WestPAC games top Week 4 schedule

HOUGHTON – It’s WestPAC rivalry night in Week 4 of the prep football season.

All three games being played in the area this weekend will be above the Portage Lake Lift Bridge, none of them farther north than tonight in Calumet, where the Copper Kings will hope they can begin to shake off their 0-3 start in their Homecoming game against Houghton.

The Copper Kings and Gremlins have taken vastly different routes over the first third of the 2013 season.

Visiting Houghton is 2-1 on the field for the first time since 2008, but both of the Gremlins’ victims, Westwood and Ironwood, have yet to get in the win column this year.

On the other hand, Calumet may be 0-3, but their opponents, Northland Pines, Negaunee and Ishpeming, have outscored their non-Copper King opponents by an average of 41.5 to 8.5 in seven games.

Houghton’s last win over the Copper Kings came in 2001, which is consequently the last time the Gremlins got out of Week 4 with three wins on their ledger and the last time Houghton made the postseason.

At McAfee Field in Hancock, past results seem to point to a close one on tap between Hancock and L’Anse.

The teams’ last five meetings have been decided by a combined 31 points, with a one-point game won 21-20 by the Bulldogs the last time the Hornets visited, and an overtime game when the teams met in 2009 at Condon Field.

L’Anse won last year’s contest 36-26 at Meadowbrook Field and can afford no more mistakes like the 27-14 road loss at West Iron County two weeks ago that put the Hornets out of step in the conference race.

West Iron County is also playing a league game tonight, at Ironwood, and is 1-0 in the WestPAC. Defending champion Northland Pines is 2-0 but playing out of league against Hurley, Wis., this weekend.

In Great Western Conference play, Lake Linden-Hubbell will try to avoid an 0-3 homestand when it meets the Gogebic Miners Saturday at Warner Field.

Gogebic, now 3-0 after cruising past Baraga last Friday, is in rare territory. Neither the merged program or its constituent schools (Bessemer and Wakefield-Marenisco) have started 4-0 since 1985.

The other two GWC schools are hitting the road this weekend. Baraga makes the long drive down to Powers to face U.P. No. 3 North Central and Ontonagon is at No. 1 Forest Park.