Headlining the ESPN High School Football Kickoff this past weekend was none other than the nation's No. 1 recruit Mario Edwards Jr. and Denton Ryan (although Hillcrest, Missouri's Dorial Green-Beckham made a case of his own).
Edwards Jr. did not disappoint, recording one sack and forcing a fumble that led to a touchdon in the Raiders' 25-9 win in front of a national TV audience. All-State linebacker Jordan Richmond also made his mark, intercepting a pass to help hold Sulphur Springs to 159 yards versus Denton Ryan's 320. Tailback Jerrick Harvey chipped in 115 yards and a score on the ground, squelching any chance of the Wildcats backing up their coach's guarantee of a victory.
Allen also lived up to its top billing with a complete effort in its 28-13 win against Cedar Hill.
On offense, quarterback Alec Morris threw for 350 yards and three scores. Wideout Oliver Pierce was his favorite target, snagging seven passes for 126 yards to help teh Eagles build a 21-7 second-quarter advantage.
On the defensive end, the Eagles pestered quarterback Driphus Jackson all night, keeping the Longhorn offense at bay.
The lone blemish on Allen's night came when star tailback Jonathan Williams sat out the second half with back spasms. All indications point to the Missouri commit being ready for the Eagles' next contest, though.
AROUND THE STATE
-The first weekend of football wasn't kind to all of Texas' big names. Johnathan Gray's Aledo squad lost a shocker to Stephenville, 48-47. The two-time defending champs had two chances to win with no time left, but even after committing a personal foul, the Yellow Jackets blocked each of the Bearcats field-goal attempts. Gray finished with 219 yards and four touchdowns, but it wasn't enough to extend Aledo's 29-game win streak.
-Likewise, La Marque, which is led by All-State tailback Tim Wright, fell at the hands of Terry by the score of 22-21. Wright's 124 yards weren't enough to overcome two late turnovers by the Cougars.
-There appears to be a quarterback battle at Lake Travis following the Cavaliers' 35-7 win against Westlake on Saturday. After starter Colin Lagasse went down in the first quarter with a shoulder injury, Baker Mayfield came off the bench to throw for nearly 300 yards and a touchdown. From Garrett Gilbert to Michael Brewer last year, quarterbacks have been key in the Cavaliers current run of four Class 4A titles, meaning the decision going forward will be a big one.
-Last season, Southlake Carroll opened the season with a three-touchdown loss to Copperas Cove. What a difference a year makes. Junior quarterback Kenny Hill began his first full year as the starter by running in the decisive touchdown during the final minute of the Dragons' 38-31 victory on Friday. Hill finished the contest with 402 yards and five total touchdowns.
Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.