All games are season openers Friday unless noted.
1. Class 6AI • No. 1 Union at No. 2 Broken Arrow
The outlook • Union has totally dominated this rivalry over the past 30 years, but Broken Arrow has a chance to make a statement in this early showdown for the top spot in 6A1.
Key matchup • Broken Arrow’s offensive line, led by 2017 World All-State selection Andrew Raym, against Union’s defensive line that features major college recruits Darrias Murdock and Isaiah McGuire. Broken Arrow, with Noah Cortes, a 1,600-yard rusher from last year, has to be able to run effectively to beat Union and was unable to do that in two losses against the Redskins last season.
Series history • Union has won 36 of the past 37 meetings, including 26-15 in last year’s opener and 21-0 in the semifinals. The Tigers’ lone win during that span was in the 2008 opener at Broken Arrow.
Tickets • General admission are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Tickets will be available in the Broken Arrow Athletic Office from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday. Individual game tickets also may be purchased online at gofan.co/brokenarrowtigers.com or call 918-259-5900 for more information. Tickets are available at Union from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. Wednesday at the U-Wear Store.
2. 6AI No. 4 Jenks at 6AII No. 2 Bixby
The outlook • Keith Riggs makes his debut as the successor to Allan Trimble as Jenks’ head coach. Jenks tries to avenge last year’s loss to the Spartans.
Series history • Jenks leads 56-21-5 and had won 26 in a row since 1977 before Bixby’s 35-18 victory last year.
Notable • These teams have combined for seven state titles over the past six years. ... Veterans will be honored during Military Appreciation Night. ... In half-games last Friday, Jenks lost 14-7 to 6AII defending champion Booker T. Washington while Bixby defeated Mustang 14-0 and Enid 3-0.
3. Bentonville (Arkansas) West at 6AI No. 3 Owasso
TV • YurView (Cox 1333)
The outlook • Owasso, ranked No. 24 nationally in the USA Today Super 25, begins its state title defense with two games against Arkansas teams. First up is Bentonville West, only in its third year, and coming off a 9-2 season. The Wolverines are No. 3 in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s overall state rankings.
Key matchup • Owasso returns the 2017 All-World offensive player of the year, quarterback Will Kuehne. But the Wolverines also have an outstanding QB, Will Jarrett, who passed for 3,5145 yards and 28 TDs last year. His top receiver is Jadon Jackson, who caught 62 passes for 1,241 yards and 14 TDs in 2017.
Notable • Bentonville West is led by former McAlester coach Bryan Pratt. The Wolverines went 2-0 against area teams last year, defeating Pryor and Muskogee. Although Owasso has never played the Wolverines, Rams coach Bill Blankenship faced them in 2016 when his Fayetteville team won 50-14.
4. 6AII No. 1 B.T. Washington vs. North Little Rock at Bentonville, Arkansas (Saturday)
The outlook • This opening game at 4 p.m. in the Rumble in the Ozarks doubleheader features a pair of defending state champions. The second game at 7:30 p.m. has Bentonville hosting 6AII No. 3 Midwest City. North Little Rock, a 7A team ranked No. 1 in Arkansas, went 13-0 last season while Washington was 12-1.
Key matchup • Each team has a standout running back — Nebraska commit Thomas Grayson rushed for 1,332 yards and 13 TDs last season. North Little Rock’s Brandon Thomas rushed for 1,597 yards and 13 TDs in 2017.
5. Class 2A No. 6 Victory Christian at 4A unranked McLain
The outlook • Each team has a new head coach — Dub Maddox at Victory Christian and former NFL player Willie Ponder at McLain.
3A No. 3 Cascia Hall at Gravette, Arkansas
The Commandos make their first football trip to Arkansas since 1960. Gravette handed Jay its only regular-season loss last year.
Hale at Webster
Each team has a new head coach — Brian Jones at Hale and Scott Robb at Webster — and potential for improvement over last year when they combined for only four wins. Webster defeated Hale 33-12 in last year’s opener.
2A No. 5 Holland Hall at OKC Casady
The visiting Dutch defeated its former Southwest Preparatory Conference rival 28-27 in 2016 and 45-10 last year.
2A No. 10 Metro Christian at 4A unranked Broken Bow
These former 4A district rivals split games the past two years.
Class A No. 7 Morrison at 2A unranked Kiefer
Kiefer tries to avenge a pair of 28-0 losses to Morrison last year, with the second coming in the Class A playoffs.
— Barry Lewis, Tulsa World