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August 19, 2011

It's the opening weekend for the high school football season and once again, the Rivals.com team of college and high school publishers as well as site, regional and national analysts are hitting the road to be on the sidelines of some of the best games in the nation.

Keith Niebuhr, the Southeast Analyst for Rivals.com, says he's looking forward to Saturday's quadruple-header at the Georgia Dome.

"In a word: Wow," he said. "In one setting, we'll get to see more than two dozen major college prospects Saturday."

For other writers, like Ben Doster of TarHeelIllustrated.com, Friday night will be a first chance to get on the sidelines.

"This is my first-ever Friday night covering high school football for the Rivals.com network," said Doster, who will be attending the battle between East Forsyth and West Forsyth in North Carolina. "I'm excited to check out three-star defensive end Alex McCallister in this battle of intracounty rivals."

No matter the experience, the excitement is there.

How could it not be? It's the first week of high school football season.

With that, a look at all the sidelines we'll be covering this weekend:

Find your region: Atlantic East | Lakes | South | West (based on where game is played)

Rankings as of 8/10
No. 3 Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central 64, Merrillville (Ind.) High 13
Rivals.com: Josh Helmholdt, Midwest Analyst (@JoshHelmholdt)
IrishIllustrated.com: Pete Sampson (@NDatRivals)
Saturday: The No. 3 team in the RivalsHigh 100 has eight 2012 prospects committed to BCS schools, including Notre Dame commit Sheldon Day, and another strong crop of talent in 2013, including linebacker Tim Kimbrough.
From the game: Message board: Impressions on Day , Video: Day opens big
Top 5: Buckley shines
No. 7 Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman 42, No. 30 Scottsdale (Ariz.) Chaparral 22
Rivals.com: Adam Gorney, West Analyst (@AdamGorney)
ArizonaVarsity.com: Jon Perryman, Dutch Perryman, Kevin Stewart, Roger Ottaway
Saturday: Bishop Gorman came up empty in its season opener in last year's Barry Sollenberger Classic against Arizona heavyweight Hamilton - and it returns this year to take on another desert heavyweight in Chaparral. This could be a must-win for both teams. The game features a ton of talent. Four-star Texas quarterback commit Connor Brewer and four-star wide receiver Davonte Neal lead Chaparral, while four-star offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley and three-star running back Shaquille Powell lead the way for Gorman.
From the game: Powell has career night , Instant analysis: Gorman gets it done, Photo gallery
Analysis: Chaparral licking wounds
No. 8 Batesville (Miss.) South Panola 37, West Point (Miss.) High 17
BulldawgJunction.com: Logan Lowery
Saturday: It's a showdown between the defending Class 6A and 5A state champions the past two seasons. South Panola, the defending RivalsHigh 100 national champion, has a strong defense led by Ole Miss commits Issac Gross and Temario Strong as well as 2013 star Antonio Connor. West Point is replacing several stars but should have a strong rushing attack paved by 2013 fullback Mario Virges.
No. 9 Louisville (Ky.) Trinity 45, Brentwood (Tenn.) Academy 7
RivalsHigh.com: Dallas Jackson, Senior Analyst (@RivalsHigh)
Friday: One of the highest ranked teams in the country will be leaving its state to start the season. Seeing how the team has grown from the semifinals of the playoffs in 2010 - the last time we evaluated the Shamrocks in person - to the start of 2011 will be a good guage. Brentwood Academy is expected to be a little down from its normal standards but it is pretty well stocked with young talent. How those in the sophomore class can hold up will spell out how competitive BA will be.
From the game: Instant analysis: Trinity passes first test
No. 42 Loganville (Ga.) Grayson 7, Marietta (Ga.) Kell 0
Rivals.com: Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
UGASports.com: Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Saturday: The first game of the four-game Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome features 2013 defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche of Grayson, who is a possible future five-star prospect and potential Top-10 player. Great atmosphere. More than 20,000 people are expected at the Georgia Dome for this event.
From the game: Instant analysis: Grayson grinds out win
No. 49 Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek 28, No. 48 Matthews (N.C.) Butler 20
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
NCPreps.com: Deana King (@NCPreps)
Friday: Not only is it the biggest game in North Carolina on the opening night of the 2011 season, but it's one of the best games in the country as these two nationally-ranked squads go head-to-head.
From the game: Butler's streak ends, Photo gallery , AMP: Game highlights,
AMP: D.J. Humphries interview
No. 66 Valdosta (Ga.) Lowndes 45, Snellville (Ga.) South Gwinnett 13
UGASports.com: Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Friday: Rivals100 prospect Josh Harvey-Clemons may play wide receiver, quarterback, safety, kick returner and punt returner all in this game. How will 2013 standout prospect Reginald Carter transition from defensive end at Stephenson to linebacker at South Gwinnett?

