Local football season begins tonight at Houck

The local football season kicks off tonight with the season opener for Southeast Missouri State University at home against regional rival Southern Illinois University.

Last year's game in Carbondale was an epic back-and-forth game, won late in dramatic fashion by the Redhawks, 48-44, in the highest scoring game between the two squads in recent memory.

There is a certain buzz around the Southeast football program after an 9-4 campaign last year that included the program's first playoff win.

The Redhawks enter this season ranked 17th in the STATS Media poll, after finishing last year ranked 15th. They retain a ton of talent from last year's squad, including linebacker Zach Hall, the reigning National Defensive Player of the Year. The biggest question mark coming into the season is whether the high-powered offense will continue its production with a relatively new offensive line, the core of which graduated. Southeast returns an all-conference quarterback and several key skills players from a year ago, and its defense returns mostly intact. One interesting note to this game is that SIU's head coach Nick Hill played under Southeast coach Tom Matukawicz when Coach Tuke was at SIU.

Friday marks the beginning of the high school season. We always look forward to watching our local boys play, particularly in the rivalry games. Be sure to check out semissourian.com and semoball.com for the latest football coverage, as well as other fall sports.

We're looking forward to another exciting year of football. We hope to see you at some games.