by RANDY GREGORY
Grandville will come calling at Ted Carlson Memorial Stadium on Friday, October 12th at 7:00 P.M. in Rockford’s annual homecoming contest. The Bulldogs are a surprising 4-3 following a 2011 season that saw them go 0-9. The Bulldogs will come into the game needing to win both of their remaining contests to guarantee themselves a spot in the Michigan High School Athletic Associations (MHSAA) football playoffs. Grandville has fallen on hard times recently and has not made an appearance in the playoffs since 2006.
Their last win over Rockford came in a 13-10 defensive brawl in 2005. That win irritated the Rams slightly as they returned the favor by thrashing Grandville 48-0 later that season in the MHSAA District finals. Rockford has come out on top in 16 of the last twenty meetings between these two fierce rivals.
“Grandville is playing with a sense of confidence this year after a very difficult season in 2011,” said Rockford coach Ralph Munger. “They have played a lot of teams tough and they still have a chance of getting into the playoffs this year. They have some pretty good skill kids and would love to come into our place and ruin our homecoming and move that one step closer to playing in the post-season.”
The Bulldogs have beaten Jenison (by forfeit in a game they actually lost 20-27), Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (21-8), Grand Rapids Union (49-0) and Hudsonville (21-6). They were beaten by a pair of pretty solid squads in competitive contests (falling to Caledonia 14-7 and Grand Haven 21-11). But their most recent game was probably the low point of the season as they were trounced by East Kentwood 43-21.
Rockford stands at 5-2 (3-0 in the OK Red) and a win will guarantee them at least a share of the conference crown. A win would also net the Rams their 18th consecutive appearance in the MHSAA Division 1 playoffs. Get there early as the added attractions of homecoming and the introduction of the 2012 Rockford Athletic Hall of Fame inductees will bring out plenty of Ram faithful as they look to extend a nearly two decade run of excellence on the gridiron.