#1 Jenks-Euless Trinity (TX) (Saturday night AT Southlake Carroll)
Jenks kicks off the season with a huge test against Texas power Euless Trinity. Both teams are nationally ranked in almost every poll you find.
Why Jenks will win: It’ll be hard for Trinity to win if they get shutout. Now the chances of that happening are slim but points will be hard to come by for the Texas powerhouse. If Jenks can avoid turnovers on offense and put lengthy drives together, the Trojans should walk away with a victory in the Dallas metroplex Saturday night.
Why Euless Trinity will win: If Trinity can force sophomore quarterback Cooper Nunley into some mistakes and work with a short field, they might be able to steal some points from the stout Jenks defense. Nunley will be making his first varsity start. Making that start in the heat under the bright lights in Texas might be too much for the sophomore signal caller. Points will be hard to come by so Trinity needs to take advantage when they get the opportunity.
Michael: Jenks 20-7
Matt: Jenks 21-17
#2 Owasso AT Broken Arrow
Slowly but surely turning into a rivalry. These two teams fight for the “Bailey Cup”. While both teams will go at it this week, they share a common goal, both want to knock off the Jenks-Union dynasty. Both teams are getting closer and closer to doing that.
Why Owasso will win: Replacing Jaylen Lowe is a tall task but the Rams look like they’ve found that guy in Gabe Neph. Neph is a decent dual threat guy but has a couple D1 pass catchers in tight end Cameron Oliver and wide receiver John Cole Neph. Owasso also has probably the most underrated defense in 6A. If the Rams can get to BA quarterback Coleman Key, and avoid getting into a shootout with the BA offense, they’ll have a shot.
Why Broken Arrow will win: On paper, the Tigers are more talented than the Rams. The offensive line will need to do a better job of protecting Coleman Key and blocking for running back Devon Thomas then what they showed in the Jenks Trojan Preview. The defense will swarm all over the field giving Owasso’s new offense fits. The biggest key to Broken Arrow’s success is the offensive line. You can say that the biggest key is protecting Key. (So corny but I had to.)
Michael: Broken Arrow 38-20
Matt: Broken Arrow 35-14
#3 Clinton AT Lawton MacArthur (Thursday night)
The defending 4A state champs go down south to take on 5A powerhouse Lawton MacArthur. Don’t read too much into a 4A team taking on a 5A team. Clinton will come out and compete.
Why Clinton will win: The reigning 4A champs have a strong rushing attack that could possibly carry them all the way to a 2nd straight title. That attack is headlined by junior running back Marquiz Simpkins. Simpkins could be the best running back in the 2015 class. Clinton will always play strong defense and will need to against Lawton Mac’s playmakers. Ball control will be huge for the Red Tornadoes.
Why Lawton MacArthur will win: Clinton is going to want to control the ball and really put lengthy drives together. Lawton Mac will need to find a way to penetrate the Clinton offensive line and bottle up Simpkins. If they avoid letting Clinton go on those lengthy drives they’ll find some success. Lawton Mac always has athletes, and if they get them in space, expect some fireworks.
Michael: Lawton MacArthur 27-21
Matt: Clinton 28-24
#4 Union-DeSoto (TX) (Saturday afternoon AT Southlake Carroll)
Union returns to Texas to face the team that ran away from Jenks last season in DeSoto. DeSoto lost a lot off of last year’s semifinal team but don’t get excited Union fans. Similar to Union and Jenks, DeSoto doesn’t rebuild, they reload.
Why Union will win: The Redskins cannot put too much pressure on their junior quarterback Mason Farquar. When the young QB is asked to make plays he needs to get the ball to his OU commits, tight end Carson Meier and wide receiver Jeffery Mead. If Justin Silmon gets a decent work load expect him to put up good numbers. Springdale Har-Ber was able to run on the Union defense, Union needs to be able to stop the DeSoto ball carriers.
Why DeSoto will win: Similar to Euless Trinity’s key to success, DeSoto will get to welcome a new quarterback to high school football. If the Eagles can force Farquar into some mistakes and take advantage of their speed, DeSoto could jump out on Union early. Union’s inability to stop the run against Har-Ber is an area of concern. DeSoto had no problem putting points on the board last year against Jenks.
Michael: DeSoto 34-21
Matt: DeSoto 42-28
#5 Seminole AT Lincoln Christian
We could see this match up later on in the playoffs. 3A powerhouse Seminole comes to the Tulsa area to take on tradition rich Lincoln Christian. The Bulldogs are looking to get back to the dominance they found in 2A after moving up to 3A last year and going 6-5.
