By Craig Beilfuss

WHITEHALL–The Whitehall Vikings look to become the first football team in school history to post a double-digit victories in a season.

The Vikings can accomplish that feat on Friday when they host the Big Rapids Cardinals in a Division 4 district game at Whitehall Stadium. 

Game time is set for 7 p.m.

Whitehall is 9-0 and won the West Michigan Conference-Lakes Division with a 6-0 mark.

Big Rapids (7-2) finished in a three-way tie with Tri-County and Reed City for the Central States Activities Association-Gold Championship.

“This week’s game versus Big Rapids is an important game for Whitehall,” Vikings’ coach Tony Sigmon said. “With a win, this team would become the first team in Whitehall history to earn double digit victories in a season.”

The high-flying Whitehall offense averaged 58 points per game while the defense limited the opponents to 12 points per game. The Vikings posted two shutouts during the regular season.

Whitehall quarterback Kyle Stratton, a junior, leads the offense. He completed 66-of-101 passes for 1,233 yards and 21 touchdowns. He threw four interceptions. Stratton also rushed for 752 yards on 81 carries (9.3 average per carry) and scored 14 touchdowns.

Outside of Stratton, senior Jackson Cook was the Vikings leading rusher with 402 yards on 47 attempts (8.6 average per carry). Cook found the endzone for 8 touchdowns during the regular season.

Cook also leads the Whitehall defense with 43 tackles, including 22 solo tackles and 43 assists. He has one sack, six tackles for loss, one pass breakup and a fumble recovery for a touchdown.

“We are hoping there is little to no rust after taking the forfeit win from Orchard View,” Sigmon said. “Big Rapids has some big-play ability and is a very well-balanced team in terms of pass and rushing.  The Big Rapids quarterback, Wil Strickler, has done a great job this season and is a dual threat kid who can extend a play.”

A Whitehall victory would mean a home game in the second round against the winner of the Ludington-Fruitport game.