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Top 10 Saginaw-area 2020 football non-conference games

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 8/12/2020 By Hugh Bernreuter, mlive.com
a group of people around each other: Players run drills during the first day of Merrill football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. © Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Players run drills during the first day of Merrill football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

The games may not count in the standings, but some of the biggest games on the Saginaw-area 2020 football schedule are non-conference games against some of the best teams in the state.

Barring any adjustments to the schedule, here are the top 10 Saginaw-area non-conference football games in 2020:

Beaverton at Breckenridge, Aug. 27

Both teams have put together sparkling four-year resumes, with Breckenridge going 41-6 including a state-final appearance in 2018. The Huskies were 9-2 last season, including a 16-6 loss to Beaverton. The Beavers, who are 32-10 in the last four seasons, were 10-1 in 2019, claiming a Jack Pine Conference title. The Beavers own a 3-2 advantage in the series, with the teams opening the season against each other the past three seasons.

Frankenmuth at Goodrich, Aug. 27

Goodrich and Frankenmuth were scheduled to play at the University of Michigan, but those plans fell through. Instead, the teams will kick off the season at Goodrich. The teams have played just once, with Goodrich earning a 38-15 win in 2010. Goodrich was 7-3 last season and features two-sport star Tyson Davis, who has committed to play football at Central Michigan. Last season, Davis caught 45 passes for 975 yards and 11 touchdowns, adding four touchdowns rushing. He also had 70 tackles and seven interceptions. Goodrich has qualified for the playoffs the last two seasons, while Frankenmuth has qualified nine straight seasons.

a group of young men playing a game of frisbee: Players run drills during the first day of Hemlock football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. © Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Players run drills during the first day of Hemlock football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

Freeland at Clare, Aug. 27

The traditional season-opener is back on the schedule, pitting one of the top teams in the Jack Pine, Clare, against one of the top teams in the Tri-Valley Conference, Freeland. The teams opened the season against each other for 10 straight years from 2004 through 2013. Freeland has won the last three meetings and owns a 10-6 series advantage.

Sandusky at Saginaw Nouvel, Aug. 27

a group of people playing football on a field: Millington sophomore and quarterback Isaac Slough catches a ball to begin running a play on the field during a football game hosted by Millington against Ithaca on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. © Rachel Ellis | MLive.com/Rachel Ellis | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Millington sophomore and quarterback Isaac Slough catches a ball to begin running a play on the field during a football game hosted by Millington against Ithaca on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019.

The teams had so much fun last year, they decided to try it again in 2020. Nouvel and Sandusky faced each other for the first team in history to open the 2018 season and Nouvel won, 58-42, with the two teams combining for 100 points. Jack Kujawa returns at quarterback for the Panthers, who finished 7-5 last season. Sandusky also went on to qualify for the playoffs, settling for a 6-4 record.

Cedar Springs at Swan Valley, Aug. 28

For the past two seasons, Swan Valley has taken on Cedar Springs, a strong Division 3 team, to help the Vikings get ready for the regular season. The teams meet again to open the 2020 season after they split the last two years. Swan Valley claimed a 21-12 win in 2018, with Cedar Springs earning a 34-21 victory in 2019. Swan Valley, in Division 5, reached the quarterfinal in 2019, while Cedar Springs’ tournament run has ended the last two seasons against state power Muskegon.

Swan Valley junior quarterback Avery Goldensoph stands on the sideline. Swan Valley High School hosted Freeland High School for a rivalry game and the King of the Mountain title on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Saginaw. © Sara Faraj | MLive.com/Sara Faraj | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Swan Valley junior quarterback Avery Goldensoph stands on the sideline. Swan Valley High School hosted Freeland High School for a rivalry game and the King of the Mountain title on Friday, Oct. 11, 2019 in Saginaw.

Millington at Cass City, Aug. 28

The two Thumb teams have played just three times, twice when Millington jumped to the Thumb B for two seasons in 1989 and 1990 and once in the Division 5 playoffs in 2004. Millington has won all three meetings, including the 40-37 victory in 2004. Millington has not had a losing season since 1988, including a 6-5 mark in 2019. Cass City has qualified for six consecutive playoffs and is coming off the most successful season in program history, going 11-2 and reaching the Division 7 semifinals.

Clinton at Hemlock, Sept. 3

When Hemlock went looking for a quality team to play in Week 2, the Huskies found one of the top Division 6 programs in the state. Hemlock has qualified for the playoffs for four consecutive seasons but enter 2020 without star Brady Devereaux. The Huskies, who were 8-3 last season, take on a Clinton team that was 9-1 last season and has reached the playoffs the last eight seasons, including two Division 6 state final appearances, losing in 2013 and 2015 to Ithaca.

a baseball player wearing a helmet: Goodrich junior Tyson Davis runs the ball to the outside as he dances around the Fenton defense during the first half of the inaugural Metro League Championship game on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Goodrich High School in Goodrich. © Jake May | MLive.com/Jake May | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Goodrich junior Tyson Davis runs the ball to the outside as he dances around the Fenton defense during the first half of the inaugural Metro League Championship game on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019 at Goodrich High School in Goodrich.

Gobles at Merrill, Sept. 18

a baseball player holding a football ball on a field: Carter Sullivan, junior and quarterback, runs with the ball on the field during a game hosted by Heritage against Bay City Western on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. © Rachel Ellis | MLive.com/Rachel Ellis | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Carter Sullivan, junior and quarterback, runs with the ball on the field during a game hosted by Heritage against Bay City Western on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019.

Both schools are in their first seasons of playing 8-man football and will play twice during the season. Merrill will travel to Gobles to open the season Aug. 27, but Gobles will return the favor by coming to Merrill on Sept. 18. The teams have never played. While Merrill has experienced some recent success, Gobles struggled in its final seasons as an 11-man team. The Tigers were 6-21 in their last three seasons.

a person wearing a helmet: Players run drills during the first day of Hemlock football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020. © Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/Kaytie Boomer | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Players run drills during the first day of Hemlock football practice of on Monday, Aug. 10, 2020.

Heritage at Davison, Oct. 9

Justin Thelen is in his first season at Heritage and will have to endure a difficult three-game stretch near the end of the season. After back-to-back Saginaw Valley League North matchups at home against Midland High and Midland Dow, the Hawks venture to the southern part of the SVL to battle Davison, the defending state champion. The teams have played twice, with Davison winning both meetings,  42-3 in 2015 and 28-20 in 2014.

Frankenmuth at New Lothrop, Oct. 23

New Lothrop has qualified for the playoffs every year since 2000, claiming two state titles. The Hornets have beaten Frankenmuth in the only two meetings, including a 42-22 win in 2019. The regular-season finale becomes a pre-playoff primer for both programs, with the Eagles qualifying for nine straight seasons.

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