Buczek: Rivalries Abound in Week 3
Week 3 of the high school football season sees many teams beginning conference play. It also sees some of the best rivalries in northern Michigan taking center stage.
From the Patriot Game in Traverse City to one of the state’s oldest rivalries in Manistee, there’s a game for every fan this Friday night.
Friday, Sept. 8
McBain (2-0) at Lake City (2-0) – The Battle for the Gridiron Traveler, McBain has won the last three meetings, but Lake City is rolling. The Trojans are looking to start 3-0 for the first time since 2013 and have scored 46 or more points in each of their first two contests. The Ramblers have struggled in the early going offensively, but have rallied for wins over Manistee (36-32) and Kingsley (20-10).
Beaverton (2-0) at Gladwin (0-2) – Beaverton is seeking its first 3-0 start since 2014 and won last year’s meeting (41-6) for the first time since 1986. The Battle for Butch, these two schools meet in football and boys basketball for the oldest original traveling trophy still in existence, with the trophy dating back to 1937.
Ludington (2-0) at Manistee (0-2) – The fifth oldest rivalry in the state and third in terms of games played against one opponent, this one is for the Dad’s Trophy. The Orioles own the all-time series at 68-60-11 and won last year’s meeting, 26-13. Manistee has won two of the last three in the series but has struggled this fall, while Ludington is looking to start 3-0 for the second straight year.
Traverse City Central (2-0) at Traverse City West (2-0) – One of the biggest rivalries in northern Michigan, these two have met 21 times, with West owning a 12-9 record. Central has won four straight in the series, including both meetings a year ago by a combined three points. The winner of the Patriot Game looks to be the favorite to win the Big North Conference title.
Houghton Lake (2-0) at Clare (1-1) – The Bobcats are 2-0 for the first time since 2006, but haven’t beat the Pioneers since 2005. Houghton Lake has rolled through its opening two games, handling Mason County Central (20-0) and Harbor Springs (48-7), while Clare is coming off a 41-0 win over Beal City. Clare leads the all-time series at 26-11.
Pickford (2-0, 2-0) at Engadine (2-0, 2-0) – A highly-anticipated contest, not only in the eastern U.P. but across the state at the 8-player level. These two split last year’s meetings, with Pickford winning 30-28 in a regional final. The Panthers own the all-time series at 38-15-1, but came up short to the Eagles for the Bridge Alliance title a year ago.