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FOX 17 Blitz: Week One Preview

The Blitz returns on Friday night at 10:45 PM
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Posted at 2:37 PM, Sep 18, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-18 14:38:08-04

(WXMI) — The FOX 17 Blitz is returning on Friday night, Sept. 18 with highlights and analysis of the top games around West Michigan.

The Blitz will have coverage of the following:

  • Game of the Week: Sparta at Godwin Heights

In the FOX 17 Blitz Game of the Week, two new foes meet in a brand new OK Silver showdown as Mark Chapman and the Sparta Spartans meet Brandan Kimble's Godwin Heights Wolverines.

The Spartans are coming off of a 9-2 season in 2019, the most wins in program history. Meanwhile, the Wolverines ran through a gauntlet schedule playing all three conference opponents twice last season, finishing 3-6.

It is believed to be the first meeting ever between the two programs.

  • Blitz Battle: Mona Shores at Reeths-Puffer

In the Blitz Battle, Mona Shores plays its first-ever game as defending state champions as the Sailors travel north to face Reeths-Puffer.

The Sailors are led by senior quarterback Brady Rose, who helped lead the team to the 35-26 win over Detroit King in the state finals.

The Rockets, meanwhile, are coming off of a 5-4 season in Matt Bird's first year as head coach as they look to rise to the occasion in a big rivalry game in the new OK Green realignment.

  • East Grand Rapids at Lowell

Two familiar foes meet on Friday night in what is once again a conference rivalry in the OK White as East Grand Rapids travels to Lowell.

The Red Arrows rebounded from a 1-8 season in 2018 to 5-5 in Jacob Henige's first season as head coach, making the playoffs once again.

However, the Pioneers knocked Lowell out of the playoffs, 42-14 in the district semifinal.

The Pioneers graduated 27 seniors from an 8-4 team a season ago in Casey Longo's first district championship in his four seasons as head coach.

It will be the 52nd meeting between the two programs since 1950 with East Grand Rapids leading the series, 35-16 during that span.

  • Grand Haven at Grandville

In the OK Red, it's a familiar showdown for Grand Haven and Grandville. The Bulldogs were upset by the Buccaneers last season in the opening round of the playoffs, 28-7, after winning the regular season meeting, 27-7.

Eric Steigel and the Bulldogs finished the season at 7-3 after a perfect 5-0 start to the regular season and will return a dominant backfield with seniors Cam Terry and Marcel Love carrying the rock.

Grand Haven, meanwhile, returns long-time head coach Mike Farley, who led the Buccaneers to an OK Red championship and playoff appearances during his first stint at the helm from 2006 to 2013.

  • Hudsonville at East Kentwood

Also in the OK Red, Hudsonville travels to East Kentwood, a team that beat them, 31-20 in week eight a season ago.

Senior quarterback Brennan Hayes is back to lead the Eagles after the program's first district title since 2014.

The Falcons finished the season at 6-5 after upsetting Rockford, 38-12 in the opening round of the playoffs.

  • Grand Rapids Catholic Central at Wayland

The defending state champion Grand Rapids Catholic Central Cougars make the jump from the OK Blue to the OK Gold and will open up at Wayland on Friday night.

Todd Kolster's squad will be led by junior quarterback Joey Silveri and senior wide receiver Jace Williams, as well as defensive standout Nolan Ziegler, who recently committed to Notre Dame.

  • Orchard View at Hopkins

Orchard View is coming off of a perfect 9-0 regular season in 2019 and will open up at Hopkins in a non-conference showdown.

The Vikings finished 9-2 for a second consecutive season last fall and fell in the district finals.

Cody Francis' Vikings will be led by senior athlete Colin Weber, who will lineup a bit at quarterback, runningback, wide receiver, and tight end on offense.

  • Jenison at Rockford

For the first time since 1991, a coach other than Ralph Munger will be on the sidelines as head coach for the Rockford Rams as Brent Cummings makes his debut.

The Rams finished the regular season at 8-1 before being upset by East Kentwood in the opening round of the playoffs.

Jenison makes the jump from the OK Black to the OK Red as Rob Zeitman begins his third season at the helm after going 4-5 a season ago.

  • Zeeland West at Wyoming

Zeeland West returns quarterback Carson Gulker as the Dux take on Wyoming in an OK Green game in week one.

The Wolves finished 3-6 a season ago in the OK Gold but return a lot of talent while the Dux look to improve on a 9-2 mark in 2019.

  • Grand Rapids Union at Zeeland East

Long-time Grand Rapids Christian head coach, Don Fellows takes over at Grand Rapids Union, a program that has dropped 43 consecutive games.

The RedHawks will take on Zeeland East in the season opener, a team that returns a ton of talent including Tag Bonnema, who holds numerous Division-I offers.

The Chix were 5-5 last fall.

  • Spring Lake vs. Unity Christian

Spring Lake is happy with the progress the program has made under head cooach Dan Start after making the playoffs in back-to-back seasons and finishing 5-5 but they're looking to take it up a notch this fall.

The Lakers will open at Jenison high school but against Unity Christian, a team that went 9-4 last season and fell in the state semifinal to Grand Rapids Catholic Central.

The Crusaders will be led by senior runningback Malekhi Obande.

  • Grand Rapids Christian vs. Forest Hills Central

Grand Rapids Christian debuts co-head coaches Kirk Sundberg and Ruben Riley as the Eagles take on Forest Hills Central in a new OK White showdown.

The Eagles won back-to-back OK Gold championships under Don Fellows in 2018 and 2019 as they make the jump to the White.

For Forest Hills Central, head coach Tim Rogers and the Rangers will look to improve on an 8-3 record last fall despite several injuries.

The Rangers fell in the district championship to Portage Northern, 31-6.

The game will be hosted by Forest Hills Eastern due to construction at Forest Hills Central.

  • Byron Center at Forest Hills Northern

Byron Center is coming off of an unbeaten regular season in 2019 under head coach Marc Cisco.

The Bulldogs graduate a lot of talent including quarterback Austin VanderMarkt but will be lead by linebacker Austin Roon, a recent Syracuse commit.

Meanwhile, Forest Hills Northern is coming off of a 3-6 record in 2019 but return athlete Trinidad Chambliss, who is a player to watch this fall.

  • Dowagiac at Paw Paw

Paw Paw is coming off of its first district championship since 2011 and finished the regular season at 10-2 overall.

The new mascot is the Wolves for Paw Paw, who will take on Dowagiac, a playoff team from last season that finished 6-4.

  • Constantine at Schoolcraft

Constantine will look to slow down a Schoolcraft offense that averaged over 48 points per game last season.

The Eagles return quarterback Alex Thole, who recently committed to Grand Valley State as well as six-foot-six senior wide receiver Harmon DeVries and several other weapons.

Schoolcraft finished 10-2 a season ago and fell in the regional semifinal for a second straight year.

Constantine, meanwhile, finished 8-3 in 2019 with a defense that pitched three shutouts and allowed just 137 total points.