For the third time in seven years, Brighton will open their football season at Michigan Stadium.
The Bulldogs’ game against Dearborn Fordson will kick off the six-game battle at the Big House at noon on Thursday, August 25. Three matches will be played on August 25 and three the following day.
Brighton played two memorable games against strong opponents at Michigan Stadium.
During the inaugural battle at the big house in 2016, Brighton beat Detroit East English, 14-8in a game decided with three seconds left when defensive back Austin Ford interrupted a fourth pass at the goal line.
The following season, Brighton lost 34-31 in extra time to Belleville after taking a 28-16 lead on a 32-yard run from Rudy Ramirez with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter.
“It’s one of those things that brings a bit of excitement and juice to the program,” said Brighton sporting director John Thompson. “Most kids will never have the chance to run on this terrain. I think it’s a good thing when we can do it once in a while. We appreciate the opportunity.”
Brighton will resume a Fordson program steeped in tradition. Tractors have qualified for the state playoffs 16 straight years. Fordson faced eventual Division 1 champion Belleville in the third round of the playoffs last season before losing 12-7.
“We have a high quality opponent,” Thompson said. “When you look at the venue change, the stakes have just been raised. Hopefully our kids will work hard over the summer and be ready to go.”
The star of this Fordson team, four-star receiver Antonio Gates Jr., will be a freshman at Michigan State University.
Fordson was the opponent the last time a Livingston County team played at Michigan Stadium, beating Howell, 48-28, in 2018. Pinckney was scheduled to face Clarkston in 2020 in a canceled game in a COVID-shortened season.
A young Brighton side went 4-5 last season, losing three games by seven points or less.
The game against the Tractors was originally scheduled for Fordson.
In other games at Michigan Stadium, DeWitt will play Haslett at 3:30 p.m. and Clarkston will take Davison at 7 p.m. on August 25. Livonia Churchill and Plymouth will meet at noon, Port Huron and Rochester Hills Stoney Creek at 3:30 p.m., and Lapeer and Ann Arbor Pioneer at 7 on Aug. 26.
Livingston County’s other four season openers will also take place on August 25, with Fowlerville traveling to La Coruña, Hartland visiting Westland John Glenn, Howell playing Livonia Stevenson and Pinckney hosting Ann Arbor Skyline.
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