2022 DeMatha Catholic vs Cardinal Gibbons

Prep Football Games Of The Week: Week 1 To See Plenty Of Talent On Display

Prep Football Games Of The Week: Week 1 To See Plenty Of Talent On Display

The end of August usually means the kickoff to the high school football season in most states and programs all over getting back onto the gridiron.

Aug 23, 2022 by Briar Napier
Prep Football Games Of The Week: Week 1 To See Plenty Of Talent On Display

There's not much better than Friday night lights, is there?

The final full week of August usually means the kickoff to the high school football season in most states, and programs all over the country are chomping at the bit to get back onto the gridiron and compete for glory.

For some of the nation's top high school football programs, however, it also signals a resumption of the fight for a state (or national) championship, boosting their players' stock for college recruitment and much, much more. 

For those schools that churn out Division I prospects on the regular, they often seek outside competition to prove themselves, setting up for some titanic early-season matchups of hot prospects.

What are the high school football games to check out this week? 

Here's a look at three games across America that will help the season kick into high gear. All matchups will be streamed live on FloFootball.

Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) Vs. DeMatha Catholic (Hyattsville, Maryland)

One of the most recognizable names in national high school athletics, DeMatha Catholic, usually finds itself traveling to a faraway land a few times every season. 

This year, the Stags will open play in Florida, hoping to prepare for a run to a Maryland state title for the first time since 2016. 

As per usual at DeMatha, it has a crop of seniors you're probably going to see playing on Saturdays throughout the next few years. 

The most notable 2023 recruit of the bunch is the state's top overall recruit, four-star defensive lineman Jason Moore, an Ohio State commit who towers in the trenches at 6-foot-6 and 255 pounds. 

A former two-sport star at DeMatha who started for the varsity football and basketball teams as a freshman, Moore is focusing his attention solely on football, but he has plenty of athleticism for his position as a result. 

Running back Tovani Mizell (2024) might just be the cream of the crop on the roster as he enters his first season at DeMatha. Having transferred this offseason from Cardinal Newman in West Palm Beach, Florida, Mizell - a top-100 four-star who pledged to Georgia earlier this month - returns to the Sunshine State hoping to get revenge on Cardinal Gibbons from a year ago, when his former team was blown out 40-14 in Fort Lauderdale in Week 2. 

Many difference makers for Cardinal Gibbons, the defending Florida Class 4A state champs, in were juniors in 2021, making the Chiefs team a strong candidate to pull off a three-peat in the division. 

Dual-threat 2023 quarterback Dylan Rizk had 25 total touchdowns and over 2,400 total yards a season ago, with the UCF commit poised to have another big year as being part of a powerful offense with uncommitted three-star 2023 tailback Kamari Moulton and 2023 athlete/wide receiver and Pitt pledge Jesse Anderson.

Allen (Allen, Texas) Vs. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, California)

It's two of the best high school football programs over the past decade kicking off the 2022 season under the lights at one of America's biggest prep football venues, Eagle Stadium (cap. 18,000). 

Does it get much better than that? 

Allen and St. John Bosco have been known as blue-chipper factories in recent history - Kyler Murray and Josh Rosen are two examples at each respective school - and that shouldn't change for the near future.

Both teams are stacked with high-major recruits and are in pursuit of trophies, following some disappointment. Both are looking for redemption after coming up short in their respective state championships last season. 

It'll be one heck of a coaching debut for Allen's Lee Wiginton, who was hired to lead the Eagles' sideline after former SMU and Arkansas coach Chad Morris returned to the college ranks in the offseason as an assistant at South Florida.

Wiginton, who built Midlothian Heritage from scratch into a UIL Class 4A powerhouse over six seasons, brings a high-octane style to Allen that averaged 42 points per game in his final year at his previous stop. 

That should fit well for the ongoing growth of 2024 quarterback Michael Hawkins, a four-star recruit (via 247Sports) who was named the District 5-6A Offensive Newcomer of the Year and has a plethora of high-major offers heading into his junior season. 

St. John Bosco isn't going to the Lone Star State for a vacation, as this is a business trip. 

The Braves have won their past 11 games (home and away) against out-of-state opposition and have one of the top 2024 safeties in America, Notre Dame commit Peyton Woodyard, ready to pounce on any Allen offensive mistakes. 

How Hawkins handles the pass rush of five-star defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei (the uncommitted brother of current Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei) likely will be one of the major storylines to watch throughout the evening, but the Eagles have the advantage of playing in their fortress, one in which few visitors escaped unscathed. 

Allen is 60-1 all-time in Eagle Stadium, losing for the first time at the massive venue to Atascocita in Week 2 of the 2021 season.

Bergen Catholic (Oradell, New Jersey) Vs. Cardinal Gibbons (Raleigh, North Carolina)

Consider this a matchup of the old guard and the new blood of each program's respective states. 

Bergen Catholic is one of the winningest programs in the state of New Jersey and has ended its seasons as the state champion 15 times, including 2021, when the Crusaders finished at 12-0 and took care of Don Bosco Prep at MetLife Stadium - home of the NFL's New York Giants and Jets - to solidify their claim as one of the nation's top teams. 

Meanwhile, in North Carolina, Cardinal Gibbons won the first state championship in its 113-year history in 2021 with a remarkable 15-1 season, getting revenge on Charlotte Chambers (which defeated Cardinal Gibbons in the opening week of the 2021 season) in the state championship game to mark its first occasion as Class 4A state champions. 

Though there are some deserved good vibes going through the program right now, Cardinal Gibbons will have a massive task on its hands in controlling Bergen Catholic defensive lineman Sydir Mitchell, a 2023 three-star and Texas commit who had 40 tackles on the interior in 12 games.

He and Maryland commit, 2023 defensive end DJ Samuels (17.5 tackles for loss in 2021), should be a force on the defensive front, with several starters from the defense gone. 

As for who Cardinal Gibbons brings to the table, many observers outside of North Carolina likely don't have a solid idea of its personnel, as many 2023 players on the roster just lack many reported high-major offers at the moment.

However, that definitely doesn't mean that the team is devoid of talent, and if it can make a statement and beat Bergen, expect some more offers to roll in. 

Quarterback Connor Clark threw for 30 touchdowns a year ago, while on the defensive side, defensive tackle Joshua Stoneking was named his conference's fefensive player of the year, following an eye-popping 30 tackles for loss, 15 of which were sacks.