Prep Football Games Of The Week: Week 1 To See Lots Of Talent On Display

It doesn’t get better than Friday night lights, does it?

The last full week of August usually signifies the kickoff of high school football season in most states, and programs across the country are racing to get back on the gridiron and compete for glory.

For some of the nation’s top high school football programs, however, it also signals a resumption of the fight for a state (or national) championship, increasing their player stock for college recruiting and more.

For schools that regularly produce Division I prospects, they often look to outside competition to prove themselves, preparing for titanic early-season matchups with promising prospects.

What are the high school football games to check out this week?

Here’s a look at three games across America that will help kick the season into high gear. All matches will be streamed live on FloFootball.

Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Vs. Catholic DeMatha (Hyattsville, Maryland)

One of the most recognizable names in national high school athletics, DeMatha Catholic, usually finds himself traveling to a faraway country several times a season.

This year, the Stags will open play in Florida, hoping to set themselves up for a run at a Maryland state title for the first time since 2016.

As usual at DeMatha, there’s a group of seniors you’ll likely see playing Saturdays for the next few years.

The most notable 2023 rookie of the bunch is the state’s top overall rookie, four-star defensive lineman Jason Moore, an Ohio State draftee who dominates in the trenches at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds.

A former two-sport star at DeMatha who started out for the varsity football and basketball teams as a rookie, Moore’s focus is solely on football, but so he has plenty of athleticism for his position.

Running back Tovani Mizell (2024) might just be the crème de la crème on the roster as he enters his first season at DeMatha. After transferring this offseason from Cardinal Newman to West Palm Beach, Fla., Mizell — a top 100 four-star who committed to Georgia earlier this month — returns to the Sunshine State in hopes of revenge. from Cardinal Gibbons from a year ago, when his former team was eliminated 40-14 at Fort Lauderdale in Week 2.

Many differentiating factors for Cardinal Gibbons, the defending Class 4A Florida State champions, were juniors in 2021, making the Chiefs team a strong candidate to win a three-peat in the division.

2023 dual-threat quarterback Dylan Rizk had 25 total touchdowns and more than 2,400 total yards a season ago as the UCF commitment is poised for another big year as part of a powerful offense with uncommitted 2023 three-star tailback Kamari Moulton and 2023 athlete/wide receiver and Pitt commitment Jesse Anderson.

Allen (Allen, TX) vs. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California)

These are two of the best high school football programs of the past decade kicking off the 2022 season under the spotlight at one of America’s largest prep football stadiums, Eagle Stadium (cap. 18,000).

Does it get much better than that?

2022 St John Bosco vs Allen

Allen and St. John Bosco have been known as blue-grinding factories in recent history – Kyler Murray and Josh Rosen are two examples at each respective school – and that’s not expected to change in the near future.

Both teams are loaded with top rookies and are on the hunt for trophies, after some disappointment. Both are looking to redeem themselves after failing in their respective state championships last season.

It will be one hell of a coaching debut for Allen’s Lee Wiginton, who was hired to lead the Eagles sideline after former SMU and Arkansas coach Chad Morris returned to the college ranks. in the offseason as a South Florida assistant.

Wiginton, who built Midlothian Heritage from the ground up in a UIL Class 4A powerhouse over six seasons, brings high-octane style to Allen who averaged 42 points per game in his final year during his previous stop.

That should mesh well with the continued growth of quarterback Michael Hawkins in 2024, a four-star rookie (via 247Sports) who was named District 5-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year and has a plethora of major offers up front. his junior season. .

St. John Bosco is not going to the Lone Star State for vacation, as it is a business trip.

The Braves have won their last 11 games (home and away) against out-of-state opponents and have one of the best safeties of 2024 in America, Notre Dame signs Peyton Woodyard, ready to pounce on all of Allen’s offensive errors.

How Hawkins handles the passing rush of five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei (the uncommitted brother of current Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei) will likely be one of the main storylines to watch throughout. the evening, but the Eagles have the advantage of playing in their stronghold, from which few visitors have emerged unscathed.

Allen is 60-1 all-time at Eagle Stadium, losing for the first time at the massive venue to Atascocita in Week 2 of the 2021 season.

Bergen Catholic (Oradell, New Jersey) Vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Think of it as a showdown between the old guard and the new blood of each program’s respective states.

2022 Cardinal Gibbons vs Bergen Catholic

Bergen Catholic is one of New Jersey State’s winningest programs and has finished its seasons as state champions 15 times, including 2021, when the Crusaders finished 12-0 and took care of Don Bosco Prep at MetLife Stadium – home of the NFL’s New York Giants and Jets – to solidify their claim as one of the best teams in the country.

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Cardinal Gibbons won the first state championship in its 113-year history in 2021 with a remarkable 15-1 season, taking revenge on Charlotte Chambers (who beat Cardinal Gibbons in the opening week of the 2021 season) in the state championship game to mark their first opportunity as Class 4A state champions.

While there are some deserved good vibes in the program right now, Cardinal Gibbons will have a massive task ahead of him controlling Bergen Catholic defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell, a 2023 three-star and successful Texas commitment. 40 inside tackles in 12 games.

He and Maryland signing, 2023 defensive end DJ Samuels (17.5 tackles for loss in 2021), should be a force on the defensive front, with several defense starters gone.

As for who Cardinal Gibbons is bringing to the table, many observers outside North Carolina likely don’t have a clear idea of ​​his personnel, as many of the 2023 players on the roster are just missing out on many major reported deals. for the moment.

However, that certainly doesn’t mean the team are devoid of talent, and if they can make a statement and beat Bergen, expect more offers to arrive.

Quarterback Connor Clark threw for 30 touchdowns a year ago, while on the defensive end, defensive tackle Joshua Stoneking was named his conference’s defensive player of the year, after a stunning 30 tackles for loss, including 15 were bags.

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