friday as these two teams meet for the 59th time.

It will be the second home game for Portage Northern at its new Huskie Stadium. The first home game since 1965 was held two weeks ago.

Portage Northern is unbeaten heading into the rivalry game and has already matched last year’s win total. The Huskies defeated Kalamazoo Loy Norrix and Stevensville-Lakeshore in the first two weeks.

Portage Central opened with a 42-7 victory over Richland Gull Lake, but lost to Kalamazoo Central 30-14 last week.

The Mustangs have won the last three meetings, including 28-3 last season.

WEST OTTAWA at ROCKFORD

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

West Ottawa has picked up where it left off after last year’s historic season.

The Panthers are unbeaten at 2-0 after last week’s thrilling double-overtime win over Forest Hills Central. They defeated Stevensville-Lakeshore in the opener.

West Ottawa will face another tough challenge as it opens up the O-K Red Conference season against Rockford. The Panthers defeated the Rams twice last year, including a 33-28 win in the district finals.

The Rams, who have qualified for the postseason 23 straight years, picked up their first win last week, a 36-0 shutout against Lowell after dropping their opener.

Rockford’s Jaiden Friesen rushed for 101 yards on six carries and scored a touchdown in the win. Quarterback Drew Bareno passed for 104 yards and two touchdowns.

BELDING at HOPKINS

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Friday

It’s the O-K Silver Conference opener for two teams with aspirations to win the title from defending champion Kelloggsville.

Belding is 2-0 for the first time since 2013 after wins over Laingsburg (41-6) and Lakewood (21-14), while Hopkins is 1-1.

The Vikings defeated Ravenna (42-30) to open the season, but suffered their first loss last week to Olivet, 42-35.

Belding’s ground game is led by Riley Hart and Tyler Cooper.

The Black Knights edged Hopkins last year 21-20 en route to the state playoffs and is 8-4 all-time in head-to-head meetings.

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