Three Rivers locks horns with Vicksburg in Swinebone Game

‘Cats eye share of league title

VICKSBURG — The Three Rivers Wildcats’ football team is right where they hoped to be entering tonight’s ‘Battle for the Swinebone Trophy’ game at Vicksburg.
Neighborhood bragging rights, a share of the Wolverine Conference championship and a potential first-round playoff game at home are all riding on the outcome of this game.
Kick-off time at Bulldogs Stadium is 7 p.m.
All the action can be heard live on WRCI River Country (97.1) FM radio station in Three Rivers. Airtime is 6:50 p.m. and Mark Taylor and Scott Karle will bring you all action live.
The Michigan Associated Press ranks three Rivers No. 4 in the Division 4 state poll for the second consecutive week. The ‘Cats need a win over the Bulldogs (6-2) tonight to earn a share of the league title with Edwardsburg.
Three Rivers’ last league football title came in 2009.
Three Rivers and Edwardsburg are tied for first place in the league at 7-1. Vicksburg and Plainwell are tied for third at 6-2.
Vicksburg’s lone two losses this season came to 22-19 against Plainwell and a 54-27 setback last week to Edwardsburg.
The lone blemish on Three Rivers’ record came 21-7 at Dowagiac in the second week. The ‘Cats bring a six-game winning streak into tonight’s contest, including a 21-18 win over Edwardsburg a couple weeks ago that snapped the Eddies’ 34-game Wolverine Conference winning streak.
Three Rivers, which is coming off a 42-6 win last week at home over Allegan, defeated Vicksburg last season in an epic 14-13 battle at Armstrong Field.
In last year’s game, Carson Charvat blocked an extra-point attempt to help the Wildcats hold off the Bulldogs late in the contest.
According to the Michigan High School Athletic Association’s Historical Site, Three Rivers and Vicksburg have met 58 times with the ‘Cats holding a 37-20-1 edge over the Bulldogs in the all-time series.
Veteran head coach Tom Marchese coaches Vicksburg. The Bulldogs, who finished 7-3 last season, including a 37-7 loss in the Division 3 playoffs to Chelsea, recently clinched its fourth straight playoff appearance.
Three Rivers clinched its second consecutive playoff appearance two weeks ago with the win over Edwardsburg, its first ever triumph over the Eddies.
Both teams feature an explosive offense and sting defense. Vicksburg has outscored its foes 302-153. Three Rivers, meanwhile, has outscored its opponents 254-77.
Junior quarterback Jalen Heivilin leads three Rivers spread offense. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound triggerman has completed 110-of-178 passes for 1,682 yards and 19 touchdowns with just four interceptions. He has showed his ability to be a double-threat with eight rushing TDs.
Heivilin has a talented corps of receivers in which to throw the ball to.

Please see Thursday's print or e-edition for full article.

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