For the third time this season, high school football fans get a Top 10 matchup as No. 1 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) hosts No. 6 Northwestern (Miami) on Friday in a game with nearly 50 players who have at least one FBS offer. This is the fourth meeting since 2017 and the Ascenders are 3-0, winning by an average margin of 21 points.
The Bulls enter the showdown on the heels of their season-opening 21-14 win over No. 17 Central (Miami). IMG, which had a bye, has outscored its first six opponents 291-62.
Jake Garcia was declared eligible earlier this week and could make his debut for No. 5 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) on Friday against a 5-1 Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) squad on ESPN2. DeYon Cannon will get the start under center for the Rams, but there's a good chance the 2021 USC commit will see the field.
The Ohio Division 1 playoffs enter the quarterfinals and undefeated Lakota West (Lakota) hosts No. 37 St. Xavier (Cincinnati) with a spot in the semifinals on the line.
After being one of two teams to jump into the MaxPreps Top 25 rankings
, No. 24 Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.), which upset St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) 17-10, faces another big test against a very talented American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) squad on Friday.
Arizona, Arkansas, Pennsylvania and Texas also have games featured in this week's slate.
MaxPreps Top 10 Games of the Week
Friday, 7 p.m. (All times local)
A win for IMG Academy would add to its national championship resume while a Bulls' victory would certainly put them in the conversation for No. 1. The Ascenders have dominated the opposition this year but face one of their toughest tests on Friday.
Friday, 6 p.m.
Two of the top Georgia programs take the national stage Friday on ESPN2. Grayson is on the short list of teams that could finish the year at No. 1. The Rams, however, face a red-hot Panthers squad that's won four straight since losing to North Gwinnett (Suwanee) in early September.
Friday, 7 p.m.
Tom Bolden has done a phenomenal job since taking over as head coach before the 2019 season and has Lakota West one win away from advancing to the Ohio Division 1 semifinals. The Firebirds are 8-0 and the defense is allowing less than six points per game. The Bombers have won five straight since a 25-22 loss to No. 30 Cathedral (Indianapolis) and are undefeated against in-state opponents.
The Chiefs are coming off one of their the biggest wins in program history after upsetting then No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.). The 4-1 Patriots have dominated the series winning 12 of the last 14 but the two Cardinal Gibbons victories have come in the previous three meetings.
Friday, 7 p.m.
The biggest regular-season game of the year in Arkansas as both teams enter undefeated and have won the last three 7A state championships. The Hornets beat North Little Rock in 2018 and 2019 while the Charging Wildcats beat Bentonville in 2017. This series is split 8-all since 2004, but Bryant has won three in a row.
The No. 4 team in the country has outscored the opposition 226-17 through its first four contests. The Wolves have won four consecutive state titles and bring in a 30-game winning streak against Centennial. The Coyotes bounced back from a season opening loss to No. 25 Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) and have won three straight. This will be the first meeting since 2014 and they've split the previous four.
Saturday, 1 p.m.
The No. 3 team had to cancel its game last week against Bishop Sycamore (Columbus, Ohio) due to COVID-related concerns on campus. The Hawks are schedule, as of now, to play on Halloween in a match of defending state champions. Wood won the 5A championship last season while the Hawks have won back-to-back 6A titles. The last time the Vikings beat the Philadelphia power was back in 2011 and St. Joseph's Prep has won the last six meetings.
After a season opening 28-13 win, the Tigers have outscored their last three opponents 166-24. They have one of the best defenses in the country and the starters have only allowed 16 points all season. Dickinson has won its first two games by an average margin of 38 points. This is the first meeting between the two since 2008.
After a 23-20 loss to No. 14 Denton Ryan (Texas), the Wildcats have scored 111 points in their last two games. A couple of Texas A&M commits have been putting on a show during that span. Stowers has accounted for eight touchdowns over his last two games and Harmon is coming off a two-interception performance, including a 79-yards pick-six.
*Game was canceled because of bad weather
After finishing as last year's 5A runners-up, the Tigers are off to a 5-0 and are coming off an impressive 31-13 win over Edgewater (Orlando) last week. The three-time defending 3A state champs have won three in a row since a 7-3 loss against American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.). Miami-bound running back Franklin is nine yards away from eclipsing the 5,000 career mark on the ground and is averaging nearly 125 yards rushing per game in 2020.