1. Sandia (4-1) at Cleveland (5-0), 7 p.m. Friday: Biggest game of the 2013 season to date in the metro area. This was the game last year where the Mats’ Camrron Bean first began to make a name for himself. The Storm got pushed around and knocked about a year ago in a 28-7 loss, and Cleveland surely would to like make a physical statement in the rematch. On top of all that, the winner of this game could push the other out of a top-four playoff berth.
2. Atrisco Heritage (3-2) at Valley (5-0), 7 p.m. Friday, Milne Stadium: The first of the five Class 5A district titles will be decided in this matchup. It’s the junior-dominated Jags and tailback Ricci Alvidrez — who was stymied by Rio Rancho — against the senior-dominated Vikings, who have more balance and experience.
3. Rio Rancho (5-1) at Eldorado (2-3), 7 p.m. Friday, Wilson Stadium: Hard to believe this is only the third-best choice in Week 7, but it is. Possibly the area’s two best QBs are going head-to-head here: the Rams’ Easton Bruere and the Eagles’ Zach Gentry. Both are juniors.
4. La Cueva (2-3) at Cibola (3-2), 7 p.m. Thursday, Community Stadium: A real curio of a game; the Bears’ defense did an excellent job with Las Cruces recently, and the Cougars will probably have a few fun wrinkles for La Cueva in this one.
5. Belen (4-1) at Los Lunas (4-1), 7 p.m. Friday: One of the state’s best rivalries, and the winner has the DEEP inside track to the District 6-4A championship. Always a wonderful environment when the Eagles and Tigers get together. However, Los Lunas will be without standout tailback Jalen Chavez, who was ejected in the Tigers’ most recent game against St. Pius and thus must sit out a one-game penalty. That is an enormous loss for Los Lunas.