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Lowell, FHC football battle has O-K White significance, again!

Lowell football coach Noel Dean is happy to finally be playing a local school of its size.

The Red Arrow mentor of 17 years may be sorry for what he wished for after Friday night’s encounter with Forest Hills Central.

The list of big schools Lowell has played over the opening five weeks includes Rockford, Grand Haven, Muskegon and Jenison.

“We haven’t had to deal with injuries up until now. Playing teams of that size takes a toll on you,” Dean explained.

While its school size may be similar, don’t be fooled, Forest Hills Central’s physicality and size can also take a toll on its opponents.

“Central has put together an outstanding group of seniors and some juniors and sophomores who are excited to play together,” Dean said. “Their play this year has  been impressive.”

The most  recent win was a dominating 43-7 performance over East Grand Rapids. First year coach, Tim Rogers while happy with the win over the Pioneers, remains cautiously optimistic.

“It was a pretty good win, but there is room for improvement,” Rogers explains. “While East is still a very good, well coached program, it is not the team it once was.”

The Rangers are led by 20 mentally and physically talented players, according to their coach. They will have to call on all of that Friday night in Lowell if a victory is to be the outcome.

“Lowell is a very good football team every year that is well coached. Its signature philosophy is to bring pressure and to run the football,” Rogers explains.”If you can’t handle that, defeating Lowell probably isn’t going to happen.”

Both teams enter the contest at 4-1. Lowell’s only loss was to Muskegon (36-21) while the Rangers singular defeat came against Zeeland East (27-23).

“Our kids continue to play hard and stick to our brand. I’ve been happy with them. It’s been hard to keep them rested and healthy,” Dean said. “We will find some things out over the next couple of weeks.”

Central, who comes over to the O-K White from the O-K Black, finds itself in a three-way tie with Lowell and Grand Rapids Christian (defending O-K White champions), making Friday’s game a key early season league game.

The two teams last met in the playoffs a year ago with Lowell winning 13-6.