The Great Lakes states
are defined - in large - by silos, steeples and Friday night stadium
lights. With kickoff arriving in two weeks, here's our look at the top
high school football games involving teams from Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, Illinois,
Michigan, New York, Minnesota and Pennsylvania.
acclaim and big-time talent. North Coast football is a force.
2022's Top 10 Great Lakes Football Games Springfield (Ohio) at St. Ignatius (Cleveland), 8/20
Coming off its first state championship appearance, Springfield, ranked No. 49 nationally
in the preseason, faces a stiff road test to begin the season at 11-time state champion St. Ignatius, where legendary coach Chuck Kyle begins his 51st and final season. One thing is certain – the Wildcats will win. Central Catholic (Pittsburgh) at St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio), 8/26
Dan Marino’s alma mater and Pennsylvania power takes on the defending Ohio big school state champion in the Freedom Bowl at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. St. Edward enters ranked No. 24 nationally
. East St. Louis (Ill.) vs St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), 8/27
No. 1 ranked team in Illinois, and No. 58 nationally
, faces the No. 3 team in the nation at a neutral site in the Freedom Bowl at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton. St. Joseph's Prep (Philadelphia) at St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale), 8/27
Preseason Top 30 teams nationally open the season against one another in a nationally televised game as part of the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff event
. St. Xavier (Cincinnati) at Loyola Academy (Wilmette, Ill.), 8/28
Regional titans square off on a Sunday. Contest is part of the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff event
and will be televised nationally. Loyola has won three Illinois titles, while St. X owns four Ohio crowns. Iona Prep (New Rochelle, N.Y.) at Archbishop Hoban (Akron), 9/3
Defending NY catholic state champion travels to Buckeye State powerhouse and five-time Ohio champion (all since 2015). Cathedral Prep (Erie, Pa.) at St. Francis (Hamburg, N.Y.), 9/23
Rematch of traditional northeast giants. Cathedral, a five-time PIAA state champion, won 28-20 last year. St. Frances rebounded to finish NY catholic state runner-up. Cathedral (Indianapolis) at Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 10/14
In what has become Indiana’s must-see match-up, both teams enter as two-time defending state champions. Something has to give. Center Grove is looking for its third straight unbeaten season and 6A state title, while Cathedral, two-time defending 5A champs, has bumped up to 6A due to the state's "success factor." Cathedral is also one title away from tying the state record with 15 championships. Center Grove has won the last two meetings 21-6 and 17-13, respectively. Those are Cathedral’s only losses since 2019. King (Detroit) at Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati), 10/21
Two preseason Top 75 teams nationally
, including Michigan’s No. 1 ranked squad, meet in the season finale. King won 39-29 last year. McKinley (Canton, Ohio) at Washington (Massillon, Ohio), 10/22
Revered Stark County rivalry began in 1894 and has been contested 132 times. Massillon leads the series 74-53-5 and has won six straight, which is the longest stretch in the series for either team since a nine-game run by the Tigers from 1957-65. The two schools have combined for 36 state titles and 11 national championships. Massillon’s 920 victories rank No. 1 in Ohio history. McKinley’s 859 rank second.