The high school football season has officially kicked off in the borderland, with games slated across the city for what should be an eventful opening week.

Friday starting at 6 p.m., we'll give you a special early edition preview of the opening weekend of the new season. We will have reporters strung throughout the region and our featured Sarah Farms Game of the Week will be Parkland vs. Burges.

 

Football Friday Night schedule:

  • Burges at Parkland
  • Americas at Eastwood
  • Rio Rancho Cleveland at Franklin
  • Coronado at Andress
  • Monahans at Clint
  • El Dorado at Pebble Hills
  • Midland Christian at Chapin
  • Austin at Bel Air
  • Socorro at Hanks
  • San Elizario at Riverside
  • Montwood at Los Fresnos
  • Horizon at El Paso
  • Silver City at Bowie
  • Mt. View at Gadsden
  • Fabens at Van Horn
  • Cathedral at Anthony
  • Tornillo at Alpine

Here are five points for Football Friday Night

Last night: Canutillo 41 - Eastlake 21 

Canutillo rolled over Eastlake with the help of senior running back Carlos Amato's 160 rushing yards and three total touchdowns, including an 89-yard rushing score. First-year Falcons head coach Ruben Rodriguez and his squad saw a pair of second quarter touchdown passes from junior quarterback Orion Olivas, but after Amato ran back a 90-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, the Falcons couldn't find their way back in this one.

Biggest thing to look for: Can Eastwood avenge their loss to Americas last year?

The infamous walk-off hook-and-ladder touchdown that won Americas the 2018 matchup against Eastwood, 39-37, was one of the more bizarre finishes of last season. Coming off a district title and a 5-0 finish in 1-5A, Eastwood hopes to continue their momentum into 2019 with senior quarterback Christian Casteneda (3,115 yards, 33 passing touchdowns and 9 rushing touchdowns) back at the helm. Americas boasts junior running back Aaron Dumas (2,332 rushing yards in 2018) and junior ATH Evan Chisolm (32 tackles, 5 interceptions). Eastwood-Americas pt. II should be a fun one.

High school matchup watch: Rio Rancho Cleveland vs. Franklin 

Following a 12-1 season where they lost 33-14 to La Cueva in the 6A championship game, Rio Rancho Cleveland enters the year as one of the best teams in the state of New Mexico. They feature former Andress running back Dorian Lewis, who was the state’s Gatorade Player of the Year with nearly 1,600 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns but also comes off ACL surgery. Franklin was a great story from last year after finishing 9-3 (5-0 1-6A). This year, Franklin returns one of the city's best quarterbacks in Danny Walther (2,350 passing yards, 25 touchdowns) and his top receiver in senior Gabe Stonewall (44 catches for 940 yards and 13 touchdowns).

Hot storyline: The infamous "lights out" game between Parkland vs. Burges

Last year's matchup between Parkland and Burges was stopped short, resulting in a draw, after the stadium had light issues. Burges had the lead over Parkland but the game wouldn't count for either team. And featuring a duo at running back with junior Robert Hall and sophomore Tavorus Jones, maybe the Mustangs can catch the Matadors off guard for the season opener. Parkland's senior quarterback Gabe Herrera was sharp last season (2,984 passing yards, 39 touchdowns) and he will need the help of his receivers like Dante Hayes, Jesse Sandoval and Dwayne Ford to pull this one off.

Peep ahead to next week: Andress vs. Chapin (Thursday, Sept. 5) 

The battle of the northeast has another early start this year, as Andress and Chapin will duke it out next Friday night. Andress hosts Coronado in their season opener, which should be a grueling battle for both teams. Last year, the Golden Eagles blew a 13-0 lead but were still able to pull out a 16-13 win in OT from a walk-off field goal. Chapin will host Midland Christian in their opening matchup of the season.