For the third time in seven years, Brighton will open its football season at Michigan Stadium.
The Bulldogs’ game against Dearborn Fordson will kick off the six-game Battle at the Big House at noon Thursday, Aug. 25. Three games will be played Aug. 25 and three the following day.
Brighton has played two memorable games against strong opponents at Michigan Stadium.
In the inaugural Battle at the Big House in 2016, Brighton beat Detroit East English, 14-8, in a game decided with three seconds remaining when defensive back Austin Ford broke up a fourth-down pass at the goal line.
The following season, Brighton lost 34-31 in overtime to Belleville after taking a 28-16 lead on a 32-yard run by Rudy Ramirez with 2:22 left in the fourth quarter.
“It’s one of those things that brings a little excitement and juice to the program,” Brighton athletic director John Thompson said. “Most kids will never have the chance to run out on that field. I think it’s a good thing when we can do that every once in a while. We’re appreciative of the opportunity.”
Brighton will be taking on a Fordson program steeped in tradition. The Tractors have qualified for the state playoffs 16 straight years. Fordson played eventual Division 1 champion Belleville tough in the third round of the playoffs last season before losing, 12-7.
“We’ve got a high-quality opponent,” Thompson said. “When you look at the venue change, the stakes just got raised. I hope our kids are going to work hard over the summer and be ready to go.”
The star of that 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 play Clarkston in 2020 in a game canceled in a COVID-shortened season.
A young Brighton team 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 pm and Clarkston will take on Davison at 7 pm Aug. 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.
The other four Livingston County season openers will also be played on Aug. 25, with Fowlerville traveling to Corunna, Hartland visiting Westland John Glenn, Howell playing at Livonia Stevenson and Pinkney hosting Ann Arbor Skyline.
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