The opening week of the high school football season was littered with big-time clashes — defending 4A champion Miege against defending 6A champion Blue Valley North; 5A No. 2 Aquinas vs. 6A No. 3 Blue Valley; 5A No. 1 Wichita Northwest vs. 5A No. 3 and defending champion Carroll.
And so on, and so on.
The matchups did not disappoint.
Miege and North were locked in a dandy until the Stags put the clamps down in the second half and rode talented junior back Brison Cobbins to a 33-21 win on Thursday night to get things kicked off. Fellow Eastern Kansas League powers Aquinas and Blue Valley played a scoreless first quarter and also held each other scoreless in the third quarter. In the even periods, Aquinas did just enough and got a big night from Tank Young to take a 30-14 win.
But the best of the bunch was the Northwest-Carroll dandy. In the 2017 season opener, Northwest led the bulk of the way before Carroll scored in the final 15 seconds to take a 40-35 vicotry. This year, the script was flipped as the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early lead and kept Northwest at arm’s length until the Grizzlies got a last-second field goal from Carson Arndt to pull out a 23-22 win.
Don’t be shocked if they meet again in the playoffs.
Week One was also a chance for some recent also-rans to have their shining moment. Wichita North ended a 21-game losing streak with a 29-22 win over Wichita South. Atchison County snapped a 19-game skid with a 46-0 blanking of Oskaloosa. And Gardner-Edgerton — after near-miss upsets of SM East in the 6A playoffs the past two years — made its Sunflower League debut a smashing one by knocking off the Lancers 28-23 in Ryan Cornelsen’s first game as head coach.