Here are some of the most interesting games and storylines for the first full week of the high school football season.
Eldorado at Chaparral — The teams combined for just four wins last season, but the annual “Cleat Game” still can be exciting. Chaparral won their second straight last season, topping the Sundevils 20-14. First-year Cowboys coach Paul Nihipali will be looking to make it three in a row and hang onto the bronzed cleat once worn by Merlin Olsen.
Bishop Gorman at Servite (Calif.) — Gorman is still ranked No. 1 in the nation by USA Today after drubbing Brophy Prep (Ariz.) 44-0 in the Sollenberger Classic last week. Servite dropped out of the top 25 despite not playing last week, but this still should be a stiff early test for the Gaels.
Palo Verde at Centennial — Once league rivals, the Panthers and Bulldogs no longer play in the same league. Still, there should be plenty of excitement on the field as two-way standout Jaren Campbell and the Panthers travel to take on the Bulldogs. Campbell rushed for 942 yards last season, but will face a defense led by Samuel Liaga and five other returning starters.
Cheyenne at Cimarron-Memorial — Another rivalry game, although this one doesn’t date back to the 70s. Cheyenne will look to take back the “Duel in the Desert” trophy after Cimarron topped the Desert Shields 19-12 last season. Cimarron quarterback Derek Morefield is back for his third season as the starter, and he threw for 1,030 yards and 12 TDs as a junior. Cheyenne, which won just two games last season, returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense and should be improved.
Clark at Boulder City — A pair of teams with hopes to make the Division I-A playoffs. The Chargers return running back Milan Dixon (726 rushing yards) as they look to improve on last season’s 4-6 record. Boulder City will lean on Brooks Roe, who led the team in receiving and sacks last season.