High School Football: Week 1

Friday, September 1, 2006

Francis Howell Central

at Jackson, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: did not play

* Notes: Jackson opens with its fourth different opening opponent in the past four years. The Indians committed six turnovers in a 17-14 loss to Hillcrest out of Jackson, Miss., last season. An inexperienced Jackson defense -- the Indians have just one full-time starter back on defense -- will have its hands full against Francis Howell Central, which returns its quarterback and top three receivers. Brad Bira threw for 1,264 yards, rushed for 935 yards and accounted for 28 touchdowns last year for Howell Central. The Spartans finished 4-6 last season, losing their final five games.

Parkway North at Central, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: did not play

* Notes: After dropping a pair of season-opening games by a combined score of 80-0 to Class 5 Eureka the past two seasons, the Tigers will host Parkway North in their opener this time around. Central senior running back Hykeem Hammonds will try to build off the momentum he gained late last season, rushing for more than 200 yards in the finale. Parkway North finished 5-5 last season and returns five starters on each side of the ball. Senior fullback Mike Bunton returns after rushing for 430 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Malden at Scott City, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: Malden 28, Scott City 6

* Notes: This is the ninth straight season the Rams will open with Malden. The teams split the past eight meetings. Scott City's inexperienced bunch was not match for the Green Wave last season in a lopsided defeat. Both teams won just three games last year. The Rams lost just a handful of seniors, and return nearly all of their key starters.

McAuley Catholic at St. Vincent, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: did not play

* Notes: McAuley Catholic, of Joplin, Mo., brings an experienced group coming off a 9-2, district-title season to face fellow private school St. Vincent. McAuley coach Jonathan Wengert is a St. Vincent graduate and former Indians football player. St. Vincent finished 7-3 last season but was hammered 26-0 in a pivotal district game against eventual district winner Valle. St. Vincent brings back starting quarterback Tim Guilliams, who threw for 875 yards and seven touchdowns last season.

Perryville at Pacific, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: did not play

* Notes: Perryville and Pacific both looking to break long losing streaks, coming off a pair of 0-10 seasons. Perryville has 11 straight losses; Pacific has 39. The Indians have size at the tackle positions with 230-pound juniors Chris Poll and Caleb Knott. For Perryville, Ryan Schilling is back at quarterback after throwing for 699 yards last season, and Kris Cottner will carry the load at tailback.

Chaffee at Grandview, 7 p.m.

* Last year's meeting: Grandview 24, Chaffee 6

* Notes: Chaffee has lost the past four season-openers to Grandview and is 3-5 since 1998 against Grandview -- all Week 1 meetings. Grandview changed coaches over the offseason and lost a combined 2,000 yards rushing following the graduation of running backs Eli Logsden and Billy Langhans. The Red Devils, carrying a 34-game losing streak, return 10 starters on both sides of the ball.

-- Jeremy Joffray

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