Week 1: Top 10 games
by Ben Johnson (@BenJohnsonTUL)
8/27/2018 11:06:00 PM
posted in: Game Preview | 2,424 views

It's here. A full slate of games greets high school football fans before September even arrives. And boy, there are some great games this week.

Here are this week's top 10 games:

1. 3A No. 1 Heritage Hall (0-0) at 2A No. 1 Millwood (0-0): A big-time showdown and a Thursday night special. A fantastic matchup of running back between Heritage Hall's Billy Ross and Millwood's Marcus Major. Then mix in both being reigning state champions -- Heritage Hall in 4A and Millwood in 2A -- and both being ranked atop their respective classes. This will be the first clash between the two clubs since 2007, and Millwood owns a 5-3 record against the Chargers. And perhaps it's a good omen for both clubs since Heritage Hall and John Marshall met in a high-profile non-district clash last year, and both went on to win state championships. Maybe it happens again? TBD.

2. 6AII No. 2 Midwest City (1-0) at 5A No. 1 Carl Albert (0-0): Somehow teams separated by a few miles have only met six times since 1976. Oh, and the Bombers are 6-0 all-time against the Titans. While Carl Albert will get its season started, Midwest City is coming off an overtime victory over Bentonville (Ark.) at the Rumble in the Ozarks in Arkansas. On any other week, this would be the top matchup in the state, but this week it'll have to settle for No. 2 on the list. Oh, and the offensive weapons in Midwest City's Preston Colbert and Carl Albert's Dadrion Taylor will make for great theater all night long.

3. 5A No. 3 Coweta (0-0) at 4A No. 2 Wagoner (0-0): The battle for Wagoner County has been one-sided lately. Wagoner has won the last five games, including a 41-27 victory last year. Now the series is tied at eight apiece. While Wagoner lost Nikia Jones and a host of talent from last year's team that was eliminated from the 4A playoffs in the quarterfinals, the Bulldogs still have Schyler Adair in backfield to carry the load. On the other side, Coweta features J.D. Geneva at quarterback and Thomas Ivy as a specialist on both sides of the ball. 

4. 6AII No. 6 Del City (0-0) at 5A No. 2 Bishop McGuinness (0-0): The return of Dominic Richardson is here. After taking the world by storm during his sophomore, the Irish standout suffered a season-ending leg injury before the playoffs started. The Irish reached the 5A title game, but now Bishop McGuinness will gladly welcome Richardson back into the fold. The Irish hold a 3-4 record over Del City since 1953, including two wins over the Eagles last year. So the question is: Can Quinlan Ganther and Co. overcome an Irish team that's poised to challenge Carl Albert again in 5A?

5. 3A No. 4 Kingfisher (0-0) at 4A No. 4 Tuttle (1-0): Newcastle was powerless to stop Carson Berryhill last week, so now Kingfisher gets a chance to stop the Tigers' quarterback. Berryhill launched 18 passes against the Racers, completing 16 of them for 309 yards and three touchdowns. A win for the Yellowjackets would be their second in a row against Tuttle after a 27-21 win last year.

6. 2A No. 4 Holland Hall (1-0) at 3A No. 6 Cascia Hall (1-0): Both teams are 1-0, and yet, neither has played an OSSAA member team to this point. Holland Hall crushed Casady last week, all while Cascia Hall was grounding Gravette (Ark.) to a pulp. Now Holland Hall and Cascia Hall can set their sights on one another at Siegfried Stadium. Cascia Hall Jaxon Henderson looked pretty polished in the Commandos' easy win last week, so now Holland Hall has to figure out a way to slow him down. The Dutch won last year's clash, 21-7, but Cascia Hall owns an 8-4 series record and has won seven of the last night meetings dating back to 2006.

7. B No. 1 Laverne (0-0) at B No. 7 Alex (0-0): A rematch of 2014 Class B title game! Laverne ran wild last year with three ball carriers racking up 2,837 yards. But Camden Cayot and Tripp Creed graduated, leaving Cody Madsen, now a sophomore to shoulder the bulk of the load.