Why Seminole will win: Control the ball, feed Papi White that said ball and keep it out of Lincoln Christian’s hands. The Bulldogs will try to force turnovers and multiple 3 and outs. If Seminole can avoid that they should be able to come to Tulsa and impress and make their first statement on a possible state championship season.
Why Lincoln Christian will win: Home field advantage will come into play in this match up. Lincoln Christian will be fired up for their second season in 3A and on opening night they get to host one of the top teams in their class in Seminole. I expect an absolute dog fight in this one. There is a reason why Seminole is ranked so high. Lincoln Christian will have to play extremely well to get it done and make a statement to the rest of 3A that Lincoln Christian is here.
Michael: Seminole 31-27
Matt: Seminole 42-28
#6 Del City AT East Central
East Central went to the Westside and dominated the Cardinals in the opener last season. That game was later forfeited by East Central. Del City is without a doubt hungry to prove they can get it done in 5A.
Why Del City will win: Del City had a solid team last year but got matched up with Carl Albert in the first round. Del City gets the opportunity to come up to Tulsa and make a statement. The Eagles have talent and are one of the biggest schools in 5A, it’s time to take advantage of that.
Why East Central will win: If junior quarterback Tre’Von Cherry can replicate his production from last year, expect fireworks. That’s going to be tough to do without Stanvon Taylor who is now seeing playing time at OU. East Central will always have athletes but they’ll need to mature in a hurry. The Cardinals will try to control the ball and eat up clock to avoid having a very young defense on the field for too long.
Michael: Del City 21-17
Matt: Del City 35-14
#7 Wagoner AT Coweta
Always a very hard hitting rivalry game. A good measuring stick to see how each team will do on week 1 of the season.
Why Wagoner will win: Lawrence Evitt, Lawrence Evitt and more Lawrence Evitt. Coweta is going to get a heavy dose of Lawrence Evitt. Evitt gets running mate Devin Hawkins back from injury. If Coweta focuses too much on the run, 6’3 wide receiver Hadyn Ford will hurt you in the passing game. Wagoner is always difficult to score points on.
Why Coweta will win: Similar to Wagoner, the Tigers generally field a defense that’s tough to score on. This year might be different, it appears that the Tigers don’t have the numbers or the athletes they’ve had in the past. Evitt is going to get his yards, but Coweta will have to eliminate the big plays. If the Tigers can do that, and keep the score very low, they’ll have a shot at getting the opening night victory.
Michael: Wagoner 34-14
Matt: Wagoner 42-14
#8 McAlester AT Stillwater
I’m telling you right now, expect some points in this ball game. McAlester fields one of the more impressive offensive units in 5A and Stillwater’s offense will surprise a lot of teams this year.
Why McAlester will win: McAlester has fire power all over the field. Points are going to be scored in bunches and McAlester will win in most shootouts. Led by quarterback Dalton Wood, the Buffaloes are going to be hard to stop. This is a very talented and athletic defense and if they can make some stops at key times they might get the big road win.
Why Stillwater will win: I believe the Pioneers will put up some points this year. If you overlook this team they’ll surprise you. I wouldn’t suggest getting into a shootout with McAlester but Stillwater has the offense to keep up. The Pioneers get their QB back from injury and have one of the best receivers in the 2015 class. This might be a game where the team who has the ball last will win.
Michael: McAlester 34-24
Matt: McAlester 49-21
#9 Booker T Washington AT Douglass
This match up has turned into quite the rivalry game. I favor the Hornets in this one but they have to travel to the OKC area to open the season.
Why BTW will win: Perhaps the most underrated team in class 6A. If the Hornets play to their potential they could be battling for a high seed in district 6A-1. Offensively and defensively the Hornets can beat you in various ways. Running the ball might be difficult against Douglass’ defensive line. That Trojan line is led by LSU bound Deondre Clark. Don’t let Clark cause havoc in the backfield and find some holes to have success.
Why Douglass will win: Keep the score low. Douglass struggles at times on offense and Booker T has a solid defense. Similar to Douglass, the Hornets have a big D1 defensive end in OSU commit Jordan Brailford. Douglass is the underdog in this game and they can’t keep up with the Hornets if they don’t get some points on the board. If Douglass can force some BTW mistakes and bend but not break, that’s their best shot at getting the win.
Michael: Booker T Washington 27-13
Matt: Booker T Washington 21-16
#10 Davis AT Ringling
Just enjoy one of the top teams in 2A playing one of the top teams in Class A.
Michael: Davis 31-20
Matt: Davis 56-35