Could we get a few close, down-to-the-wire high school football games – please?

By Jason Goorman
Local Sports Journal 

The lopsided scores just keep piling up this season.

It happened again in Week 4 – Muskegon Catholic routed Spring Lake in what some expected to be a pretty good game. Mona Shores thumped Caledonia, Oakridge handled North Muskegon with surprising ease, and Muskegon made easy work of a decent East Grand Rapids team.JG gridiron picks logo

Where are all the nail-biters this year? It’s getting to the point where fans don’t have to spend an entire evening at the football field, because lots of games are pretty much over by the second quarter.

I wonder if anybody who attended any of the blowouts demanded a 50 percent refund when they left at halftime (after the marching band’s performance, of course).

There are bound to be a few more ugly scores this week, as well. Muskegon vs. Grand Rapids Union? I don’t mean to annoy Big Red Coach Shane Fairfield, but Muskegon’s JV could probably win this one with points to spare.

I also expect an improving Shelby team to leave neighboring Hart in the dust, and I think an angry Spring Lake squad may light up the scoreboard in Fremont.

Kenowa Hills at Mona Shores? If they stay within two touchdowns, the visiting Knights will be doing well.

This is making me impatient for the coming weeks, when Muskegon, Mona Shores and Reeths-Puffer will all meet each other in crucial O-K Black action, and Whitehall will face Oakridge and Ravenna to settle the West Michigan Conference race.

Now those will be some games.

Luckily there are a handful of interesting matchups this week. The best is Oakridge at Ravenna, a traditional rivalry that matters a lot more this year, because Ravenna has re-emerged as a power following several years of rebuilding.

By the way, did I mention that I was a very impressive 11-3 with my picks last week? That made me feel a lot better after the previous week’s lowly 6-7 mark.

I guess I had a blowout week, as well.

OAKRIDGE (3-1) at Ravenna (4-0) – A lot of folks figured this would be Ravenna’s year. And a lot of folks counted Oakridge out after its ugly Week 1 loss to Grand Rapids Catholic. But the Eagles have been on a tear since then, and they have owned this rivalry for years. Great game, tight score, but Oakridge wins again.

WHITEHALL (4-0) at Montague (0-4) – This is the Role Reversal Bowl. Montague has been great for years while Whitehall has struggled in recent seasons. This year it’s the complete opposite, with Whitehall undefeated and Montague winless, But you can throw out the records in this game, because the neighborhood rivalry is intense, and the Wildcats are not as bad as their record suggests. Tight first half – maybe even a very close game – but the Vikings keep rolling.

Grand Haven (3-1) at LOWELL (4-0) – Some were wondering if Reeths-Puffer might give mighty Lowell a fight last week. It didn’t happen. Grand Haven is having a nice season, but sadly the Bucs will meet the same fate the Rockets did.

Kenowa Hills (2-2) at MONA SHORES (3-1) – Losing to Rockford two weeks ago may have been the best thing that’s happened to Shores this season. The Sailors are pumped up, and they will continue their winning ways against the Knights by at least two touchdowns – probably more.

Grand Rapids Union (0-4) at MUSKEGON (4-0) – I think most of Union’s best male athletes play soccer in the fall. Big Red fans will be able to get home early to watch their favorite TV shows, because this one will have a running clock in the second half.

Zeeland East (0-4) at REETHS-PUFFER (2-2) – The Rockets are a good football team, despite two straight losses. They were frustrated against a very good Lowell team last week and will take it out on the hapless Chix.

SPRING LAKE (2-2) at Fremont (1-3) – The Lakers ate some humble pie in a devastating conference loss to Muskegon Catholic last week. This is probably not the week Fremont wants to play them. Lakers win, and it could get ugly.

Fruitport (2-2) at MUSKEGON CATHOLIC (4-0) – The Trojans are a pretty good team, just like Spring Lake. But can anyone in the Lakes 8 give Catholic a game? I’ll believe it when I see it.

ORCHARD VIEW (3-1) at Ludington (1-3) – The Cardinals’ only blemish has been an ugly loss to Spring Lake in Week 2. This very good team will keep piling up all the wins it can get … before facing Muskegon Catholic in two weeks.

Mason County Central (2-2) at NORTH MUSKEGON (2-2) – This is rivalry week in the West Michigan Conference with a bunch of natural geographic matchups – Whitehall-Montague, Hart-Shelby, Oakridge-Ravenna. This game sort of sticks out, because these teams are not exactly neighbors. But it should be a very good game, and the Norse will have an important victory when it’s over.

Hart (1-3) at SHELBY (1-3) – These are both one-win teams, but very different one-win teams. The Pirates are better than they were last year, when they failed to win a game, but they have a long way to go to contend in their league. M                 eanwhile, the Tigers are not nearly as bad as they looked earlier in the season. Shelby wins the Battle of Oceana with ease.

HOLTON (1-3) at Hesperia (0-4) – This one could easily go either way, but my gut tells me Holton will get even for a tough loss against Hesperia last fall.

Marine City Cardinal Mooney (2-2) at MUSKEGON HEIGHTS (1-3) – Heights fans haven’t had much of a chance to see their kids in action this year – this is the Tigers’ first home game of the season, and they won’t blow it.

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