Frenzy preview: Perennial powerhouses face off

(file photo)

LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — The football teams from Muskegon and Lowell are no strangers to each other when it comes to squaring off in the postseason.

The perennial powerhouses from the west side of the state will meet once again Friday at 7 p.m. when the Big Reds travel to Lowell in a Division 2 regional final.

Lowell (10-1) and Muskegon (9-2) have competed head-to-head seven times in the playoffs the last nine years.

The Big Reds were victorious over the Red Arrows in the district finals in 2012 and 2013, winning by a combined nine points.

Before that, Lowell moved on three years in a row from 2009-2011 with wins. The Big Reds defeated Lowell in the regional finals and district finals in 2006 and 2008, respectively.

Lowell has reeled off 10 straight wins since a season-opening loss to unbeaten Walled Lake Western, while Muskegon avenged an earlier loss to Mona Shores by knocking off the previously unbeaten Sailors off in the district finals.

Muskegon holds a 5-4 edge in the all-time series.

In eight of the past nine seasons, the Big Reds or Lowell have advanced to the state finals. The two teams have combined for three state titles during that stretch.

>>Football Frenzy regionals lineup

Here is a look at the other regional final match-ups in their respective divisions:

Division 1: Rockford (8-3) at Grand Ledge (11-0) (Friday, 7 p.m.): The Rams return to the regional finals for the first time since 2012 after defeating O-K Red Conference rival Hudsonville last week. Rockford has allowed only 19 combined points in the postseason, but will be tested by an unbeaten Comets’ squad that averages 38 points per game.

Division 3: East Grand Rapids (8-3) at Mount Pleasant (9-2) (Sat. 1 p.m.): The Pioneers are in the regional finals for the first time since 2011, the same year they lost to the Oilers 38-37 in the state semifinals. EGR has shut out three of its last five opponents and is 4-1 all-time against Mount Pleasant.

Division 3: Coldwater (11-0) at St. Joseph (10-1) (Friday, 7 p.m.): St. Joseph has won seven straight games en route to its first regional final since 2009. The Bears will have their work cut out for the against the Cardinals, who haven’t been challenged since a narrow 9-7 win over Marshall in Week 2. Coldwater’s defense has held teams to less than 10 points per game.

Division 4: Remus Chippewa Hills (9-2) at Forest Hills Eastern (10-1) (Friday, 7 p.m.): FHE, the O-K Bronze Conference co-champions, is competing in the program’s first regional final. Chippewa Hills won its first district title as well last week. The two teams met three times in non-conference play from 2007-2009 with the Hawks owning a 2-1 record.

Division 4: Unity Christian (8-3) at Zeeland West (11-0) (Friday, 7 p.m.): Zeeland West is making its third straight appearance in the regional finals after routing Benton Harbor in the district finals. The Dux have amassed 565 points this season while limiting their last four opponents to a combined 14 points. Unity Christian earned its first district title last week with a last-second field goal to beat Catholic Central. The Dux defeated the Crusaders 52-6 in their regular-season finale.

Division 5: West Catholic (9-2) at Menominee (11-0) (Saturday, noon): West Catholic, the two-time defending state champions, makes the long journey north to face a familiar postseason opponent. The Falcons and the Maroons have met six times since 2007, including five straight years, with West Catholic holding a 5-1 advantage.

Division 6: Constantine at NorthPointe Christian (11-0) (Saturday, 1 p.m.): NorthPointe is back in the regional finals for a second straight season after rallying past Montague in the final seconds last week. Constantine has recorded upset wins in its two postseason games, defeating Schoolcraft in overtime and Watervliet by one point.

Division 8: Muskegon Catholic Central (9-2) at Frankfort (9-2) (Saturday, 1 p.m.): Muskegon Catholic Central, last year’s state champions, has won three straight since losing to Detroit Country Day. This is only the second meeting between the two schools. The Panthers will play in their first regional final since 2009.

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