Week 1 might be the most exciting week of the 2021 season (besides the playoffs of course) because the stadiums will be packed again at full capacity. You’ll be hearing the roar of the student section, fans screaming and the marching bands during pregame. But there are some top-tier games that some fans may not know about. If you’re looking for any electric Week 1 matchups to go to, these are the Top 5 that I think you should sit on the edge of your seat for:
1. Bixby @ Jenks
This is by far the best matchup of the week. It might be the best all season. Bixby out of 6A-II and Jenks out of 6A-I are both No. 1 in their respective classes according to Max Preps. Bixby has been very dominant lately. Ever since Class 6A was split into two separate divisions in 2014, the Spartans have won six of the seven 6A-II state championships and were runner-up the other year. Senior RB Braylin Presley for Bixby is looking to have a major performance. Bixby hosted Jenks in 2020 and had a close 42-35 win behind Presley’s three receiving TDs. Jenks is the home to 17 state championships. The Trojans cruised through the playoffs last year, winning each game by more than 24 points. They blew by Edmond Santa Fe in the championship game 41-14. Two defending state champions going at it in Week 1? It can’t get any better than this.
2. Broken Arrow @ Union
This is a must-see with these two huge programs. Broken Arrow as been on a solid run since 2002. Before winning the state championship three years ago, the Tigers made it to the state championship three other times. The Tigers will be looking for revenge as they are coming off of a 7-4 season during which they lost Union in the 6A-I quarterfinals, 26-14. Senior WR Robert Jennings and senior RB Maurion Horn will be leading the way for Broken Arrow against a Union squad that made the 6A semifinals last season after a slow start.
3. Edmond North @ Edmond Memorial
These two teams haven’t had sustained success in quite a while, but the Edmond rivalries are always a big deal in town. The atmosphere and school pride are both huge in these games. And since Edmond is a nice town (besides the terrible traffic on 2nd Street) that is growing rapidly, you will not be disappointed in going to one of the “Edlam” games.
4. John Marshall @ Bethany
Don’t let John Marshall’s 4-6 record from 2020 fool you. The Bears came close in several defeats last year making every team work for a victory. Tuttle barely escaped the Bears in 2020 and Newcastle had to come from behind in the playoffs to beat John Marshall 28-21. This squad has a lot of promise as it comes in ranked fourth in the 4A rankings for 2021. The Bears will be visiting 4A No. 5 Bethany, which went to Jones and took care of business 27-14 in Week 0. This is an intense non-district matchup to attend for Week 1 if you’re a big 4A fan. Junior RB Jaden Gilliland will be looking to have another big performance as last week he ran for 133 yards for the Bronchos.
5. Cushing @ Bristow
Another great 4A matchup this weekend as Cushing had a Cinderella season in 2020. From upsetting Weatherford to making the 4A semifinals, it was a great run for the Cushing Tigers. Even better news? They are No. 6 in the preseason rankings. However, they do have a tough first test on the road against the Bristow, which also came off of a really impressive season as well. The Pirates won six straight games and then just fell short to Blanchard in the quarterfinals, 21-18. Despite the loss, the Pirates should have ample momentum coming into this season.