Thursday, Aug. 23
Lowell @ Rockford
Lowell won this one last year, 28-7, and capped 2011 with a third-straight state finals appearance. The Red Arrows graduated stalwart all-state quarterback Gabe Dean, but how could you doubt a replacement as amazingly named as Titan Anderson? The Red Arrows do return their top player on the defensive side, speedy senior rush end Pierce Watson.
The Rams thought they’d do the same — but safety KC Zenner won’t be back just yet as he recovers from a knee injury. A school Rockford’s size isn’t exactly lacking in depth, and Zenner’s absence just means the junior linebacking duo of Randy Gervin and Brent Showers will step it up. On the offensive side, while he doesn’t have Michigan lineman Ben Braden to run behind anymore, Rams senior Connor Darby is one of the top backs in West Michigan.