Kelloggsville-Allendale rivalry returns in playoffs


WYOMING, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kelloggsville Rockets and Allendale Falcons football teams, rivals in the O-K Silver for many years, will renew acquaintances Friday in the first round of the MHSAA state tournament.

They’ll square off in a Division 4 pre-district game starting at 7 p.m. at Kelloggsville.

The two schools were former counterparts in the O-K Silver until Allendale made the move to the O-K Blue in 2012.

“I have a lot of respect for (Kelloggsville coach) Don (Galster) and what he’s doing and has been doing for a long time,” Allendale coach Ben Burk said. “I really enjoyed my time when we were there in the Silver with those guys, and it’s kind of neat to go back and play a team like that again.”

Allendale and Kelloggsville played against each other 18 times while in the Silver with each team winning nine of those games. They haven’t met since 2011, when the Rockets came out on top, 41-27.

“We’ve really had a lot of good games over the years, and have had conference championships shared between the two of us,” Burk said. “Don always gets his teams ready to go and play well. I’m obviously looking forward to a really good game.”

Kelloggsville, back in the postseason for the first time since 2011, has experienced a major turnaround this season after going 3-6 a year ago. The 10th-ranked Rockets dropped a wild 50-47 shootout in the opener, but has reeled off eight wins in a row since then while claiming the O-K Silver title outright.

Meanwhile, Allendale started 1-2 before winning its last six games. That included an upset win over three-time defending Division 5 state champion West Catholic in the regular-season finale to give the Falcons a share of the O-K Blue championship.

“The kids are really focused,” Burk said. “We’ve had a great week of practice and they are goal-oriented, which is great. We have visibly gotten better from one week to the next and that is because of their drive to accomplish their goals.

“Their work ethic is great, from the guys that get on the field on Friday night to, most importantly almost, the guys who don’t get on the field who work their tail off during the week to prepare us. They are really a team and play hard for each other.”

Both teams have showed the ability to put up points quickly. Allendale has tallied 366 points, its highest total since 2006, while Kelloggsville led the conference with 347 points.

“We need to execute well and play physical like we have been,” Burk said. “They have some really good kids and defensively they bring the heat. They have skill kids all over and they’re scary.”—–


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