Friday Night Touchdown: Week 1 Games to Watch

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The countdown is over. Week 1 of high school football is upon northeast Ohio.

Thousands of players, band members and cheerleaders have been preparing for weeks in anticipation of tonight.

The Fox 8 Friday Night Touchdown crew will span dozens of counties to bring high school football fans more games from more teams than anyone in Ohio.

One of the premiere match-ups of the night takes place in Twinsburg as the Tigers explosive offense will try to crack an Aurora defense that features three, and potentially more, future NCAA Division I football players.

Greenmen Coach Bob Mihalik will rely on Jake McVay in the defensive backfield, Patrick Dougherty on the defensive line and the Zach’s, Quinn and Smierciak, at the linebacker spots, to try and stop the Tigers lethal one-two punch of John Barton and Jalen Washington.

Both Barton and Washington are coming off 2,000 all-purpose yard seasons.

Barton might have compiled the quietest 32 touchdown season in Ohio high school football history last year en-route to a Second Team All-Ohio selection.

While the dual-threat Washington completed over 65-percent of his passes in throwing for 1,850 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Over in Avon Lake the Shoreman are looking for revenge after opening last season with a 38-7 loss to their arch rival Avon. The Eagles ended up playing in the Division II State Title game before losing to Trotwood-Madison.

Two-way star Collin Lucas will be featured heavily for coach Dave Dlugosz, who enters into his 21st year running the Avon Lake program. Dlugosz’s teams have registered eight wins each of the past four seasons.

For Avon, the major question remains who will be on the field tonight after the school and head coach Mike Elder suspended 10 players for violating team rules.

Avon will field the best defensive backfield in Lorain County as Ross Douglas, a verbal commit to Michigan, and Ralph Smith, a verbal commit to Ball State, will be ball-hawking at the cornerback and safety spots respectively.

In Mentor, Air Trubisky and his band of receivers is back, and Euclid gets first crack at stopping the fast break offense. 

Trubisky, the 2011 Friday Night Touchdown Player of the Year, is looking to connect with prime targets Conner Krizancic and Brandon Fritts once again. The group led the most potent passing attack in northeast Ohio last year with Trubisky racking up over 3,800 passing yards and 41 touchdown throws.

Euclid may end up being the surprise team of the season, as 15 starters return from a team that won four of its last five games in 2011. Linebacker Myles Alexander can run from sideline to sideline and will rack up plenty of tackles in tonight’s match-up.

And the Friday Night Touchdown Game of the Week features the most underrated running back in the area in Parma’s Aaron Horak.

The senior tailback racked up 1,634 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Redmen last season.

Midpark enters their season with a new coach in Troy Repasy, but not new star players. The team’s MVP from last season, Branson Repasy, returns at wide receiver, while quarterback Doug Verbofsky is back under center.

You can see the highlights from these and dozens more games during Friday Night Touchdown, which kicks off at 11:00 p.m. following Fox 8 News at 10pm.