Union players know Jenks' personnel, because they grew up together in Tulsa. Jenks' players know Union's personnel, because they've played football against each other all their lives. Or as one Jenks player told RivalsHigh last year, he had been raised to hate Union since he was 8 years old.
With the exception of this year because of renovations, the game annually is played at the University of Tulsa's stadium, but a new home didn't stop Union running back Jeremy Smith from, for the second consecutive year, scoring the winning touchdown in overtime to beat Jenks. Don't be surprised if these two teams meet again this year, though. The last 12 Class 6A titles have been claimed either by Jenks or Union.
Two of the best big programs in Georgia, Valdosta has accumulated the most wins in the nation while Lowndes has won four of its five state titles since 1999. There might not be much to do in Valdosta, but the small town takes center stage the week of this game. Yet, as the dιcor of local fast food restaurants will attest, these two programs are honored year round.
As pregame vandalism on the walls of Valdosta's building this year indicated, these teams don't care much for each other. Although Valdosta's football program has been around 55 years longer than Lowndes' program, the Vikings have beaten their crosstown rivals five consecutive seasons and are currently working on a 21-game winning streak.
4. Pahokee vs. Glades Central Muck Bowl
A month before this year's Florida classic is set to kick off, there were rumors that the game might be canceled. That's because, with local gang violence escalating, Pahokee's Norman Griffith was killed earlier this year and Glades Central's Bryon Blake was shot in the hand. Instead of calling it off, though, the schools decided to move the contest from Friday night Nov. 14 to 1 p.m. the next day for the players' safety.
Playing this game in daylight, though, shouldn't limit the fireworks. Aside from the game last year, it featured a pair of 9-0 teams make sure to stick around for halftime. That's because during the battle of the bands show you might see the drum major dropped in via helicopter (this actually happened last year). Get there early, though. Last year, more than 1,500 fans were turned away at the door.
These two programs not only want to see each other's blood on the field, but they also want to see it donated across northeast Ohio.
This year, for the first time in the so-called Battle of Blood, the two schools competed against each other to see which school could donate the most to the American Red Cross.
St. Ignatius holds the Ohio record for most state championships with nine, but only owns a 22-20-1 series advantage vs. St. Edward.
Yet, St. Edward has won two of the past three years and it would like to accomplish the same this week.
7. Northwestern vs. Jackson Soul Bowl
This game has lost a little bit of luster lately, considering Jackson is coming off a 1-9 season in which it fielded a team of only about 25 players while Northwestern has won back-to-back Class 6A titles. But this series historically has been an important one, not only in Miami.
The rivalry between these two schools has been played since 1967, but it dates back 20 years prior to that when the now-defunct schools of Dorsey and Booker T. Washington (since re-opened) would face off annually on Thanksgiving Day. The rivalry reached a fever pitch in 1998 when the squads played before 46,000 fans in the Orange Bowl.
Not many rivalries are featured in a best-selling book and the movie that was adapted from it, but if you hadn't heard of the Permian-Lee rivalry before, say, 2004, you probably know it by now. Yet for those who live in West Texas, this game always has represented the best of what high school football is supposed to offer.
There's little question the "Friday Night Lights" franchise can't forget about the TV series as well has put the spotlight on this rivalry, even if others around the state think the Marshall-Longview game is the nastier, juicier affair. But in case you forget the power of Permian vs. Lee, remember that this game once pre-empted a Major League Baseball playoff game on the local NBC affiliate.
These are two of the most successful programs in the state. Mayfield has won three consecutive New Mexico state titles including last year's 49-48 triple-overtime victory against Clovis and has won 45 of its past 47 games. This year, meanwhile, Las Cruces is 8-0 while averaging 46.5 points per contest.
The rivalry grew even more intense in 2002 when Las Cruces beat Mayfield for the state title, 17-14, in front of about 30,000 fans.
10. Mt. Carmel vs. St. Rita
When these two teams tangle, it's tough for the concessionaires to keep their stands stocked with food. That's how many people attend this game. These two Southside Chicago squads have been battling since 1924, and this year, more than 12,000 fans watched St. Rita pull out the 35-21 victory.
Mt. Carmel quarterback Jordan Lynch who actually lives closer to St. Rita but decided to attend Mt. Carmel told the Chicago Tribune earlier this year he compared this game to the Cubs-White Sox rivalry, and brothers who compete for different teams decline to talk to each other during the week. In Chicago in the entire state of Illinois, really this game is hugely important.