No. 5 Wall vs No. 9 Eastland, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Maverick Stadium
It’s a rematch between old district foes. Recently Wall has had Eastland’s number winning the past six meetings, including last seasons 28-14 win. This year there is the potential for a higher-scoring game. Led by Texas Tech commit Behran Morton, the Mavericks spread out their offense. With plenty of depth at the receiver position and a multi-purpose running back in Brandon Fielding, look for them to rely heavily on their passing attack. The Hawks are the complete opposite. Their Wing-T offense is designed to run the ball and run the ball some more. Behind a veteran offensive line led by Baylor commit Tate Willaims are four talented ball carriers, this could be one of the most talented offense the Hawks have had in years and has the potential to score at will. Drew Morrison is a big built quarterback that isn’t afraid to take a hit, while in the backfield is the three-headed monster of running backs Chase Rios and Kye Herbert and Dominic Garcia at fullback. Its high tempo vs chewing the clock and this one could come down to which defense can get one or two stops against the opposing offense.
No. 13 Garden City vs No. 4 Sterling City, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium
This rivalry has developed into a must-watch game in the past decade. In recent years Garden City has owned the matchup. The Bearkats have won every meeting since 2014, despite a valiant effort from Sterling City. However, this time around the Eagles could snap that streak. During two-a-days Sterling City head coach, Trey Sisco said this might be the most depth he’s ever had on a football team. The Eagles are bringing back key players like senior lineman Chance Ferguson, senior running back Francisco Gonzales, and senior quarterback Hudson Cox, while adding several talented players from a junior class that’s lost only one game in their high school careers. Meanwhile, Garden City lost all of its starters from last season but has proved its ability to reload and be competitive year after year. The Bearkats will rely heavily on senior quarterback Nick Lara and hope their young talent can adapt quickly to the varsity level.
No. 6 Blackwell vs No. 16 Eden, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Sanders Field
This is an intriguing matchup for multiple reasons. Last season when the two met, Blackwell stomped Eden 62-14. However, it was the first game of the season and the Bulldogs would go on to play solid football from late September into the playoffs. This season both programs have high expectations. They’re ranked inside the preseason Top 20 and are poised to be threats in the postseason. The Hornets are coming off their furthest playoff run in school history, advancing to the state semifinals, while finishing the regular season undefeated for the third year in a row. Seniors Cameron Coldiron and Nathaniel Shipman, along with their supporting cast are in a position to continue their successful run. The Bulldogs bring back several key pieces from last year’s historic group that won the program’s first playoff game in 25 years and capture their second consecutive district title. Senior Hunner Rodgers is a playmaker and the big framed quarterback will be hard to stop, while senior Julian Gamboa heads up a tough defense. This should be much more competitive than last season’s blowout and will be a true test to gauge where each team stands entering the season.
No. 13 Ballinger vs Jim Ned, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Indian Stadium
The experience against the inexperienced. Ballinger has 17 starters returning from last seasons 8-3 squad and many think they could have the perfect storm for a great season. The Bearcats should be in a good spot on both sides of the ball. All-state offensive and defensive lineman Adam Winn, along with playmakers Westin Rolliwitz, Garrett Dixon, Bradyn Bowman, and quarterback Tyler Vaughn are just a few reasons why. Meanwhile, Jim Ned has only 11 players returning but has an emerging young core centered around junior quarterback Tate Yardley. They’re talent and size could test the Bearcats and could make for an exciting game. Ballinger enters as the favorite, but this game has the potential makings of an upset.
Lamesa vs Lake View, 7 p.m. Friday at San Angelo Stadium
For the third year in a row, these two programs meet to start the season. Lamesa won the first matchup in 2018, while Lake View bounced back last season with a 38-30 victory. The Chiefs should have the upper-hand for the second year in a row. Senior quarterback Albert Rodriguez and senior receivers Austin Bandy and Tristian Franklin lead a Lake View passing attack with the potential to get light up the scoreboard. The Golden Tornadoes are coming off a winless season and are entering their first year with head coach Joseph Hood. He’s changed their offense to revolve around running the ball behind an offensive line with multiple returners. Lake View has an opportunity to win back to back season openers for the first time since 1999.
Other games to watch:
No. 13 Christoval at No. 6 Wink, 7 p.m. Friday at Wildcat Stadium
No. 19 Eldorado at No. 10 San Saba, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rogan Field
Sonora at Ozona, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Lion Stadium
Comanche at No. 6 Mason, 7:30 p.m. Friday at R. Clinton Schulze Stadium (Puncher Dome)
Mullin at Olfen, 6 p.m. Friday at Mustang Field
TLCA at Brady, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Bulldog Stadium
Coleman at Miles, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Gary Krejci Memorial Stadium
Grape Creek at Stanton, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Buffalo Stadium
Ingram Moore at Junction, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Stadium
Menard at Cross Plains, 7 p.m. Friday at Buffalo Stadium
Irion County at Panther Creek, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Panther Stadium
Paint Rock at Lohn, 7:30 p.m. Friday at Eagle Field
Bronte at Rotan, 7:30 p.m. Thurs at H. Govan Memorial Stadium