Listen live online Friday on the Slocum Sports Network as Portage Central hosts Portage Northern for week seven of the high school football season. In a spring poll from Addix Gear, this football rivalry was voted as the best in all of Michigan. Barring a postseason rematch, this will be the final time these teams will meet at McCamley Field.
Portage Central enters the game at 5-1 with wins over Mattawan (27-14), Battle Creek Central (26-14), Traverse City Central (49-34), Lakeview (31-0), and Niles (42-14). Their only loss came in week three to unbeaten Lakeshore, 24-7. If the Mustangs top the Huskies, they would secure a playoff berth for the sixth consecutive year and for the 11th time in the last 12 years.
Portage Northern sits at 2-4 overall and must win their final three games to have a chance at getting a postseason spot via playoff points (they made it in at 5-4 last season). The Huskies started 0-3 with defeats to Lakeview (28-14), Gull Lake (10-9), and St. Joseph (20-15). They bounced back with wins over Niles (22-19) and Kalamazoo Central (21-6), followed by a heartbreaking double overtime loss last week to Lakeshore (30-27).
According to Michigan-Football.com, these schools have met 57 times since Portage Northern opened in 1965. The Mustangs lead the all-time series 37-20 and won twice over the Huskies last season, 56-27 in the regular season and 21-14 in the Pre-District round. Over the last ten years, Portage Central has won 12 of 14 meetings with Portage Northern.