Football returns to Texas

The ESPNHS Football Kickoff starts tonight. nullESPNHS

Finally...football has come back to Texas! (In my best impression of The Rock)

Yep, it's that time of year again, where the big crowds, crackling tackles and dreams of a state title make beautiful music on the gridiron. A few teams kicked off across the state Thursday, but the fun continues throughout the weekend, highlighted by the nation's No. 1 recruit, Mario Edwards Jr., leading his Denton Ryan squad against Sulphur Springs at 6 p.m. Saturday on ESPN.

Click here for a game preview and here to check out the full schedule of contests during our ESPN High School Football Kickoff. Also check back Monday for a recap of the big storylines from week zero.

In the meantime, here 's one other in-state battle to keep an eye on this weekend:

Cedar Hill vs. No. 3 Allen

The top-ranked team in Texas will get an early-season test against a tough Cedar Hill squad on Saturday night. Allen is filled with talented players, most notably senior tailback and Missouri commit Jonathan Williams (2,073 rushing yards last season) and quarterback Alec Morris (2,354 passing yards, 22 touchdowns). But Cedar Hill also fields one of its best squads in recent years. Junior Laquvionte Gonzales can make plays from multiple positions and senior defensive David Harris often finds his way into the opponent's backfield.

Brandon Parker covers Texas for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.