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Muskegon-area Week 8 football schedule: ‘Battle for the Bell’ clear Game of the Week

Conference-title implications add drama to Montague vs. Whitehall showdown on Friday.

Photos by Zach Zweigle | CatchMark

In CatchMark SportsNet’s Game of the Week last week, Muskegon’s speed and big-play ability were evident in the Big Reds’ 49-28 victory at rival Mona Shores.

Two more arch-rivals square off this Friday in Week 8, as White Lake comes alive with the latest installment of the “Battle for the Bell” series between Montague and Whitehall.

Here is a graphic of this week’s schedule, followed by details on the Game of the Week and other notables:

CATCHMARK SPORTSNET GAME OF THE WEEK

Montague at Whitehall, 7 p.m. Friday

Was there ever a doubt what would be selected for the CatchMark SportsNet Game of the Week?

It’s a no-brainer for us. Besides, this longtime rivalry could produce one of the best games around this week no matter where you’re from.

The stakes are high in this one, too. A share of the West Michigan Conference title is on the line and, of course, so is “The Bell.”

Montague (6-1 overall) has already clinched at least a share of the conference title, as the Wildcats are the lone unbeaten team in the league standings at 5-0. It’s the fourth time in five years that Montague has secured at least a share of the title.

Whitehall (6-1, 4-1) has a chance to secure a piece of the conference championship. Same goes for Oakridge (6-1, 4-1), which hosts rival Ravenna (5-2, 3-2).

The Vikings are going for their first league title since 1999.

This is the 115th all-time meeting between the neighboring rivals. Montague leads the series, 64-48-2, with the Wildcats keeping “The Bell” for six straight years.

CatchMark kicked off coverage of the “Battle for the Bell” week on Sunday with a profile on Montague senior Andrew Kooi as well as a combined Montague-Whitehall “Coaches Corner” show. Look for more coverage throughout the week, including a profile on a Whitehall senior and other content leading up to the big game.

BIG MATCHUP AT MCC

In the last 20-some years, Muskegon Catholic Central has been the measuring stick in Division 8 football with six state championships on top of a Division 7 title captured as well.

This Friday, MCC is hosting the reigning D-8 state champion: Centreville.

Centreville travels north to Kehren Stadium with a 6-1 record, the lone loss a 38-32 setback at Niles Brandywine in the season opener. The Bulldogs’ best win this season appears to be a 32-16 victory at White Pigeon in Week 5.

Last year, Centreville allowed only 29 total points in 11 games the entire season en route to the school’s first state football title. This season, the Bulldogs have allowed 61 total points in seven games.

MCC and Centreville were scheduled to meet last year, but schedules were reduced amid the coronavirus pandemic.

This should be a good playoff tune-up for both teams, which will not face each other in the postseason. The Crusaders, who co-op with Western Michigan Christian, are Division 7 after being Division 6 last year.

NOTABLE

Holton will be picking up a forfeit win this week, according to Red Devils coach Alex Smith, whose team will improve to 5-3. Holton was originally scheduled to visit Wyoming Lee, but Lee canceled its season.

RELATED READING:

The Rivalry: History lesson on century-old Montague vs. Whitehall football series

Montague, Whitehall converge in special ‘Battle for the Bell’ Coaches Corner

In coin-toss of a Montague-Whitehall matchup, ceremonial event on bridge kept on shelf

CatchMark Profile of the Week: After living in Mexico, Andrew Kooi finds ‘home’ in Montague

Lead writer for CatchMark SportsNet and Web Services leader for CatchMark Technologies.

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