Lakeshore’s football team is hoping to start SMAC West play with a win at Portage Northern on Friday.

The Lancers are coming off a 42-29 win against a Holland West Ottawa program that beat them 35-10 last year. Northern – the defending SMAC West champions – dispatched Kalamazoo Loy Norrix 41-0 in week one.

Portage Northern might have one of the best running back duos in the state in senior Tyler Amos and junior Andrew Tynes. The tandem combined to rush for 34 touchdowns and over 2,700 rushing yards last season.

“They’re the team you have to beat,” coach Bryan Keim said. “They probably have the best running backs in southwest Michigan. They aren’t fancy. We’re going to have to make them throw the football. This conference is known for physical football. Offensively, we have to run.

“We can’t afford to turn the ball over like we did last week. If we’re able to keep our turnovers in check, I think we can play with anybody.”

Lakeshore quarterback Jimmy Gillette completed 17 of 32 passes for 289 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception in his debut. Zeke Rohl had 89 yards on six carries for two touchdowns and Aiden Jackson added 20 carries for 50 yards.

Games featuring the Lancers and the Huskies have been close contests, with the two teams sporting 5-5 records in the last 10 matchups and an 11-point scoring differential (176-165) in favor of the Huskies.

“Defensively, if we can get them into third and long situations we should be in good shape,” Keim said.

“Offensively, we have to wear teams down. (West Ottawa) was tired last week. If we played the full game on Thursday, the game may have been different.

“This is gonna be a good fight for our first road game.”

SMAC

St. Joseph (1-0) looks to stay unbeaten when it faces Niles (0-1) on Friday in what will reportedly be the 100th game between the two programs. The Bears have won nine of the last ten matchups.

St. Joseph is coming off a 32-19 win over Battle Creek Central in week one, while Niles hopes to get back on track after a 46-6 loss to Battle Creek Lakeview. The Vikings were outgained 426-98 on the ground.

Independent

Following a 25-16 loss to Battle Creek Harper Creek, Benton Harbor (0-1) faces a Grand Rapids Ottawa Hills (1-0) team fresh off a win over Grand Rapids Union.

The Tigers will look to run on the Bengals, who are 2-31 over their last 33 games, with both wins coming against Union.

Brandywine senior Jordan Abrams made history last week when he rushed for 136 yards to become the school’s all-time leading rusher in the win over Coloma.

Abrams hopes to have another strong performance when the Bobcats (1-0) host Comstock (0-1) this week.

River Valley (0-1) found itself in a 21-0 halftime hole against Galesburg-Augusta last week and ended up losing 33-22. The Mustangs hope to pick up their first win this week against Fremont (Ind.). River Valley won last season’s matchup 38-24.

Wolverine

After falling to defending Division 4 champion Edwardsburg in week one, Dowagiac aims to earn its first win of the season against Three Rivers.

The Wildcats (0-1) fell to Paw Paw 42-0 in their season-opener last week. The Chieftains hope to get the ball to De’Ondray Henry, who led the Chieftains with 42 yards on eight carries.

After being shut out by Otsego 39-0 last week, South Haven (0-1) looks to flip the script against week two opponent Sturgis (0-1). The Trojans had their own issues on offense last week when they lost to Vicksburg 42-0.

SAC

Coloma (0-1) hopes to enter the win column when it travels to face Lawton (1-0) on Friday. The Comets were bested by Brandywine 38-8 in week one play while the Blue Devils are coming off a 42-12 win over Watervliet.

If Watervliet (0-1) hopes to compete with Saugatuck (1-0) this week, it will have to fix its turnover issues. The Panthers gave up five in their 42-12 loss to Lawton last week.

BCS

Berrien Springs (1-0) was able to exact revenge on Grand Rapids West Catholic with a 28-3 win in week one. The Shamrocks hope to keep the momentum going when they face Constantine (1-0) on the road. The Shamrocks will once again lean on Danny Vinson.

The running back finished with 18 carries for 158 yards and one touchdown.

Buchanan gave up over 500 yards of offense in its 54-27 loss to Schoolcraft. The defense will have to improve if the Bucks hope to pick up a win over Fennville (0-1). The Blackhawks fell 34-14 to Onsted in week one.

Southwest 10

After falling 14-7 to a tough Mendon team last week, Decatur (0-1) looks to get in the win column when it hosts White Pigeon (1-0) on Friday.

The Chiefs defeated Bloomingdale 54-0 in week one action. The Cardinals (0-1) were outgained 359-72 in total yardage.

Bloomingdale travels to Grand Rapids this week to face NorthPointe Christian (1-0).

Hartford (0-1) has a difficult test against Centreville. The Indians dropped their season-opener against Cassopolis 50-0 and travel to face a Centreville team that dispatched Eau Claire 58-6 last week.

Eau Claire (0-1) faces a tough test against Marcellus (1-0). The Wildcats defeated Bangor 41-8 in week one.

Eight-man

Bridgman (1-0) and Lake Michigan Catholic (1-0) face off this week in a battle between unbeaten teams.

The Bees ran away from North Adams-Jerome to the tune of a 56-16 win and the Lakers outlasted Tekonsha in a 68-50 shootout. Both teams can put up points, but which defense can hold up on Friday could determine the winner.

Michigan Lutheran (0-1) hopes to shake off its 30-6 loss to Litchfield when it hosts Waldron (1-0) on Friday.

The Spartans picked up a 2-0 win over Detroit Academy of the Americas via forfeit and will be playing in their first game of the season.

New Buffalo makes its season debut at Battle Creek St. Philip (0-1) on Saturday.

The Bison will be facing a Fighting Tigers team coming off a 46-8 loss to Portland St. Patrick.

Contact: mharden@thehp.com, 932-0371, @HPMaxwellHarden