The host Gladiators opened the season with a statement win in Howard County, coming away with a thrilling, 7-6, double-overtime victory against defending Class 4A-3A state champion Howard on March 22. The Lions have started fast with quality wins against Franklin and Centennial. Both teams have experience and depth at key places, which should make for a tightly contested game. It features a couple of quality one-two scoring punches with the Gladiators leaning on Wynne and Carson Marshall and the Lions boasting Cirulli and Boyer. Wasson and Breyer Burford, who scored the game-winner against Howard, anchors a deep midfield for the Gladiators. The Lions, who lost only four seniors to graduation from last year's team, are also deep in the middle. Possession will be a big key, along with how well the defenses hold up.