CORRECTION: This story has been updated to reflect that Cole Camp will host Warsaw at Versailles.
Here are previews for area high school football games in Week 1.
Moberly at Smith-Cotton
Smith-Cotton kicks off the 2020 season against a familiar opponent, hosting Moberly for the fifth straight Week 1 meeting between the teams.
Last season, Moberly stopped an attempted S-C comeback to win by a touchdown and finished the season 7-4. Over the last four meetings, the Tigers and Spartans have won two games apiece by margins of one or seven points.
Smith-Cotton head coach Charlie McFail said he expects another close contest.
“They have several of their key players back, but they lost some lineman,” McFail said. “It’s probably going to be a similar game.”
While the offense will resemble last season’s scheme, the quarterback-tailback tandem of sophomore Lane Simmons and Chase McMullin are new faces in lead roles.
Defensively, the Tigers will rely on a Class of 2021 that stepped into starting positions last year as sophomores. S-C juniors Everett Wood, Braxton Houchens and Devan Scroggins are among linebackers who will benefit from last season’s varsity experience as well as an offseason to make physical gains.
McFail said those underclassmen reps will help combat physical mis-matches presented by larger schools included in the Central Missouri Activities Conference, which is entering its inaugural season.
“Not just understanding what they’re doing but understanding what the whole team is doing and seeing how it comes together,” McFail said. “If you can’t match them physically, you have to be mentally sharp.”
Northwest/Sacred Heart at Braymer/Breckenridge
Northwest with Sacred Heart opens its second year of 8-man collaboration against Braymer with Breckenrisge, which finished 0-10 last season.
The Mustangs, which were 1-9 last year, shared mutual opponents in North Shelby and Norborne with Hardin-Central. Both teams suffered losses of more than 50 points.
North Shelby visits Hughesville next week, followed by the Mustangs’ first road game at St. Paul Lutheran in Concordia before Northwest/Sacred Heart enters its bye week.
Warsaw at Cole Camp
Cole Camp seeks three straight wins against its Benton County counterparts in a scheduled home game that will be played in Versailles as the Bluebirds’ field nears completion.
The Bluebirds held Warsaw to single-digit scoring in the last two matchups, but a strong class that helped earn those victories graduated in 2020. Cole Camp, 7-4 last season, lists three seniors to help extend a season-opening win streak to five years.
The Wildcats also finished 7-4 last season, their highest win total since 2010.
Tipton at University Academy Charter
The Cardinals line up against University Academy Charter, which finished 1-9 last season, Friday in Kansas City.
Tipton compiled a three-game, Week 1 win streak against St. Paul Lutheran, which moved to 8-man football this year. The Cards picked up two more wins after the opening week.
Led by senior quarterback Blake Fischer, Tipton hopes to collect six or more wins for the first time since 2012.
Midway at Lincoln
Lincoln begins its march toward a third straight state title appearance hosting Midway.
The Cardinals have bested Midway twice since 2016, both of which were shutout postseason victories. Midway finished 4-6 last season, ending the year on a four-game win streak.
New head coach Brad Drehle and the Cardinals are counting on new starters at key positions to continue Lincoln’s winning ways. But the Cards successfully changed guards before, evidenced by a 61-6 record over the last five seasons.
Windsor at Crest Ridge
Replacing the Silver Greyhound Trophy game, Windsor opted for a different kind of dog fight to open the 2020 campaign.
Windsor-Crest Ridge has consistently provided a competitive contest, with teams meeting in the postseason five of the last six years.
The Greyhounds got the best of Crest Ridge last season, ending the Cougars’ season at 8-3 with a 42-14 final result in the district semifinals.
Alex Agueros can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @abagueros2.