It might not seem like a matchup of 2-3 and 1-4 teams constitutes a 'big' game but it really is the case this week when Watertown High School's football hosts Aberdeen Central in its homecoming game at 7 p.m. Friday at Watertown Stadium.
The two Eastern South Dakota Conference foes are battling to make sure they qualify for the state Class 11AA playoffs later this fall and also want to get the best seeding position they can.
Aberdeen Central (2-3) opened the season with losses to No. 1 Pierre and No. 2 Tea Area and also lost at Sturgis before reeling off consecutive wins over Mitchell and Huron. The Golden Eagles moved into the No. 5 ranking in Class 11AA this week.
Watertown fell to 1-4 with a loss at home to Pierre last week. The Arrows have dropped three-straight games after a win over Huron. They haven't played Mitchell yet, and don't play Sturgis this fall, so there's no easy way to know what to expect when Watertown and Aberdeen Central meet on Friday.
Florence-Henry at Great Plains Lutheran
The Panthers host the Falcons in their homecoming game scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Watertown Stadium. Both squads are 3-2 and are currently both among the playoff qualifiers in Class 9AA. A win certainly wouldn't hurt either team's chances.
Great Plains Lutheran, it should be noted, is set to close out its regular season with two current 6-0 teams (No. 3 Class 9AA Hamlin and No. 2 Class 9B Hitchcock-Tulare).
Hamlin at Warner
While the Watertown-Aberdeen Central game carries some importance, the biggest matchup in northeastern South Dakota this weekend will take place at 7 p.m. Friday in Warner. The second-rated Class 9A Monarchs are 5-0 and host third-rated Class 9AA Hamlin (6-0).
The visiting Chargers continued their fine season with an impressive 61-20 road victory over No. 3 Class 9A Castlewood last week. They'll have to be ready to go again on Friday against Warner.
St. Thomas More at Aberdeen Roncalli
A battle of the Cavaliers. St. Thomas More (4-1) was rated in Class 11B earlier in the season and Roncalli (5-0) now holds down the No. 5 spot in the class. The two teams meet at 4 p.m. Saturday at Northern State's Dacotah Bank Field.
Roncalli is coming off a bye week and this could be a good test to see exactly where things stand.
Here are the other area football games this week:
Crow Creek at McLaughlin, 6 p.m.: The All-Nations Conference game matches 4-1 Crow Creek against 3-2 McLaughlin.
Oldham-Ramona-Rutland at Castlewood, 7 p.m.: The Warriors (4-1) held their position in the Class 9A poll after the loss to Hamlin and will look to get back on track against the 1-4 Raiders.
Northwestern at Herreid-Selby Area, 7 p.m. in Herreid: The top-ranked Class 9B Wolverines put their 5-0 record on the line with a home game against 1-5 Northwestern.
Sioux Falls Christian at Milbank, 7 p.m.: Another week, another tough foe for the host Bulldogs (0-5). Christian (3-2) is tied for fifth in this week's Class 11A poll.
Faulkton Area at North Central, 7 p.m. in Eureka: Faulkton Area is 3-3 and North Central 1-4.
Dakota Hills at Clark-Willow Lake, 7 p.m. in Clark: The Cyclones (3-3) have won two in a row and will look to continue the streak against the 0-6 Grizzlies.
Leola-Frederick Area at Potter County, 7 p.m. in Gettysburg: This game matches a pair of 2-3 teams.
Waverly-South Shore at Estelline-Hendricks, 7 p.m. in Estelline: Estelline-Hendricks has won three-straight games after an 0-2 start. The Redhawks will shoot for No. 4 against the 0-5 Coyotes.
Mobridge-Pollock at Woonsocket-Wessington Springs-Sanborn Central, 7 p.m. in Wessington Springs: Mobridge-Pollock (3-3) hits the road to take on the 4-2 Blackhawks.
Britton-Hecla at Langford Area, 7 p.m.: The Braves (3-2) visit the Lions (0-6).
Webster Area at Groton Area, 7 p.m.: This Northeast Conference game features 3-3 Groton Area against 1-5 Webster Area.
Colman-Egan at Iroquois-Lake Preston, 7 p.m. in Iroquois: The host Sharks are 0-6 and the visiting Hawks are 0-5, so somebody is going to break into the win column.
Parker at Redfield, 7 p.m.: I haven't heard yet, but this could be called the Pheasant Bowl. The host Pheasants are 3-2 and the visiting Pheasants are 1-5.
Canistota at Deubrook Area, 7 p.m. in White: It won't be as easy as the records suggest for 4-2 Deubrook Area to get back on track against 2-4 Canistota.
Arlington at De Smet, 7 p.m.: The fifth-rated Class 9B Bulldogs (3-2) are coming off a bye week to host the 0-5 Cardinals.
Deuel at Tripp-Delmont/Armour/Andes Central/Dakota Christian, 7 p.m. in Tripp: The Cardinals head south with a 5-1 record to take on the 2-3 Thunderhawks.
Wyndmere-Lidgerwood, N.D. at Tri-State, 7 p.m. in Rosholt: The visitors at 5-1 and the hosts 0-6.
Sunshine Bible Academy at Colome, 7 p.m.: The Crusaders (0-5) hit the road to take on 2-3 Colome.
Sioux Valley at Baltic, 7 p.m.: The Cossacks (3-3) have lost two in a row, but hope to get back on track against 0-6 Baltic.
Todd County at Tiospa Zina, 2 p.m. at Agency Village: Todd County puts its unbeaten record (5-0) on the line against the Wambdi (3-2).
This article originally appeared on Watertown Public Opinion: The schedule of this week's area high school football games.