A mixture of extreme heat and thunderstorms pushed back Thursday night kickoffs for the start of the 2023 high school football season. Luckily, there's still Friday, and tonight WBCK will begin our live play-by-play broadcast of Battle Creek high school football as Harper Creek visits Spartan Stadium to take on Lakeview.

Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. as the two teams that finished 2022 with 3-6 records look to begin their respective 2023 campaigns 1-0. This week's matchup is a feature of speed and experience against young brutes in the trenches.

Harper Creek's Size Up Front the Difference?

Harper Creek's strength will come from its experienced and big offensive line. Third-year starters Ricky Johnson and Zach Kitchen lead the way in the trenches as two-way players who can make a difference. Johnson is 6-foot-2, 270 pounds while Kitchen is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds.

Because the Beavers employ a Wing-T offense, the size advantage could play a pivotal role in tonight's matchup. Jesus Macedo will lead the offense as the quarterback as he looks to facilitate the football to senior running back Bronson Carpenter.

The Beavers on the whole are young, as 12 sophomore starters from 2022 are now juniors looking to capitalize on tough experiences from last season.

Spartan Twins Bring the Speed

The story on the Lakeview side will center around the Kucharczyk twins, Jake and Zach and how they mesh in first-year head coach Brett Vernon's RPO-heavy offense. Jake is the team's quarterback and after rushing much more in 2022, he'll be asked to throw the rock around the yard in 2023 while making quick decisions. Zach returns from an injury-plagued 2022 at running back to give the Spartans an explosive backfield option.

Each has the speed and explosiveness to turn the game on its head at any moment. Davis Barr is a track star at wide receiver that can assist in the new-look passing game.

Defensively, the Spartans' 4-4-3 defense will have the bodies up front to challenge the run-heavy offense of the Beavers. The question will be the size and experience in the trenches and how it matches up with Harper Creek.

How to Listen

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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 7:30. 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.

The broadcast can be heard on the radio dial at 95.3 or streaming on the 95.3 WBCK App or at wbckfm.com.

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