The calendar hasn't flipped to September yet, but high schools across Oklahoma are officially footballing this week.
Zero Week is here, and it's offering up some solid matchups to get the season rolling.
Here are this week's top 10 games:
1. 6AI No. 1 Union at 6AI No. 3 Broken Arrow: There
will be talent all over the field on Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
The running back matchup, featuring Broken Arrow's Noah Cortes and
Union's Darius Boone Jr., will be fun to watch. This one could come down
to quarterback play, and Union has the advantage there with Peyton
Thompson. Also helps that Union holds a 39-3 record over the Tigers
2. 6AII No. 1 Booker T. Washington vs. North Little Rock (Ark.) at Bentonville High School: Clash
of two state champions from 2017. The Hornets will deploy Thomas
Grayson, a Nebraska commit, at running back, and they'll also feature
one of the nation's top recruits in Dax Hill, who figures to play on
both sides of the ball. North Little Rock, Class 7A title winner in
Arkansas, will counter with North Texas commit Oscar Adaway and plenty
of other talented players across the field. The game is part of the
Rumble in the Ozarks, played in Northwest Arkansas.
3. 6AII No. 2 Midwest City at Bentonville (Ark.): This
will be the nightcap of the Rumle in the Ozarks on Saturday.
Bentonville lost to North Little Rock in last year's title game, and
Midwest City was dispatched from the Class 6AII playoffs in the
semifinals. Look for Midwest City's Preston Colbert to get off to a
roaring start for the Bombers this season.
4. A No. 6 Wynnewood at A No. 5 Minco: Both
teams shared a district (A-4) in the past four seasons, and Minco ended
up winning three of those four matchups. Now they've gone their
separate ways in Class A, so they'll meet up in Zero Week. Minco
quarterback Daxton Williams graduated, so they Bulldogs will have to
find his replacement. Meanwhile, Wynnewood has Tyler Grove who passed
for nearly 1,000 yards as a sophomore last season.
5. Bentonville West (Ark.) at 6AI No. 2 Owasso: Will
Kuehne and Co. get the 2018 season kicked off against one of the newest
programs in Arkansas. Bentonville West is led by former McAlester head
coach Bryan Pratt, who led the Wolverines to a 9-2 record in 2017. For
Owasso, the Rams will look for Bryce Cabrera's replacement at tailback
and Josh Proctor's replacementin the defensive backfield.
6. 6AI No. 4 Jenks at 6AII No. 4 Bixby: This one-sided rivalry leveled out in 2017 with the Spartans ending a 26-game losing streak to Jenks with a 35-18 victory. Jenks' winning ways over Bixby had dated back to 1977. The Trojans return quarterback Ian Corwin and Mr. Do Everything Noah Hernandez, but they'll have a new look on the sidelines under first-year head coach Keith Riggs. For Bixby, there's a lot of newcomers after Tucker Pawley and Staton King graduated following the Spartans' runner-up finish in Class 6AII.
7. Choctaw at 6AII No. 10 Shawnee: These
two haven't met since 1999, despite only being 30 miles apart. Now
they're both members of Class 6AII with Shawnee bumping up a class this
season. The Yellowjackets are coming off a 6-4 season, where Jake Corbin
was in his first year as head coach. On the other side, Shawnee was 6-5
before leaving 5A. Now Heath Hunter and the Wolves get to show what
they're made of in a new classification.
8. B. No. 2 Shattuck at C No. 1 Tipton: A
rematch of the 2011 Class C state championship. Also a clash of last
year's Class B (Shattuck) and Class C (Tipton) champions. The winner
gets to claim the title of "best eight-man team" until the playoffs
9. A No. 4 Hominy at Hulbert: Perhaps
the best running back matchup in the state, outside of Union-Broken
Arrow. Hominy will feature move-in Dylan Roach, who torched opponents at
Prue last season to the tune of 2,264 yards and 31 touchdowns. Then
there's Hulbert's Jacob Bruce, who has posted back-to-back 2,000-yard
rushing seasons for the Riders in 2016 and 2017.
10. 2A No. 7 Chisholm at 4A No. 7 Weatherford: This
one features a solid matchup of quarterbacks. Chisholm's signal caller,
Braden Meek, passed for 1,552 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior in
2017, and Weatherford's Jaxon Ratterree will begin his junior season
after tossing for 1,274 yards and nine touchdowns last year.
Jones at Oklahoma Christian School
Metro Christian at Broken Bow
Plainview at Elgin
Gore at Haskell
Watonga at Okeene
Morrison at Kiefer
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.