VERGENNES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Rockford (1-1) ended a 46-year winning drought against Lowell (0-2) as they seized control of the 11th annual Pink Arrow game Thursday night.

The special event honors those affected by cancer and has raised more than $2 million for Gilda’s Club since it started in 2008. Lowell players and cheerleaders wore names on their uniforms representing someone they know who has been affected by cancer.

“It’s just a very moving night,” first-year Lowell head coach Juston Miller said after the loss. “It’s your opportunity to relate your experiences in athletics to life.”

Rockford Coach Ralph Munger praised now-retired Lowell Coach Noel Dean for his role in starting the tradition.

“(Lowell has) great perspective,” he said. “When you play schools like that, you can’t help but enjoy that competition, respect that competition.”

>>Inside Aug. 30 Football Frenzy

After an emotional pregame ceremony that honored those who have fought and are currently fighting cancer, the action on the field started slow. The two teams combined for one first down in the first quarter and eight punts in the first half.

Rockford broke the scoreless tie with 5:33 left before half when Drew Bareno threw a 20-yard touchdown to Cade Klimczak.

The Rams added a 21-yard field goal to take a 10-0 lead at halftime.

Jaiden Friesen and Jack Richardson added third quarter touchdowns to help put the game out of reach.

After the game, Munger praised his team for taking a step toward playing together.

“We have a young team,” he said. “Those guys need to get to know each other.”

Lowell had a five-game winning streak against Rockford coming into Thursday’s game. The Rams hadn’t defeated Lowell since 1972.

>>Inside Football Frenzy scores


  • Sept. 7: Rockford vs. West Ottawa
  • Sept. 14: Rockford vs. Mona Shores


  • Sept. 7: Lowell at Greenville
  • Sept. 14: Lowell at Zeeland West