It doesn’t matter, really, when Brighton and Howell play.
Records: Toss ’em out the window. Howell went to Brighton three years ago winless and beat the Bulldogs 16-15 thanks to a pair of interceptions by a Howell linebacker whose right hand was bandaged like a club. A Brighton assistant coach later dubbed him “The One-Armed Man.”
Intensity: Yes, indeed. Dave Pearson, who played center for Michigan nearly 20 years ago, said the only matchup where the teams hit harder than Brighton-Howell was Michigan-Ohio State.
The rivalry goes that deep. It was suspended for decades after World War II due to unruliness in the stands between fans and not picked up until both joined the old Kensington Valley Conference in 1979.
The latest battle for the Little Brown Jug, which Brighton has won the last two years, will be broadcast on The Livingston Post, starting at 6:50 p.m. Click here for the link.
“There’s no problem getting up for this one,” Brighton coach Brian Lemons said. “Our players look forward to it, for sure. Our communities look forward to it. It should be a fun night, for sure.”
Tonight’s matchup has conference hopes and playoff seedings on the line.
A win by Howell, and a win by Hartland when it plays host to Canton, would leave all three teams tied for first in the KLAA West going into next week’s season finales.
It also would keep Howell in line for a possible home playoff game in two weeks. Currently, the Highlanders are the fourth seed in their playoff grouping. Who would they play, if everything stays the same?
You really have to guess?
So there will be plenty at stake tonight, and while Brighton fans might have some nostalgia from their last trip to Howell, when they beat Belleville 22-19 in the Division 1 semifinals last November, all that is gone.
“That’s in the past, man,” Lemons said. “We’re gearing up for a big one against Howell, that’s for sure.”
The Bulldogs face a Howell team that has gotten better every week while also adding players off their injured list every week.
The latest was running back August Johannesmeier, who rushed for over 200 yards in his season debut last week at Novi.
“Welcome to football,” Howell coach Brian Lewis said. “Guys are in, guys are out.That’s why you have to have some strength of numbers here. We’re getting better each and every week, and that’s our expectation. I think that we have been progressing in that manner.”
But hte Bulldogs have seen progress, too, which was evident in last week’s 28-3 win over Plymouth.
“We’ve gotten better every week, which is nice,” Lemons said. “We had a tough loss against Canton, but we started to put everything together (last week).”
It figures to be a test for both teams, and for fans of football, it might not be the last this season.