High school football season gets underway this week, with the area’s first slate of games loaded with compelling matchups.
Which one is the biggest?
Each week throughout the season, Star Local Media will select five in-market games for consideration as Game of the Week. Readers can vote for their selection on the side of the article.
Voting is open through 10 a.m. Wednesday and the winning game will receive special coverage on Thursday's edition of the Star Local Media High School Sports Podcast.
Cedar Hill at Allen
Friday, 7 p.m. at Eagle Stadium
Matt Welch: The Eagles and Longhorns headline the annual Tom Landry Classic for the second time in three years and carry their perennial array of star-studded rosters into the matchup.
Allen bested Cedar Hill in its 2017 season opener, 23-8, and hasn’t lost its first game of the season since 2009. The Eagles look to keep that streak afloat behind a promising set of skill players, from senior running back Celdon Manning to senior quarterback Raylen Sharpe and the twin receiver duo of juniors Blaine and Bryson Green.
Allen is young on defense and on the offensive line, and the latter will get its feet wet against a Cedar Hill defensive front led by Matthew Aribisala and Leon Young.
Offensively, the Longhorns sport one of the area’s more dynamic skill-position threats in Quin Bright, who split his production between running back and receiver last season, plus towering offensive lineman Courtland Ford (6-foot-6, 305 pounds, LSU commit).
Plano Senior at Hebron
Friday, 7 p.m. at Hawk Stadium
Taylor Raglin: These off-and-on conference foes have locked horns in every season since 2008, with only a single win tipping the overall series in the Wildcats' favor, 6-5.
Six of 11 meetings have been decided by a touchdown or less, and three of those have come by a single point. The margins have been especially tight as of late, as 2017's contest went Plano's way, 27-26, and last year's bout fell to Hebron, 28-27.
No matter the circumstances or overall outlook for the contest's combatants (and each should each be stout this season), this game is unlikely to disappoint.
Mesquite Poteet at Denton Ryan
Friday, 7 p.m. at C.H. Collins Athletic Complex
Devin Hasson: This early-season matchup features a pair of perennial playoff teams, with Poteet having qualified in eight of the last nine years and Denton Ryan making the field 18 of the past 19 years, including back-to-back trips to the state semifinals.
The game within the game is the Raider defense against Pirate running back Seth McGowan. The Oklahoma commitment rushed for 1,614 yards and 25 touchdowns a year ago. Denton Ryan boasts one of the stingiest defenses in the area.
Last season, they allowed only 14.9 points per game and held 12 of their 15 opponents to 24 points or less, including putting the clamps on McGowan, who had 18 carries for 59 yards in a 28-14 loss. These teams have met five times since 2008, with the Raiders winning all five contests.
Coppell at Sachse
Friday, 7 p.m. at Williams Stadium
Bryan Murphy: These two titans clashed in Week One a year ago in what proved to be one of the more exciting games on the gridiron all throughout the state.
Sachse appeared to have sealed the victory on a Myles Nash touchdown run with just 21 seconds remaining, but the Cowboys quickly marched down and nailed the game-winning, 57-yard field goal as time expired.
Coppell kicker Caden Davis, who booted the final blow to the Mustangs, is no longer there, as well as Nash, who transferred this summer to Forth Worth Southwest Christian.
Nonetheless, this rematch has the makings of another instant classic, with Sachse welcoming the Cowboys this time around to Williams Stadium.
McKinney vs. McKinney North
Friday, 7 p.m. at McKinney ISD Stadium
Kendrick E. Johnson: This will be the second year in a row the two oldest schools in McKinney renew their rivalry to kick off football.
McKinney will looking to avenge its 31-13 loss from last season to North where the Bulldogs scored 24 unanswered points in the victory. Out of the two teams, McKinney opens the season with a lot of questions marks as the Lions will unveil who won the quarterback job and their new three-headed running back system.
North will be sporting an offensive unit where every skill player was either a starter or received significant playing time in a unit that scored over 40 points a game.
They key to the game will be if McKinney’s talented defense can slow down North's high-powered scoring offense consistently to give its developing offense a chance to get things on track.