While most of the country is still waiting to get back into the football swing of things, a handful of teams in the RivalsHigh 100 are already in action, with five games proving to be keen early season tests for potential contenders. Here's how they all shook out, as presaged by the first Weekend Watch of the season.
• No. 49 Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek 28, No. 48 Matthews (N.C.) Butler 20: Even epic winning streaks have to come to an end eventually, as Butler's did on Friday night. The two-time Class 4AA champions, Butler had won 31 consecutive games before falling to Mallard Creek, ending what it hoped would be a third-straight seamless run to a state title by giving up a 21-point advantage in the second half. The comeback bodes well for Mallard Creek's resilient offense and is sure to raise questions about Butler's ability to lock down defensively in the biggest spots.
• No. 3 Warren (Ind.) Central 64, Merrillville (Ind.) 13: Warren Central is an annual national title contender, so it should come as no surprise that it got off to a dominant start. Still, such a mauling of a fellow state title hopeful can only prove ominous for the rest of the state. After all, as Jim Peters and Steve Hanlon discussed in their weekly Friday Night Insight show, this was supposed to be one of Warren Central's tougher challenges. So much for that.
• Alta (Utah) 35, Timpview (Utah) 14: Timpview got out to an early lead, but holding on to it proved a lot tougher than the Thunderbirds had bargained for as the Hawks came screeching back from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to earn a season-opening rout. Whether the outcome is the same if the two teams face off again in the playoffs is anyone's guess, but Alta certainly laid down an early season marker with its opening victory.
• No. 8 Batesville (Miss.) South Panola 37, West Point (Miss.) 17: South Panola may not be quite the dominant wrecking crew it was in 2010, but the defending national champions still pack a heck of a punch, as they showed by routing West Point by 20 points, despite a spirited show from another two-time defending state champion. If West Point could barely finish within 20 points, that doesn't bode well for the rest of Mississippi trying to knock South Panola off its rather lofty perch.