Battle Creek Game of the Week Preview: BC-Central @ K-Central
WBCK will be in Kalamazoo for the first time this season as the oldest rivalry west of the Alleghenies is set between the Battle Creek Central Bearcats and the Kalamazoo Central Maroon Giants. Both teams are playing for pride at this point in the season, with just one win shared between them on the season, which belongs to K-Central.
Over the past decade, the rivalry has been split competitively as BC-Central has won four of the last nine games. Overall, the Maroon Giants hold the advantage in the rivalry 43-25-1.
Despite the Bearcats entering the game winless on the season, they are coming off a solid performance against Portage Central at home last week. Unfortunately, injuries continued to derail whatever success BC-Central can find. Conversely, the Maroon Giants are coming off a narrow one-point loss to Mattawan last week, a team that beat BC-Central by 42 a couple of weeks ago.
Banged-Up Bearcats Battle On
The Bearcats have been battling significant injuries all season long and last week continued to stack names on the injury report. Star quarterback Devoine Newton is questionable to play tonight, having suffered a knee injury in the closing moments of last week's loss to Portage Central. If he can't go, Daepriece Andrews will take over at quarterback. Andrews has helped out as a receiver and in other roles and is talented with the football in his hands. Replacing Newton's passing ability would be the biggest hurdle for the Bearcats' offense.
We'll also be looking for starting center Camari Williams, a sophomore, in the lineup this week. Williams had an upper-body injury one play after Newton's injury. Williams is one of the largest players on BC-Central's roster and is a talented player in the middle of the offensive and defensive lines.
On the defensive side, the Bearcats are hoping to have star junior linebacker Kali Bey return to the lineup. His presence was sorely missed last week as the Mustangs had more success running up the middle of the BC-Central defense than with outside options. Not to mention, this team needs to win one against the injury report for morale's sake.
K-Central Looks To Finish the Job
Kalamazoo Central has had a strange year after their city rival matchup with Loy Norrix to open the season was canceled. A win over Sturgis the following week didn't translate into further success as St. Joseph, Portage Northern and Lakeshore all handled the Maroon Giants soundly in SMAC play. Then last week, K-Central nearly upended Mattawan, a team that could find itself in the playoffs with a big win in the next three weeks.
That win over Sturgis was K-Central's first win in football since beating BC-Central in 2021 in a 2-7 season for the Maroon Giants.
A win for K-Central over the Bearcats would help propel the Maroon Giants into a strong close to the season with winless Lakeview set to close the schedule two weeks from now, a game WBCK will be at as well.
How to Listen
Tune into WBCK at 7 p.m. for the Battle Creek Game of the Week presented by the Battle Creek Community Foundation. The pre-game hosted by Mike Miller will air for 30 minutes prior to kickoff at 7:00. Myself (Jacob Harrison) and Da'Jzon Hughes will be on the call providing play-by-play and color commentary respectively. Mike Miller will follow the game with a postgame show recapping the game and the action from around the area.