The most exciting high school football games to watch during the 2021 campaign

Beau Bearden
The Daily Ardmoreite
Plainview hosts Lone Grove in this season's edition of the "five-mile feud" on Thursday, Oct. 14. That's just the tip of the iceberg though, as the 2021 season features a number of exciting matchups to watch.

With football finally here, it’s the perfect time to look at the most exciting games to watch during the 2021 season. The area is highlighted by five squads — Dickson, Lone Grove, Madill, Plainview and Sulphur — that will battle each other in District 3A-2.

But don’t forget about Ardmore, the lone area school in Class 5A, along with other teams such as Davis, Fox, Healdton, Marietta, Oklahoma School for the Deaf, Ringling and Wilson.

With that said, here’s a weekly rundown of the games to watch:

Week 0 – Friday, Aug. 27

This is a difficult decision as the opening week of football features five area teams playing at home. However, out of the options, Pilot Point at Plainview should be a great contest after the Indians just came up short last season in a 30-20 setback on the road.

Other home contests include Hugo at Dickson, Purcell at Lone Grove, Tuttle at Sulphur and Atoka at Ringling.

Week 1 – Friday, Sept. 3

Ardmore making the trek to Ada is arguably the most intriguing matchup as it pits Tigers head coach Josh Newby against former Lone Grove coach Brad O'Steen. The Tigers cruised to a 21-0 shutout in last year’s meeting, but expect it to be closer this time around.

This night also features a pair of Homecoming contests as Dickson welcomes Comanche to town and Lone Grove hosts Wynnewood. Those aren’t the only games to watch though, as Healdton travels to Marietta, while Wilson plays its home opener against Caddo and Fox hosts Maud.

Week 2 – Friday, Sept. 10

It’s safe to say we can call this “rivalry week” as a few nearby teams square off on the gridiron. Sulphur at Davis is always a fun one, while Marietta traveling to Madill will surely feature a lively crowd.

In another “rivalry,” Dickson makes the short drive to Ringling in a contest that might be interesting. However, don’t forget Shawnee at Ardmore in a game that was canceled a year ago, along with Thackerville at Wilson.

Week 3 – Friday, Sept. 17

Grab your snacks and blankets as this night's slate doesn't feature a ton of local games. That’s not to say there aren't a couple of contests to watch as Ringling travels to Marietta and Fox hosts Bray.

Other than that, Lone Grove is at Comanche and Ardmore is at Ponca City.

Week 4 – Friday, Sept. 24

Following a week with few options in the area, this night provides a number of fun matchups. The best game of the group should be Dickson at Madill as first-year head coach Matt Suffal looks to lead the Comets past the Wildcats.

However, there’s also Pauls Valley at Lone Grove and Kingston at Sulphur. And if those don’t interest you, you can check out Tishomingo at Davis, Frederick at Marietta, Elmore City at Healdton, Empire at Wilson or Maysvile at Fox.

Week 5 – Friday, Oct. 1, Saturday, Oct. 2

Another jam-packed night of games is highlighted by a pair of important matchups. Altus makes the trek to Ardmore after the two squads didn’t get to face off a year ago, while Dickson hosts Plainview in a district battle.

A little further north, Madill meets Sulphur on the road, while the Oklahoma School for the Deaf welcomes New Mexico to town on Saturday for Homecoming.

Week 6 – Friday, Oct. 8

Revenge should be at the forefront this week as Ardmore looks to avenge a 35-28 loss to Duncan last season. The Tigers won’t be the only ones though, as Dickson looks to bounce back on the road against Lone Grove after being shut out a year ago.

Meanwhile, Plainview traveling to Madill is an interesting matchup after the Indians tallied a 32-24 victory in 2020.

Week 7 – Thursday, Oct. 14

The one week where many Oklahoma schools play a day earlier than usual has a great matchup to watch as the “five-mile feud” is in Plainview this year. It was a close one in 2020 as the Longhorns used a late field goal to tally a 15-14 victory over the Indians. Expect this season’s matchup to be a high-scoring affair. 

Meanwhile across town, Dickson hosts Little Axe in a game that the Comets had little issue a year ago in a 47-13 rout.

Sulphur at Kingston, Ringling at Healdton and Louisiana at OSD are also good games to check out.

Week 8 – Friday, Oct. 22

Ardmore had to make the long trek to El Reno last season, but the Tigers will be at home this night looking to bounce back from a setback in 2020. Dickson also travels to Sulphur, while Lone Grove makes the trek east to Madill.

Marietta hosting Marlow is the only other close game on the docket.

Week 9 – Friday, Oct. 29

The Tigers hosting Noble is sure to be a high-scoring affair after they showcased their firepower in 2020 during a 49-27 win. Meanwhile, Plainview welcoming Sulphur to town is also an intriguing matchup that could have postseason implications.

But don’t forget about Pauls Valley at Dickson or Little Axe at Lone Grove, as both are crucial late-season matchups.

Marietta at Davis, Wayne at Ringling and Thackerville at Fox are also worth the trip.

Week 10 – Friday, Nov. 5

The last week of the season doesn't provide many area matchups, as Ardmore makes the trek to Lawton MacArthur, Dickson goes to Kingston and Plainview travels to Pauls Valley.

However, Lone Grove at Sulphur is the highlight, especially because the winner could clinch a playoff spot during this District 3A-2 clash. It’s too early to tell how close it will be, but expect the Longhorns to keep it interesting after falling 41-32 in a shootout last season.

Elmore City-Pernell at Ringling and Rush Springs at Healdton are other notable area games to watch.