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      Downstate football team in the Upper Peninsula

      Eight hours of driving done, and the Detroit West Side Christian Academy football team is in the U.P. They've made their way here to play football against the Gwinn Modeltowners.

      "To come up and be able to talk to their peers and see what their peers do outside of Detroit and how they live and so forth, it's so important. Because when they go away to college, the atmosphere is totally different also," said the academy's head football coach, Sean Tarrant.

      This year, Gwinn had two open spots in their schedule, which prompted them to ask the academy to come to the U.P. for a game. But, they couldn't have done it without the help of their community.

      Rodney's Pizza is making breakfast for the team on Friday, which is being held at the American Legion Post.

      "I think it's nice for the community to pull together to put something on for a team coming all the way from downstate to play in Gwinn, Michigan. I think it's pretty exciting," said restaurant owner Rodney Filizetti.

      They're not the only ones who pitched in either. The Model Towne Inn gave the players a group rate, and the school district chipped in for transportation fees.

      "We wanted to make a strong commitment within the community to provide a full season for our kids. So, we're very excited that Detroit Christian was willing to come up here and consider helping us, giving us a full schedule. And, once again, unbelievable community," said the Gwinn athletic director, Rob Soyring.

      The two teams will go at it Friday night at 7:30 in Gwinn.