Brooks Erickson

Vinton-Shellsburg quarterback Brooks Erickson drops back for a pass against Benton last season. He’ll be one of four returning quarterbacks for area schools. Benton’s Clay Krousie was the lone senior at the position last season.

The Iowa High School Athletic Association released its 2020 football schedules for all schools in the state Thursday morning.

After wrapping up the regular season with their heated rivalry, Vinton-Shellsburg and Benton will instead begin the year with an opening-week matchup at Benton on Aug. 28. The Bobcats won last season's finale against the Vikings in a 31-28 come-from-behind thriller to finish the regular season 8-1 before dropping in the first round of the Class 2A state playoffs. The Vikings finished the season 3-6 despite senior Jose Wilson's career day of 108 yards and two touchdowns on the ground and a 30-yard touchdown pass to fellow classmate Sam Griffith.

Union will get its season started the same night at home against Oelwein. The Knights haven't played the Huskies since Sept. 15, 2017, when Union beat them 58-0 on the road. The Knights will wrap up their season at Vinton-Shellsburg's presumed Senior Night on Oct. 23. Union defeated the Vikings 13-0 on a wet, cold Senior Night last season behind senior Brandon Tompkins' two touchdown passes and 45 yards rushing.

Center Point-Urbana will also begin its new season at home against in-conference foe Independence before traveling to Benton (Sept. 11) and Vinton-Shellsburg (Oct. 16). The Mustangs blanked the Stormin' Pointers in their midseason matchup back on Sept. 20, 2019, 42-0.

Belle Plaine rounds out the teams starting the year off at home when it takes on Lisbon on Aug. 28. The Plainsmen dropped to the Lions 36-26 after a wild third quarter saw 36 total points scored and Belle Plaine fall into a 22-point hole. The Plainsmen fought back with a pair of scores in the fourth thanks to junior Luke DeMeulenaere's 136 yards rushing and two touchdowns, but couldn't come any closer. The Plaismen also started last season's 7-3 campaign at home with a 44-6 win over Lynville-Sully, which will be the penultimate game on Belle Plaine's schedule.

Vinton-Shellsburg

Aug. 28 @ Benton

Sept. 4 vs. Columbus Catholic

Sept. 11 vs. Oelwein

Sept. 18 @ Anamosa

Sept. 25 vs. South Tama

Oct. 2 @ Mount Vernon

Oct. 9 @ Solon

Oct. 16 vs. Center Point-Urbana

Oct. 23 vs. Union

Benton

Aug. 28 vs. Vinton-Shellsburg

Sept. 4 @ Williamsburg

Sept. 11 vs. Center Point-Urbana

Sept. 18 @ South Tama

Sept. 25 vs. Oskaloosa

Oct. 2 @ Clear Creek-Amana

Oct. 9 vs. Grinnell

Oct. 16 @ Newton

Oct. 23 @ Xavier

Center Point-Urbana

Aug. 28 vs. Independence

Sept. 4 vs. Marion

Sept. 11 @ Benton

Sept. 18 @ Maquoketa

Sept. 25 vs. Mount Vernon

Oct. 2 vs. Union

Oct. 9 @ South Tama

Oct. 16 @ Vinton-Shellsburg

Oct. 23 vs. Solon

Union

Aug. 28 vs. Oelwein

Sept. 4 @ Charles City

Sept. 11 vs. Hudson

Sept. 18 @ Independence

Sept. 25 vs. Solon

Oct. 2 @ Center Point-Urbana

Oct. 9 @ Mount Vernon

Oct. 16 vs. South Tama

Oct. 23 @ Vinton-Shellsburg

Belle Plaine

Aug. 28 vs. Lisbon

Sept. 4 @ Pekin

Sept. 11 vs. Highland

Sept. 18 @ Wapsie Valley

Sept. 25 vs. North Tama

Oct. 2 @ BCLUW

Oct. 9 vs. North Mahaska

Oct. 16 vs. Lynnville-Sully

Oct. 23 @ Grundy Center