There is plenty at stake as area teams head into Week 8 of the high school football season. There are conference championships to be won, there are bragging rights on the line and there is positioning for the playoffs, which being in two weeks.

No area game carries more weight than the West Michigan Conference showdown that features Montague (6-1, 5-0) travel over White River and into Whitehall to take on the Vikings (6-1, 4-1). It’s the annual Battle for the Bell.

A Montague victory gives the Wildcats the outright title, but a Whitehall victory could produce a logjam atop the final league standings. Friday’s winner will take with them neighborhood bragging rights.

Whitehall is ranked No. 4 in Division 4 and Montague is ranked No. 5 in Division 6.

Both teams’ lone setback came early in the season, which means both are on a roll heading into the final two regular-season games and the quickly approaching playoffs.

Other games of area interest include another WMC matchup with Ravenna at Oakridge and Muskegon traveling cross town to take on the Reeths-Puffer Rockets. The once-defeated Big Reds will be looking to avoid a letdown after last week’s rout of their cross town rivals to the south, the Mona Shores Sailors.

At Hesperia, where the Panthers host Manistee, late coach Dan Homan, a member of the coaches’ Hall of Fame will be honored in a short ceremony at halftime.

All games begin at 7 p.m. Friday, unless otherwise noted.

Coming Thursday: Local Sports Journal writer Greg Gielczyk takes a closer look at the Montague-Whitehall showdown, complete with comments from Whitehall coach Tony Sigmon and Montague coach Justin Dennert.

Fremont at Reed City

Fruitport at Allendale

Grant at Central Montcalm

Grand Haven at East Kentwood

Shelby at Hart

Manistee at Hesperia

Holton at Wyoming Lee

Hartford at Kent City, 1 p.m. Saturday

Morley Stanwood at Ludington

North Muskegon at Mason County Central

Mona Shores at Holland

Montague at Whitehall

Muskegon at Reeths Puffer

Centreville at Muskegon Catholic Central

Muskegon Heights at Carson City Crystal

Ravenna at Oakridge

Newaygo at Chippewa Hills

Spring Lake at Grand Rapids Catholic