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For first time ever, Grandville and Byron Center set to meet in football

The two schools are a mere eight miles apart, but they've never gone head-to-head on the gridiron. Now they'll face off in the 13 On Your Sidelines Game of the Week.

GRANDVILLE, Mich. — One of West Michigan's most intimidating home fields is about to play host to two southwestern Kent County neighbors as the early football season kicks into high gear.

On Thursday, Byron Center (1-0) will visit Grandville (1-0) for a 7 p.m. kickoff at Bulldog Stadium. It will be the 13 On Your Sidelines Game of the Week for week two.

Grandville is coming off an impressive 49-25 neutral-site win over Grand Blanc, which came into the season as one of the most highly touted teams in the state.

"We have a lot of young guys. It was their first time in a big game. I think they really prepared well. They took the game plan and owned it. They had a deep understanding of it," said Grandville coach Eric Stiegel.

"I think we learned we can play pretty physical on the lines of scrimmage, which we have to do at Grandville to be the best team we can be."

Meanwhile, Byron Center won a thriller in overtime against Battle Creek Central by a score of 34-27 in week one.

"We learned a lot of stuff, mostly that we haven't coached our kids up as much as we should have," said Byron Center coach Marc Cisco.

"Silly penalties, turnovers we did all of it. Hopefully we can correct a few of those things, but the one thing our kids did is they showed a lot of poise. They didn't panic. We didn't have any timeouts left at the end of the game and you wouldn't have known it. There was no panic. So we're really proud of them for that."

Both teams are young this season. Grandville has 22 seniors and Byron Center has just 13, which both coaches say is lower than what's typical for their respective squads. But the seniors on both teams remain undaunted at the task at hand as they face each other in week two.

"It's going to be a fun one. Hopefully it's packed here, but they're a good team so we're going to have to play good to beat them. It should be a good one," said Grandville senior cornerback and tight end Drew Hungerford.

Byron Center senior lineman Tim Clay has similar feelings about facing Grandville.

"It's a great opportunity. It's going to be a hard fought game. It always against those [Power T] teams. We've just got to put in the work. It's going to be a tough game. We've got to have respect for our opponent and just put in the work," he said.

After the game, you can watch all the highlights on 13 On Your Sidelines, presented by Rant Insurance Group, beginning just after 11 p.m. on Thursday.


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