Delaware, Maryland, N. Carolina, New England, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia
Belmont (N.C.) South Point 63, Clover (S.C.) High 0
NCPreps.com: Anthony Perkins
Friday: New Clover head coach John Devine returns to meet his former team in a clash between Carolina schools.
From the game: South Point dominates
New Bern (N.C.) High 27, Durham (N.C.) Hillside 19
TarHeelIllustrated.com: Adam Powell
Friday: Three-star uncommitted prospect Jamal Marcus and his Hillside teammates begin their defense of the undefeated NCHSAA 4-A state title they won a year ago.
Kernersville (N.C.) East Forsyth 24, Clemmons (N.C.) West Forsyth 7
TarHeelIllustrated.com: Ben Doster
TheWolfpacker.com: Jacey Zembal
Friday: West Forsyth features three-star defensive end Alex McCalister, who has offers from Georgia Tech, Florida, North Carolina, N.C. State and Notre Dame among others. Top junior offensive tackle Brandon Smith (6-foot-7, 300 pounds) leads East Forsyth.
From the game: McCalister talks recruiting , McCalister narrows list to five
Fayetteville (N.C.) Jack Britt 38, Southern Pines (N.C.) Pinecrest 14
TheWolfpacker.com: Matt Carter
Friday: Jack Britt is led by N.C. State commit Majid Salahuddin and top junior receiver Jalen McDaniel, while Pinecrest features Bryce Kennedy, who has offers from South Carolina, N.C. State, UNC and Duke among others.
From the game: Kennedy taking recruiting in stride

Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin
Louisville (Ky.) DuPont Manual 23, Louisville (Ky.) Central 20
CatsIllustrated.com: Steve Jones (@SJonesRivals)
Friday: The game features Manual four-star defensive tackle Thomas Chapman, who is committed to Kentucky, and Central three-star running back Anthony Wales, one of the state's best uncommitted players and a target of UK, Louisville, Indiana, Illinois and others. Wales had 2,994 rushing yards last year and is 2,795 away from the all-time state record.
Columbus (Ind.) East 28, Greenwood (Ind.) High 7
Peegs.com: Matt Weaver (@MB_Weaver)
Friday: Checking out recent Indiana quarterback commit Gunner Kiel in action.
From the game: Video: Kiel highlights
South Bend (Ind.) Washington 46, Bloomington (Ind.) North 23
IrishIllustrated.com: Jake Brown (@Jake_Brown)
Saturday: Notre Dame commit David Perkins and D-IA offers WR Gehrig Dieter open season.
From the game: Message board: Impressions on Perkins , Video: Perkins in action ,
Video: Perkins interview
Indianapolis (Ind.) Ben Davis 24, Indianapolis (Ind.) Cathedral 21 (OT)
Peegs.com: Matt Weaver (@MB_Weaver)
Saturday: This game at Lucas Oil Stadium features Indiana commits Caleb Cornett from Ben Davis and Jacob Bailey from Cathedral.

Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee
Richton (Miss.) High 20, Heidelburg (Miss.) Academy 8
MagnoliaPreps.com: Josh Smith
Thursday: It's the opening night of the season, and there's just something special about small-school high school football in the Deep South.
From the game: Game summary
Norcross (Ga.) High 35, Dacula (Ga.) High 7
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
Thursday: Four-star receiver Jason Croom, who committed to Tennessee just a couple of hours before kickoff, opens his season at home.
From the game: AMP: Croom makes his pick, AMP: Croom's impact (with highlights)
Hattiesburg (Miss.) Oak Grove 52, Sumrall (Miss.) High 0
BigGoldNation.com: Lanny Mixon
Thursday: This cross-county rivalry features numerious top prospects including Oak Grove's Travonte Fenton, Jordan Woods and Evan Sobiesk. Sumrall counters with Grant Landrum and Skyler McVey.
From the game: Game blog
Brooklyn (Miss.) Forrest County AHS 34, Wiggins (Miss.) Stone 12
BigGoldNation.com: Lanny Mixon
Friday: Rivals take to the field to open the season. Forrest County boasts three-star prospect Adarrius Perkins.
Laurel (Miss.) High 48, Ellisville (Miss.) South Jones 7
MagnoliaPreps.com: Josh Smith
Friday: Cross-county rivalry that includes one of the state's best teams in MagnoliaPreps.com No. 14 Laurel.
Columbus (Miss.) High 31, Aberdeen (Miss.) High 14
BulldawgJunction.com: Logan Lowery
Friday: Aberdeen, the Class 3A runner-up the past two seasons, nearly upset Class 6A Columbus in each of the past two season openers. Can four-star defensive end Channing Ward, 2013 linebacker Justin Lucas and the rest of the Bulldogs finally get the job done against Columbus and its standout 2013 tackle Jake Thomas?
From the game: Columbus wins third-straight
Petal (Miss.) High 21, Waynesboro (Miss.) Wayne County 14
MagnoliaPreps.com: Josh Smith
Saturday: The MagnoliaPreps.com Game of the Week features two of the state's best teams. Wayne County is ranked eighth while Petal is No. 11 and features the state's top prospect in Anthony Alford.
Marietta (Ga.) Lassiter 14, Snellville (Ga.) Brookwood 6
Rivals.com: Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
UGASports.com: Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Saturday: Game Two of the Corky Kell Classic at the Georgia Dome features Brookwood three-star running back and Michigan State commit Nick Tompkins. Lassiter counters with a pair of N.C. State commits in wide receiver Charlie Hegedus and defensive back Niles Clark as well as rising 2013 quarterback prospect Eddie Printz, who impressed in 7-on-7 events this summer.
Powder Springs (Ga.) McEachern 26, Suwanee (Ga.) North Gwinnett 17
Rivals.com: Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
UGASports.com: Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Saturday: McEachern was named among the 10 teams that just missed being ranked in the initial RivalsHigh 100 ranking. The team has had success in the past, but lost a lot of talent on defense. North Gwinnett has become a namebrand for high school football in Georgia. Quarterback Scotty Hosch, who shared time under center last year with C.J. Uzomah, takes over the offense full-time this season.
Marietta (Ga.) Walton 26, Suwanee (Ga.) Peachtree Ridge 14
Rivals.com: Keith Niebuhr, Southeast Analyst (@KeithRIVALS)
Rivals.com: Nick Krueger, AMP Videographer
UGASports.com: Kipp Adams (@KippLAdams)
Saturday: Walton is led by the Blaylock twins - Daron Blaylock and Zack Blaylock - who are both three-star safeties and committed to Kentucky. Peachtree Ridge is led by a three-star defensive back of its own in corner Ray Buchanan Jr., who holds 10 Division I offers.

Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Phoenix (Ariz.) Desert Vista 63, Phoenix (Ariz.) Maryvale 0
ArizonaVarsity.com: Jon Perryman
Friday: This is the first game of the season in Arizona, and Desert Vista is ranked No. 8 in the state in the preseason, regardless of Division. Arizona starts a newly formed six division format with three sections in each division for the 2011 season. Desert Vista and cross-town rival Mountain Pointe both made the early preseason poll. Desert Vista will need a convincing win to start the season.
From the game: Game blog

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