BEAL CITY – The Highland Conference championship is up for grabs Friday as Beal City welcomes in McBain.
A meeting of unbeatens, Beal City is ranked eighth in the latest Associated Press Division 8 state poll while McBain checks in at No. 7 in the Division 7 rankings.
Friday’s winner will claim the conference championship in outright fashion.
“It’s gonna be playoff atmosphere against McBain, what more could you ask for,” Beal City coach Brad Gross said. “This game is just kind of a measuring stick. You know, you’re going to find out where you are at putting yourself up against the best teams. And like I said, it’s going to be that kind of playoff atmosphere and you know it’s going to come down to turnovers and who makes the big plays and who doesn’t make the big plays.”
Last Five Meetings in McBain-Beal City Series
2019 – McBain 27, Beal City 0
2018 – McBain 20, Beal City 0
2017 – McBain 35, Beal City 6
2016 – Beal City 21, McBain 12
2015 – Beal City 42, McBain 22
The Ramblers have rolled this season, outscoring their first four opponents by a combined 170-36. The Aggies snuck out a 16-8 win over Roscommon a week ago and face a McBain team that handed them their only regular-season loss a year ago.
“Beal City is a tough team,” McBain coach Pat Maloney said. “They’re going to get a big play on us here and there and how are you going to react. And it’s learning from that one and moving to the next play and playing the next play.”
McBain enters Friday’s game winners of three straight in the series, having shut out Beal City that last two years.
“Past years, battling them, it’s been huge,” McBain senior Daniel Rodenbaugh said. “The competitive level when we’re going down there is always very competitive. I mean, we’re going at each other all night long for four quarters strong so it’s awesome, it’s fun to play in. But, hopefully we can just come out in the end as the winner here.”
Beal City is 35-14 against McBain since 1950.
Friday’s game from Beal City kicks off a 7 p.m.