All games at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted
WEEK 1 – AUG. 31
Northwestern vs. St. Thomas Aquinas, 7 p.m.,
Sun Life Stadium
Comment: The matchup many have wanted to watch for years will finally be played. But will Northwestern be able to knock off Aquinas, the defending Class 7A state champions, which will start the season ranked in the top 10 nationally?
Others to watch: Aug. 29: NMB vs. Jackson (Traz), 7; Aug. 30: Central at Plantation American Heritage; Homestead at Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson, 7; Columbus vs. South Dade (Harris).
GAME OF THE YEAR | WEEK 2 – SEPT. 6
Booker T. vs. Central, Traz Powell
Comment: If both teams are 1-0 at this point (Booker T. beat nationally-ranked Norcross (GA) last Saturday), this game could pit the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams in the nation. Early national championship, anyone?
Others to watch: Sept. 6: Carol City vs. South Dade (Harris), Westminster Christian at Champagnat Catholic, 4; Sept. 7: Columbus vs. Belen (FIU), 6; Jacksonville Raines vs. Northwestern (Traz), 7; Norland vs. University School (Nova), 7.
WEEK 3 – SEPT. 11
Norland vs. Jackson, Curtis Park, 7 p.m.
Comment: These rivals split two games last season with Jackson upsetting Norland in the second round of the playoffs en route to a state semifinal run. This year, Jackson is the favorite and state title contender in Class 5A with Norland trying to maintain its powerhouse status in a tough Class 6A district.
Others to watch: Sept. 11: Carol City vs. Booker T. (Traz), 7; Sept. 12: Columbus at American Heritage; Hialeah-Miami Lakes vs. Hialeah (Milander); Hollywood Chaminade at Gulliver, 4.
WEEK 4 – SEPT. 19 & 21
Jackson vs. Booker T., Traz Powell, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.
Central at Don Bosco Prep (NJ), Sept. 21, 3:30 pm.
Comment: On Thursday night, two teams that don’t need to be in the same district to maintain a fierce rivalry (Booker T. and Jackson) meet in a season in which both have their sights set on making it to Orlando. Central tests itself again early on with a road trip to Ramsey, N.J. to face the team that knocked off St. Thomas Aquinas a year ago.
Others to watch: Sept. 20: Northwestern vs. Carol City (Traz); Champagnat at Dade Christian, 4; Coral Gables vs. Columbus (Tropical), 4; Killian vs. Coral Reef (Southridge); Sept. 21: Southwest vs. Belen (Tropical), 7.
WEEK 5 – SEPT. 27
Columbus vs. Norland, N. Miami Stadium
Comment: A rare north-south matchup between two of Dade’s top teams should be a good mid-season test for squads trying to make deep playoff pushes in their respective classifications.
Others to watch: Sept. 26: Coral Gables vs. Coral Reef (Southridge), 7; Sept. 27: Northwestern at Pompano Beach Blanche Ely, 7; Killian vs. Homestead (Harris).
WEEK 6 – OCT. 4
Jackson vs. American Heritage, Curtis Park
Booker T. at Bishop Gorman (Nev.), 10 p.m.
Comment: Jackson has spoiled two promising seasons for American Heritage knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs in the first round each of the past two years. This meeting could decide the District 16-5A title and set up a playoff rematch. On the east coast, stay up late after that and watch Booker T. take on Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman on ESPNU.
Others to watch: Oct. 4: Chaminade at Westminster Christian, 4; Northwestern vs. Norland (N. Miami); Oct. 5: Homestead vs. Central (Traz), 7.
WEEK 7 – OCT. 12
Booker T. vs. Northwestern, Traz Powell, 7 p.m.
Comment: The longtime Liberty City-Overtown rivalry adds a new chapter as Booker T. hopes to be chasing a national title at this point and Northwestern hopes it is right in the thick of the District 16-6A title race.
Others to watch: Oct. 10: NMB vs. Carol City (Traz), 7; Oct. 11: Norland vs. Central (Traz); South Dade vs. Jackson (Curtis).
WEEK 8 – OCT. 18
Northwestern vs. Central, Traz Powell
Comment: If history repeats itself, the two traditional powerhouses should decide the District 16-6A championship. The series has been owned by the Rockets, who have won the past six meetings and eliminated the Bulls from the playoffs three of the past four seasons.
Others to watch: Oct. 18: Carol City vs. Homestead (Harris); Coral Gables vs. Miami High (Curtis); Oct. 19: Killian vs. Palmetto (Tropical), 7; Cardinal Gibbons vs. Jackson (Traz), 7.
WEEK 9 – OCT. 26
South Dade vs. Killian, Tropical Park, 7 p.m.
Comment: The highly competitive District 16-8A championship race should start to clear up after this game. Killian avenged an earlier loss and eliminated South Dade from the playoffs last season.
Others to watch: Oct. 24: Norland vs. Booker T. (Traz), 7; Oct. 25: Central vs. Carol City (Traz); Northwestern at Belle Glade Glades Central.
WEEK 10 – NOV. 2
North Miami Beach vs. Hialeah, Milander Park, 7 p.m.
Comment: NMB secured the district title last season and hopes to be in position to repeat at this point unless talented Hialeah rebounds from a disappointing 2012 and takes it from the Chargers.
Others to watch: Nov. 1: Norland vs. Carol City (N. Miami); Coral Reef vs. South Dade (Southridge); Killian vs. Southridge (Harris); Homestead vs. Northwestern (Traz).
WEEK 11 – NOV. 8-9
Northwestern vs. Jackson, Nov. 8, Traz Powell
South Dade vs. Homestead, Nov. 8, Harris
Central vs. University School, Nov. 9, Traz Powell, 7 p.m.
Comment: The Soul Bowl (Northwestern-Jackson) and The Battle for Lucy Street (South Dade-Homestead) should both have plenty of excitement. But how about a matchup of defending state champs (Central-University) on the final day of the season?
Others to watch: Nov. 7: Coral Gables vs. Southwest (Tropical); Monsignor Pace at Belen, 3.
Nov. 4District tiebreakers (if necessary).
Nov. 15 Regional quarterfinals (Classes 8A-5A); semifinals (4A-1A).
Nov. 22Regional semifinals (Classes 8A-5A); finals (4A-1A).
Nov. 29 Regional finals (Classes 8A-5A); State semifinals (4A-1A).
Dec. 6-7 State finals at Citrus Bowl in Orlando (Classes 4A-1A);
State semifinals (8A-5A).
Dec. 13-14 State finals at Citrus Bowl in Orlando (Classes 8A-5A).