The Marietta football team’s home game Aug. 30 against Philadelphia powerhouse St. Joseph’s Prep will unfold in front of a national audience.
The matchup between two of USA Today's preseason top 15 teams, on Northcutt Stadium's new artificial-turf surface, will be shown at 8 p.m. on ESPNU as part of the network's season-long high school football showcase.
“They were looking for a game for us to be on, so they made us a showcase game,” Marietta coach Richard Morgan said. “I’m excited, the kids are excited, the community is excited. It’s all coming together.”
Marietta, ranked ninth nationally, will face one of the stiffest challenges of its 2019 schedule against 11th-ranked St. Joseph's. Last season, the Hawks went undefeated and won the PIAA 6A state championship.
St. Joseph’s, which finished the 2018 season ranked sixth nationally, will be led into Marietta by a group of talented juniors, including quarterback Kyle McCord, an Ohio State commit and the 25th-ranked player nationally by 247Sports in the class of 2021.
The Hawks also feature the No. 50 and No. 220 prospects in the class of 2020 -- Marvin Harrison Jr. and Jeremiah Trotter Jr., sons of the former NFL All-Pros of the same names.
They will match up against Marietta's talented senior class, which features three of the top 200 prospects in the class of 2020 class -- tight end Arik Gilbert (No. 10), Tennessee-bound quarterback Harrison Bailey (No. 130) and defensive lineman B.J. Ojulari (No. 157).
The game against Marietta will be St. Joseph's first game of the season. Marietta will already have a game under its belt after open its season Aug. 22 at Rome as part of the Corky Kell Classic.
The game will be the first of two for St. Joseph's on ESPNU. The Hawks will play Florida's IMG Academy on Sept. 13.