It’s a rivalry like no other. Locals know it as one of the most competitive and longest high school football feuds in the state of Michigan. The battle between Tawas and Oscoda, otherwise known as the War on the Shore is our Game of the Week.
The bad blood between Oscoda and Tawas passes down through generations. Despite taking over the Braves program in 2021-22, Head Coach Zach Blanchard knows what football rivalries like these are all about. “Everyone is coming up to me and talking about how important this game is,” he said. “I’ve been a part of a lot of rivalries and I understand fully.”
The two harbor towns are separated by just 20 minutes. The Owls are heading for enemy territory with a bandwagon of fans ready to part the Tawas red sea with their Oscoda blue. Head Coach Mark Whitley believes his team will be represented well. “They all love the rivalry and it’s been going on for years,” he said. “It’s Friday night lights at its best.”
Oscoda leads the overall series and won last year’s News-Press Trophy in double overtime. Yet on Friday, both teams consider the slate wiped clean as they each have a 1-3 record. “Records, that’s just out the window,” said Blanchard. “We’re going to leave what everybody else is saying outside of us.”
This rivalry goes back about 70 years. Although the communities may be polar opposites of each other, they have one thing in common… Both Oscoda and Tawas have been waiting all year for this upcoming game. “We’re going to get out there at 7 o’clock and the ball will be in the air,” said Whitley. “Here we go, let’s go play football.”
The War on the Shore showdown kicks off from Tawas on September 22 at 7 p.m.