It’s an ancient rivalry, this yearly meeting between the Highlanders and Bulldogs, one that got so heated it was discontinued for a while because passions ran too hot — in the stands.
But the creation of the late lamented Kensington Valley Conference got the schools back together in 1979, and they’ve played all but one of the 40 years since. That was in 1987, when a millage failure interrupted the series. But they made up for that in 2001 and 2010, when they played in both the regular season and in the playoffs. Howell won both of those games.
Dave Pearson, who played for Brighton, the University of Michigan, and the Detroit Lions, once told me that, after Michigan-Ohio State, no teams hit harder than in Brighton-Howell games.
The last two years, the visiting teams have won, and in 2017 Howell pulled out a 16-15 upset after going winless until then, allowing Highlanders fans to add a dose of fire by calmly claiming they won the game that mattered.
But that’s in the past.
“We want to do what we want to do, and they want to do what they want to do,” Howell coach Aaron Metz said. “We’d like to keep our playoff hopes alive, and they’d like to host.”
On Friday, Howell needs to win to keep its hopes of an automatic playoff berth alive. At 4-3, they have to at least split their final two regular-season games to have a chance at postseason play. Brighton, meanwhile, already is in, but is looking to finish strong and host at least one playoff game in a couple of weeks.
It’s also Brighton’s homecoming and the Little Brown Jug is on the line in front of a full house. If you have to look further for motivation, you might no
We’ll have the broadcast here on the Post starting at 6:45 p.m. Click here for the link.