Since the two teams first met 12 seasons ago, it continues to be one of the most intriguing rivalries in all of B.C. high school football.
Friday at the Apple Bowl, the Mt. Boucherie Bears and KSS Owls will square off in the 2015 edition of the Battle of the Bridge.
In addition to pride, first place in the Eastern Conference is on the line, with both the Bears and Owls off to 1-0 starts.
Regardless of their records heading in, Boucherie coach Mike Godwin said the Bears-Owls matchup inevitably produces some fireworks.
“It’s always an exciting game between us, even on years where one team was struggling through conference play, the perceived ‘weaker’ team always manages to rise to the occasion,” said Godwin, whose team opened the regular season with a 32-0 win over Centennial. “Throughout the 12-year rivalry, most games have come down to one score.”
In their first year under new head coach Ben Macauley, the Owls are off to a strong start, drubbing Lord Tweedsmuir 49-8 last Friday in the regular season opener.
And while it’s still very early in the season, Macauley said Friday’s clash will feel more like a playoff game.
“I would be lying if I said this game isn’t a little extra special,” said Macauley. “The players know each other, they have grown up together and now the line has been drawn in the sand.
“If you don’t get excited for this game, you probably don’t have a pulse.”
While Macauley has a healthy respect for the Bears, he also likes the direction the KSS program is heading in.
“They are a good team with a lot of speed and skill,” said Macauley.
“We have been on the other end, working out the kinks with a brand new coaching staff and new philosophy. I think the players are starting to buy in to the systems and trust each other.”
Other than a game with plenty of intensity, Mike Godwin isn’t making any predictions about the outcome of Friday’s tilt.
“To be honest, right now I have no idea what to expect,” said Godwin. “KSS has been putting up huge offensive numbers and we have been playing pretty good defense, but I don’t think either team is playing to their full potential just yet.
“These games are stressful for coaches but amazing for the fans.”
Kick off at the Apple Bowl between the Bears and Owls is 6:30.
Meanwhile, the two teams, along with the Okanagan Sun, will be collecting donations for the recovery of former Sun receiver Jesse Kendall.
Kendall was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident last month after suffering a brain aneurysm.