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For most fans, it's an easy choice of where to trek to Friday night — your school's team.

But for those looking to venture out — maybe your team has a lengthy road trip or perhaps you want to see another rival ahead of a big matchup — or for those who just want to see a good game each week, here are a few options each week to consider paying a ticket for:


Downs Tri-Valley at St. Teresa

This was last season's opener, and it lived up to the billing. It came down to a Jacardia Wright game-winning touchdown pass to propel St. Teresa to a win over a perennial Class 2A power.

With the Bulldogs likely in Class 2A this year, this game could be the first of two between the teams this year.

Other games to watch: Virden North Mac at Maroa-Forsyth; Cerro Gordo-Bement at Warrensburg-Latham; Westville at Central A&M; Springfield at MacArthur


Arcola at Tuscola

The Cola War is back.

Arcola and Tuscola will play their first regular season game since 2006, and it will be the first meeting since the 2011 Class 1A playoffs. This will be the 105th meeting of the series, which Tuscola leads 54-44-6.

Other games to watch: Taylorville at Effingham; Hillsboro at Vandalia


Jacksonville vs. MacArthur at Millikin, 7 p.m. 

Don't write off the Generals just because the Brummetts graduated. MacArthur could pick up a big win over Jacksonville on the route back to the playoffs.


Casey-Westfield at Newton

Casey-Westfield has had a few down years, but the Warriors think they're in a position to win more games. They'll get a true test early against Newton in a big Little Illini Conference game. Newton graduated a successful senior class, but Jason Fulton has a tradition of success in place. Casey last beat Newton during the 2014 season, when the Warriors finished 9-2.

Other games to watch: Mount Zion at Effingham; Tuscola at Central A&M; Monticello at St. Thomas More; Vandalia at Greenville


Springfield Southeast vs. Eisenhower at Millikin, 1 p.m. 

This will be the debut of the Evans trio in Decatur when the Panthers host Southeast at Millikin. Eisenhower lost by two points last year, but new head coach Curtis Graham has players who could lead the Panthers on a revitalization tour this year.


Williamsville at Maroa-Forsyth

There's only one team that Maroa-Forsyth hasn't beaten since joining the Sangamo Conference: Williamsville. The Bullets blew past Maroa last year for the Trojans' only regular season loss, and beat Maroa in 2016 by 21 points. Walter Boyd Field will be packed for an early conference test.

Other games to watch: Central A&M at Warrensburg-Latham; LSA at Cerro Gordo-Bement; St. Teresa at Tuscola; Pana at Carlinville; Rochester at MacArthur; Eisenhower at Glenwood


Argenta-Oreana at LSA

Argenta's high-powered offense will meet LSA's traditionally stout defense. These are two of the conference favorites, along with Arcola, making a win here instrumental in winning the conference. 

Other games to watch: St. Teresa at Central A&M; Shelbyville at Warrensburg-Latham; Monticello at Bloomington Central Catholic; Pleasant Plains at Maroa-Forsyth


Tolono Unity at Monticello

The Sages have most of their weapons back on offense, including big-armed quarterback Braden Snyder. Unity graduated a strong senior class, but the Rockets always reload, and this game will go a long way to deciding the Illini Prairie Conference. Monticello lost this game 30-13 last year, the only regular-season loss the Sages suffered.

Other games to watch: Shelbyville at Central A&M; Chatham Glenwood at MacArthur; Argenta-Oreana at Cerro Gordo-Bement; Mattoon at Mount Zion


Arcola at Argenta-Oreana

This game could be the deciding factor in who wins the Little Okaw Valley Northwest. Argenta broke away from Arcola in last year's win behind strong running from the Stanley brothers and a defense that clamped down in the second half.

Other games to watch: Warrensburg-Latham at Tuscola; Sacred Heart-Griffin at Eisenhower; Maroa-Forsyth at Athens; Carlinville at Vandalia

Week 8

Mount Zion at Taylorville

Last season, Taylorville ran past Mount Zion 34-6 in the rivalry. The Tornadoes have their electric offense back, but the Braves will try to replicate a 25-0 shutout win like they had in 2016.


MacArthur vs. Eisenhower at Millikin, noon

We didn't have to wait long for this game last year, when MacArthur blanked Eisenhower 53-0 to start a magical romp to the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. This year the game will be played at Frank M. Lindsay Field on Millikin's campus. By this point we will have seen nearly a full season of the Evans brothers at Eisenhower and exactly what MacArthur has to offer.

Other games to watch: St. Teresa at Warrensburg-Latham; LSA at Arcola; Tuscola at Shelbyville; Newton at Olney Richland County


Pana at Vandalia

These two teams combined to score 118 points last season in Pana's win, and both teams figure to be able to run the score up again. This game could decide who wins the conference.


Normal U-High vs. Eisenhower at Millikin, 1 p.m.

Eisenhower will close the regular season on Millikin's campus in Graham's first year as the Panthers' head coach.

Other games to watch: Monticello at St. Joseph-Ogden; Maroa-Forsyth at Auburn; MacArthur at Sacred Heart-Griffin

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Contact Joey Wagner at (217) 421-6970. Follow him on Twitter: @mrwagner25



Reporter for Lee Enterprises Central Illinois.

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