Bobby Lewis, Newson6.com
TULSA, Oklahoma --The first week of high school football is finally upon us. There are storylines everywhere from Class 6A all the way down to Class A, but these are the five games that are the most intriguing among the 2011 openers:
5. Jenks Trojans (0-0) at Bixby Spartans (0-0)
The Trojans didn't extend any thank you's to Loren Montgomery for his service on the Jenks sidelines during the opener last season. The new Bixby head coach took his Spartans on the road in week one last season and got pounded by his former team, 65-7. The Spartans' lone highlight came on an 80-yard touchdown pass. Outside of that play, Bixby was held to just 70 yards of offense. The cross-town schools are bitter rivals. The next chapter kicks off opening night.
4. Oologah Mustangs (0-0) at Claremore Zebras (0-0)
The Zebras are dark horse title contenders this season and usually play Oologah tough. That wasn't the case on the road in 2010, when the Mustangs won 16-0. Claremore has ping-ponged back and forth between 5A and 6A in recent seasons. This early season test will go a long way in determining if the Zebras have what it takes to challenge for a gold ball this season.
3. Cascia Hall Commandos (0-0) at Holland Hall Dutch (0-1)
The Commandos have payback on their minds. Last season, the Dutch crashed the Cascia Hall party with a huge 34-27 road win. The loss snapped Cascia's winning streak at 41 games. It was the Commandos first regular season loss since falling to Claremore-Sequoyah in 2005, and it was the Dutch's first win over their prep rivals since 2005. The two meet on the Dutch's home turf this season, where they went undefeated in 2010. Holland Hall lost its opener to Trinity Valley last week, 20-0.
2. Carl Albert Titans (0-0) at Booker T. Washington Hornets (0-0)
These are the top two teams in Class 5A and they meet early in the season for the second year in a row. One year ago, the Hornets squeaked out a two point home win despite scoring a season low 12 points. Carl Albert is always a contender. The Titans have won 10 gold balls, including five in a row from 1997-2001. The defending stat champion Hornets of Booker T. are picked to win the 5A crown again in 2011 by many "experts". The Hornets have taken home the gold ball in two of the past three seasons.
1. Evangel Christian Academy (0-0) at Union Redskins (0-0)
Union-Tuttle Stadium will host perhaps the state's top must-see game of the year in the first night of the season. The two teams are giants in their respective states. Union has won seven state titles overall, including the last three gold balls in 6A. Evangel has a dozen titles to it's name in Louisiana. It's the first game in a horrid stretch for Union. They open the season at home against the Eagles, visit Jenks in the Backyard Bowl the following week and host the Broken Arrow Tigers in Week 3. The Redskins and Eagles will meet on national television as well. The game will air live on ESPNU. Union beat Evangel on the road in its season opener last year, 44-32.
Just missed the cut:
Stillwater at East Central
Owasso Rams at Broken Arrow Tigers
Wagoner Bulldogs at Coweta Tigers
Muskogee Roughers at Sand Springs Sandites