8. 4A No. 5 Oologah (0-0) at 5A No. 6 Collinsville (0-0): A new-look Oologah takes on its Highway 169 rival this week under new head coach Chase Kime. A boatload of talent graduated from the Mustangs' roster after the 2017 season, and Collinsville looks to bounce back from a 5-5 record last year. Oologah has won the last three seasons and now owns a 28-16 mark over the Cardinals.

9. 6AI No. 8 Norman (0-0) at 6AI No. 5 Norman North (0-0): This has been one-sided since 2014. The Timberwolves edged past Norman, 49-43, last season, but in the three matchups before that, Norman North won by a combined score of 151-26. Quite the mismatch.

10. Mansfield Legacy (Texas) at 6AI No. 3 Jenks (1-0): Hard to single out one Border Brawl matchup this week, but these are two perennial powers squaring off in Jenks. Mansfield Legacy nearly made the Class 5A Division 2 championship game in 2017 but was knocked off by eventual champion Aledo. The Broncos also have senior safety Jalen Catalon, who is drawing recruiting interest from Texas, Alabama and Oklahoma among others. Meanwhile, Jenks' Ian Corwin will have his hands full in the passing game, but perhaps move-in running back Dreyson Watters can team with do-everything Noah Hernandez to cause the Broncos problems.

Honorable mention

Mansfield (Texas) at 6AI No. 1 Broken Arrow (1-0) - Tigers are riding high after a blowout win over Union last week. Broken Arrow's defense looks rock solid this season.

Mansfield Lake Ridge (Texas) at 6AI No. 4 Union (0-1) - Quality quarterback matchup here between Union's Peyton Thompson and Mansfield Lake Ridge's Chandler Rogers.

6AI No. 6 Mustang (0-0) at 6A No. 10 Yukon (1-0) - Broncos have claimed the last four meetings between these two rivals, and Mustang leads the overall series 26-19.

5A No. 7 Altus (0-0) at 6AII No. 5 Lawton (0-0) - First meeting between the two teams since 2013. Lawton has won the last seven against Altus and owns a 13-2 record against the Bulldogs.

6AI No. 2 Owasso (1-0) at Fayetteville (Ark.) - Bill Blankenship returns to the school he helped guide to the Class 7A championship in Arkansas in 2016.

5A No. 10 Ada (0-0) at 5A No. 4 Ardmore (0-0) - Ada owns the advantage in the long-time rivalry (41-35), but Ardmore has made up ground by winning seven of the last eight matchups since 2010.

3A No. 10 Idabel (0-0) at Broken Bow (0-1) - The annual clash for McCurtain County glory. Broken Bow has won the last two years after the Warriors snapped Broken Bow's 14-game winning streak in the series in 2014.

2A No. 6 Jones (1-0) at 3A No. 5 Lincoln Christian (1-0) - Expect plenty of points in this one. The two clubs have met only three previous times, but there were 195 points combined among those three games.

A No. 9 Commerce (0-0) at 2A No. 9 Adair (1-0) - The two shared district confinement the past two seasons with Adair winning both. In fact, the Warriors have never lost to Commerce, owning a 5-0 mark in the series.

A No. 1 Thomas (0-0) at Alva (0-0) - A newly-formed rivalry was developed in 2012, and the two teams have played every year since. Thomas currently claims a 4-2 mark against Alva in the six all-time showdowns.

A No. 6 Crescent (1-0) at A No. 9 Morrison (1-0) - Like Commerce and Adair, these two clashed in district games the past two years. Crescent is 4-0 against Morrison since the two teams started playing one another in 1988.

B No. 8 Pioneer (0-0) at C No. 3 Coyle (0-0) - Quality eight-man contest for both teams to start the season. Coyle beat Pioneer last season, but Pioneer topped Coyle in 2016.

B No. 4 Regent Prep (0-0) at B No. 10 Prue (1-0) - The Rockets won easily against South Coffeyville last week, but Regent Prep presents a stern test this week.

So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.

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