This week's high school football action features nine in-state matchups, headlined by the game of the year in Indiana between No. 9 Center Grove (Greenwood) and Cathedral (Indianapolis). The Trojans won last year's 6A state title and bring in a 22-game win streak. The Fighting Irish took home last year's 5A crown and have won 21 of their last 22 games. The lone loss coming against Center Grove 17-13.
A pair of games feature teams trying to avenge upset losses from last season as No. 15 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) faces Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) at Florida Atlantic University Stadium and Norco (Calif.) hosts No. 14 Centennial (Corona, Calif.).
The Chiefs shocked the Raiders 17-10 last year while Norco snapped the Huskies' 57-game Big VIII league win streak last spring with a 38-36 victory.
A big-time matchup in Texas features a huge district battle between Guyer (Denton) and Allen. The Wildcats are one of the first five teams out of the MaxPreps Top 25, so a statement win against the Eagles could be enough to get them in next week. Allen has won four in a row since losing to Atascocita (Humble).
Another marquee game features one of the best rivalries in New Jersey as No. 6 Bergen Catholic (Oradell) hosts St. Joseph Regional (Montvale). This will be the 19th meeting since 2004 and the Crusaders have won 10 of the previous 18.
MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week
Friday, 7 p.m. (All times local)
These have been the best two teams in Indiana all year and will be the favorites to repeat as state champions in their respective classifications. Six of the last seven meetings have been decided by one score and they have split the last four.
Saturday, 7 p.m. at FAU Stadium (Boca Raton)
Since a 24-21 loss to No. 13 Jesuit (Tampa), the Raiders have reeled off five in a row outscoring the opposition 242-43. Gibbons was close to joining the MaxPreps Top 25 but suffered a setback against American Heritage (Plantation), losing 23-20. If they can knock off Aquinas for the second straight year they will be back in the mix to join the rankings.
The winner of this one controls their own destiny when it comes to winning the District 5-6A title. Guyer has won six of seven games by double-digits. The only one score game was a 14-7 overtime victory against the defending 5A Division 1 state champs, Ryan (Denton). Chad Morris has led the Eagles to a 5-1 record during his first season as head coach and they continue to get better each week as the playoffs near.
Saturday, 1 p.m.
The Crusaders roll into Saturday's showdown posting three consecutive shutouts while allowing 5.3 points per game through their first six games. The offense is averaging over 40 points per game. After dropping two of their first three games, the Green Knights have won three straight including an impressive 21-14 win over St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City) last week.
Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The Huskies have had this one circled on the calendar since the schedule release. Norco became the first league opponent to knock off the Inland Empire power since 2009 with a 38-36 victory last spring. Centennial has won every game by at least 21 points this season and outscored the opposition 408-69. The Cougars have bounced back since losing against Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) and have won their last two games by a combined 85 points.
Saturday, 4 p.m.
St. Edward is one of the first five teams out of the MaxPreps Top 25 and an impressive showing against Moeller could help their case to join the rankings. The Eagles have dominated the series between the two and have won 10 straight meetings and 13 of the last 16 since 2004.
The only out-of-state matchup features some of the best talent on the West Coast. The Trailblazers have played one of the toughest schedules in the country with all three losses coming against top 100 teams. Saguaro has bounced back and won two in a row since suffering a 27-26 loss against Chaparral (Scottsdale).
North Cobb has won five straight since a season-opening loss against Buford and face a big-time test on Friday. The Raiders have one of the most talented teams in the state and expect both to be in the mix to win the AAAAAAA title in a couple months.
The top-ranked team in the country has outscored their first five opponents 249-59 and won every game by at least 21 points. Santa Margarita had its four-game winning streak snapped last week with a 48-21 loss against No. 8 Servite (Anaheim) and will look to knock off Mater Dei for the first time since 2013.
The Raiders are off to a 5-0 start this season and get a chance to show why they are one of the top teams in Florida against Chaminade-Madonna. The Lions only loss came against American Heritage (Plantation) 26-24 and have notable wins over Buford (Ga.), Columbus (Miami) and Seminole (Sanford).