1. Park Hill (1-0) at Smithville (1-0), 7 p.m. Friday
Smithville wasn't pleased with the way it finished the 2013 season. Park Hill wasn't either. After one week, it appears the 2014 season will include brighter days for both programs.
Park Hill could not have been more impressive in its season opener, destroying Blue Springs South 43-18. Tailback Kenyatte Harris injured his wrist after opening last season with three straight 100-yard games, but he picked up right where he left off and scored four touchdowns. Harris is a dangerous assignment in the spread offense, given his blend of speed and pass-catching ability out of the backfield.
Smithville handed Pleasant Hill a 17-0 defeat a year after losing the same season-opening matchup. The Warriors posted their first defensive shutout since 2012 by holding Pleasant Hill to less than 100 yards of offense after halftime. The assignment, however, is undoubtedly more difficult Friday night.
2. Kearney (1-0) at Liberty (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
While the Kearney Bulldogs have dropped to Class 4, their first three games of the season still come against Class 5 opponents. They were simply dominating in last week's 49-0 blowout of St. Joseph Central, a school that won six games in 2013.
Kearney senior wideout Zack Davis is a candidate to put up strong numbers in the shotgun offense this season, and he opened with a 100-yard outing and a touchdown. He will pose a tough matchup for a Liberty secondary that allowed nearly 300 yards of passing in a 44-14 loss to Lee's Summit West on Friday.
The Blue Jays struggled with Lee's Summit West's size up front, though tailback Devon Bryant still battled for 93 hard-fought yards. Bryant is a player to keep an eye on this season.
3. Raymore-Peculiar (1-0) at Staley (0-1), 7 p.m. Friday
The Panthers and Falcons charged into the 2014 season expecting to show early signs of improvement from the year before.
Indeed, those signs were evident in Week 1 — even if Staley's came in defeat.
Raymore-Peculiar has a highly-touted rushing attack led by running back Isaiah Truss. Quarterback Reed Davis has also proved capable of moving the chains with his legs. The two combined for more than 200 yards in a win against Belton.
But with Parker Mertz leading the way, Staley has the linebackers to help slow Raymore-Peculiar's run-first offense. Staley stayed competitive with two-time defending state champion Blue Springs before fading late for a 39-13 loss. The Falcons face a potent early schedule, with games against Liberty North and Fort Osage also lurking on the first half of the slate.