On Friday night, the wait will finally be over for the Marshall Mavericks who will open their season at home against the New Caney Eagles.

“We’re excited it’s here,” Marshall athletic director and head football coach Jake Griedl said. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to play and we’re just ready to get to Friday, go against somebody else for real and kind of see where our starting point is for this season and what kind of football team we’re going to have.”

Griedl expects anything but an easy contest.

“They were an 11-1 or a 10-1 football team last year so they’re a good football team,” the coach said of the Eagles. “It’ll be a ballgame. We’re expecting ever bit of it.”

Marshall’s offense will look to guys like wide receivers Lyrik Rawls and DeDe Williams, running back Dominique Williams, quarterback Brent Burris, offensive lineman Lewis Dunn, among several others.

“Not being greedy,” Griedl said when asked what the keys the Marshall’s offense will be in Friday’s contest. “Our O-line has got to play well and we’ve got to be able to run the football. We’ve got to be able to throw and catch. I know that sounds so cliché but we can’t get greedy with the play calling. We’ve got to take what they give us and our players have to be players who make plays.”

The Mavericks will have their work cut out for them when they go up against guys like defensive end/outside linebacker Derrick Harris, Jr., a University of Texas commit.

“He’s a big-time player for them,” Griedl said. “They’ve got two good savvy linebackers who read their keys and they’ll hit you. They have skill kids on the back half of their defense who are quick, fast and not afraid to strike you. They’re good open-field tacklers. It’s going to come down to us executing and taking advantage of what we can formation in, get some numbers and at the end of the day we just have to make some plays.

“It’ll be a really good test for us. They’re very well disciplined and they’re where they’re supposed to be. It’ll be a good challenge.”

Griedl said the Eagles run a mix between the 3-4 and the 4-2-5 defense.

“They get in and out of each one,” he said. “They were a three-down last year with their DC and that’s what their kids know and are probably comfortable with. Their new defensive coordinator was a 4-2-5 coming from Cuero but right now it looks like he’s trying to marry the two because I’m sure that’s what’s comfortable for the kids.”

Tickets for Friday’s season opener can be purchased online only at https://sites.google.com/marshallisd.com/gomarshallmavs/inside-mav-athletics/ticket-information. All tickets this season will go on sale the Tuesday before every game and ticket sales will end Thursdays at 3 p.m. All tickets will be for general admission this year and will cost $6.

Parents of football players, Mavettes, band and cheer squads will have their first shot of purchasing tickets online on Mondays of game week. If any tickets go unsold online, they will be made available at the gate on Friday but MISD will not hold tickets to be purchased at the game.

Due to COVID-19, Maverick Stadium will only be permitted to accommodate up to 1,500 fans on the home side and spectators are required to wear a face covering at all times unless eating or drinking and social distance will be required.

Friday’s game is slated for a 7 p.m. kickoff.