GRAPEVINE, Texas — It is one of the premier rivalries in all of Texas high school football, so the Battle of the Red Rail is always fantastic theater.
But this year, it's a little extra special.
Both Grapevine and Colleyville Heritage are ranked in the Top 10 in the state in 5A-Division II.
The Mustangs are 8th in the state, after a 3-1 start to the season. Their only loss came to No. 1 Argyle. And the Panthers are 3-1 as well, only losing to 4th-ranked Texarkana Texas High, and sit 5th in the state rankings.
So two terrific football teams will take the field on Friday night. And you can watch the game live, on the WFAA YouTube channel or via WFAA+. You can also watch right here on WFAA.com.
The Mustangs are led by senior running back Parker Polk. The 5'6", 170-pound running back may be diminutive in stature, but he is not in production.
Polk has rushed for over 600 yards on the year, and has already posted five touchdowns this season. He is the engine of the Mustangs triple option offense.
Colleyville Heritage, meanwhile, has a multi-faceted attack that centers around their passing game. Quarterbacks West Smith and Luke Ullrich combine to lead the offense, with Ullrich also taking most of his snaps at wide receiver.
The Panthers are at their best when Smith and Ullrich are on the field together. And Kai Pruitt is a dangerous weapon on the outside, regardless of who is playing quarterback.
This rivalry dates back to 1996, when Colleyville Heritage first began their program. Grapevine won the early contests, but Heritage has dominated the rivalry in recent years, rolling up a 10-2 record since 2010.
This year, however, appears to be the most evenly matched the two teams have been in several years, and promises to be a great game that goes down to the wire.
This game figures to decide the district champion in 4-5A Division II, as these two teams are clearly the class of their district.
Whoever wins on Friday night will have a significant leg up, toward winning a district crown in 2022.
Our Friday Night Football broadcast begins at 6:50 p.m., with kickoff coming at 7 p.m.