Listen live online Friday night on the Slocum Sports Network as the Watervliet Panthers host the Kalamazoo United Titans for week five of the high school football season. Both teams are 4-0 and have been racking up points so far. The Panthers have tallied 50 or more each week, while the Titans have averaged around 40-points per game. Watervliet quarterback Zackery Pickens has thrown 14 touchdowns and rushed for 11. On the other end, United QB Eric Wenzel has 18 TDs through the air.
The game also serves as the first contest of SAC Valley Division play and if the first four weeks are any indication, wins will be hard to come by in the Valley. Along with the perfect starts for the Panthers and Titans, three teams (Schoolcraft, Coloma, & Constantine) sit at 3-1 overall with Delton Kellogg at 2-2.
The Titans have matched their longest win streak since forming the co-op and starting 4-0 in 2014. Only in the inaugural season (6-4) have the Titans won more than four games in a year. United opened with three wins over 2016 playoff teams, defeating Saugatuck (34-21), Gobles (49-14), and Lawton (45-21). Last week, Fennville took them to the brink, but the Titans survived the road trip with a 34-26 win.
Like United, Watervliet downed Lawton (50-7 in week one) and Gobles (54-6 last week). Two weeks ago, they topped Division 6 state runner-up Glen Lake 52-26. They also outraced Buchanan 72-36. While no strangers to high scoring throughout their current six-year playoff qualifying run, Watervliet’s 228 points is the highest the school has ever tallied through its first four games of a season.
These teams have met the last two seasons with both games won by Watervliet, 34-19 last season and 61-21 in 2015.