Big Rapids, Tri-County Meet in CSAA-Gold Showdown for Game of the Week
BIG RAPIDS – Big Rapids and Tri-County are set to meet in a Central State Activities Association-Gold showdown Friday night for the Sports Overtime Game of the Week.
Both teams hold 5-1 records in the conference with the winner moving into sole possession of second place in the division, one game behind CSAA-Gold leader Reed City (6-1, 6-0).
“Last year they got us in overtime. The year before we had to run out the clock. So every play is important, every quarter is important and every special teams play is important. It’s just an intense game and there is gonna be a lot of talent on the field on Friday night on both sides of the ball,” said Tri-County head football coach Phil Butler.
In the last six years, the point differential for each game has been seven points or less. Last year, the Cardinals won 29-22, but it was the Vikings posting a 24-22 victory in 2019.
“It’s gonna be a hard fought game. The history shows that both teams are gonna give everything they have. That’s all you can ask of your kids, is to play your best and let the scoreboard take care of itself. Are things always gonna go our way? No, but it’s how we handle the adversity that comes with it,” said Big Rapids head coach Mike Selzer.
Tri-county holds a 6-1 record overall, with its lone loss coming to division leader Reed City. The Vikings said this one will all come down to mental toughness.
“I feel like we just both know we’re decent teams and we’re well-rounded teams. We can play with each other, go the fast quarters and do everything they can. It’s just, who’s gonna come out and hit each other in the mouth first?” said Tri-County senior Tristen Knox.
Big Rapids is 5-2 overall and one of those losses also came against the Reed City Coyotes. After dropping one of their biggest games this season, the Cardinals look to pick up a win this time around Friday night.
“Coming into the season, Reed City is the biggest game of the year and I feel like it’s the same for Tri-County. They’re always pretty good. They have good guys. We have good guys. So it’s just a head to head battle and the better team will come out with a win,” said Big Rapids senior Taiveion Johnson.
The winner of Friday night’s contest will hold second place in the CSAA-Gold, one game behind Reed City. The Coyotes put their undefeated conference record on the line in their final CSAA game of the year against Fremont on Friday night.
“We’re still playing for a shot at a title. We don’t know what’s gonna happen Friday night with Reed City and Fremont. We have to win this game to have any shot and we know that,” said Butler.
A Reed City loss would tie the Coyotes with the winner of Big Rapids and Tri-County for a share of the conference title.
Tune in for pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. Friday night and stick around for highlights and postgame sound from the winner on Sports Overtime at 11 p.m.