Weatherford, OK 73096
Record: 7-4 | Unranked
|vs Elk City||W||37-15|
| Ben Johnson
Players to watch
- Gunnar Thompson (Poteau): A 6-foot-4, 230-pound defensive end who is starting to get recognition by Division I coaches has wrecked havoc on opposing offenses all year long with 74 tackles and nine sacks. He's also chipping in on offense at tight end with 22 catches for 375 yards and three touchdowns.
- Bryce Madron (Blanchard): Junior tailback has powered the Lions' offense all season long with 1,499 yards and 31 touchdowns on 146 carries.
- Tavien Woodworth (Fort Gibson): Junior running back has eclipsed 200 carries through 10 games with 201 rushes for 1,474 yards and 17 touchdowns.
- Jose Oritz (Catoosa): Senior tailback has amassed 1,198 yards and 17 touchdowns on 151 carries this season.
- Sam Brandt (Bethany): Junior quarterback does it all for the Bronchos. He's carried the ball 99 times for 805 yards and 15 touchdowns, and he's also completed 106 out of 163 passes for 1,717 yards and 16 touchdowns. On defense, he's logged 50 tackles and two interceptions.
- Carson Berryhill (Tuttle): Senior quarterback has tossed 19 touchdowns while completing 83 of 144 passes for 1,324 yards.
- Devin Hembry (Hilldale): Rushed 88 times for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns for the Hornets this season.
Don't overlook... Bristow
The Pirates were forced to move up a class from the past several seasons, but it's worked out swimmingly. Bristow has outscored opponents by a combined score of 478 to 206, and the Pirates' lone loss was a 29-28 contest in overtime against Wagoner. Tyler Wayland at quarterback is as dangerous as it gets, and the Pirates will attempt to control the game in the trenches.
Favorite (potential) matchup - Bristow vs. Poteau
Both teams face an uphill battle to get to this point, but what a showdown it would be. Bristow's dominating running game against Poeau's defense would be a sight to behold.
How do other high school coaches see the 4A postseason playing out? We asked and they made their predictions (after being granted anonymity, of course).
Coach One: "For the semifinals, I'll go with Broken Bow against Wagoner. Bow is really fast but Wagoner knows how to win. I'll also go with Bristow against Blanchard. Bristow has the fasteset backfield in maybe 4A history. So I"ll go with Bristow. In the finals, Wagoner won the first time and will win the second time. After all, they are Wagoner."
Two: "Tuttle is the total package. They are extremely physical on both sides of the ball. They have tremendous line and skill kids. They don't have a weakness that can be spotted. Really good players at all positions. To top if off, they are extremely well coached."
Michael Swisher: Poteau over Wagoner - Iíll be the first to admit I have no idea whatís going to happen in the 4A playoffs. I think you could play out the bracket 10 times, get different matchups in the final each time and have six or seven different teams bring home the gold ball. Thatís the long way of saying I wouldnít be surprised if neither of these teams are in the title tilt. So why not Poteau? Pirates win their first-ever football crown.
Ben Johnson: Poteau over Wagoner - Could be in store for a rematch of last year's first round matchup that Wagoner barely won. The Bulldogs deploying Schyler Adair against the Pirates' defense would be exceptional to witness. I would like to go with Bristow in the championship game, but I picked Poteau at the beginning of the season so I'll stick with the Pirates.
Whitt Carter: Tuttle over Clinton - Arguably the most wide-open class in the state should make for a fun few weeks of playoff games. The Red Tornadoes missed the playoffs last year for the first time since the Civil War, but are more than back. Clinton finished 9-1 with the lone loss by just a touchdown in week 2 to Class 3A favorite Heritage Hall. The recipe is the same, as Clinton runs the football right at you and plays great defense, a recipe for success in November and December. Meanwhile, Tuttle has been as impressive as anyone in the class this year, as they too are back among the elite after finishing 6-5 a year ago. Quarterback Carson Berryhill leads a great Tigers' offense that has wins over Kingfisher, Plainview, Bethany, Cushing and Blanchard - all playoff teams. I picked Tuttle to win it at the beginning of the year and I'm sticking with the Tigers.
*Photo courtesy of John Sullivan Photography
| Ben Johnson
It's time for fall break, and some district titles could be decided this week.
Here's what's on tap:
1. 6AII No. 4 Midwest City (5-2) at 6AII No. 3 Del City (6-1): District 6AII-1 has become a three-team race, and this one will go a long way in deciding whether it's a two-horse race or not. If Midwest City wins, it remains a three-team sprint to the end -- so long as Del City knocks off Stillwater in two weeks. A win for Del City sets up a clash for district supremacy on Nov. 2. Midwest City has dominated this matchup with five straight wins dating back to 2013. Overall, Midwest City is 35-16 against its long-time rival.
2. 4A No. 2 Tuttle (7-0) at 4A No. 3 Blanchard (6-1): Buckle up for Blanchard tailback Bryce Madron against Tuttle's defense, which has yielded only 56 points this season. Also, can Blanchard slow down Tuttle quarterback Carson Berryhill? A win for Tuttle all but wraps up the 4A-2 crown. Since 2011, Blanchard has won four of the seven meetings, but before Tuttle had won all 13.
3. 4A No. 4 Bristow (7-0) at 4A No. 5 Wagoner (6-1): This had all the looks of two unbeaten teams clashing for district bragging rights up until Oologah upset Wagoner in overtime last week. Another loss all but keeps Wagoner from winning the 4A-3 crown, and it would be the first time since 2011 that the Bulldogs hadn't claimed a district title. As for Bristow, quarterback Tyler Wayland leads a dynamic rushing attack that's powered by a demoralizing offensive line. The Bulldogs will counter with Schyler Adair in the backfield.
4. 4A No. 7 Broken Bow (6-1) at 4A No. 1 Poteau (7-0): When it comes to two teams not liking one another, here is exhibit A. And this time the District 4A-4 title is up for grabs. A win for Broken Bow all but secures the district title, whereas Poteau still has Hilldale looming on the schedule. Neither one of these teams has given up more than 48 points this season, so don't expect a wild, high-scoring shootout. Poteau and Broken Bow have met every year since 1996, and it's been Poteau with wins in five victories in the last seven seasons.
5. 5A No. 6 Duncan (7-0) at 5A No. 2 Ardmore (7-0): The similarities are striking between these two. Both are 4-0 in 5A-1. Duncan has scored 268 points this season, compared to Ardmore's 267. Then on defense, the Tigers have given up 51 points, whereas Duncan has issued 53 points to opposing teams. So the only question remains is what prevails in the game: Duncan's balanced offensive attack or Ardmore's nonstop rushing attack? Ardmore has won five straight against the Demons, including a 28-7 victory last season.
6. 2A No. 3 Vian (6-1) at 2A No. 6 Holland Hall (5-2): These two generated a memorable showdown during the 2016 playoffs when Holland Hall edged past the Wolverines, 27-26. This time, however, Vian has River Simon and Bodhi Vann back as seniors with the 2A-5 title on the line. The winner can start preparing for the fourth-place finisher in 2A-6.
7. 3A No. 1 Heritage Hall (6-1) at 3A No. 6 Kingfisher (5-2): A Charger victory all but nails down the 3A-1 district title. A win for Kingfisher creates chaos at the top of the district with Heritage Hall, Kingfisher and John Marshall in a three-team clash to the end. The Yellowjackets have scored an average of 38.7 points per game, but can their defense slow down Conner Carey and Billy Ross on the other side of the ball?
8. B No. 6 Laverne (6-1) at B No. 1 Shattuck (6-0): Perhaps the first of two matchups this season? That's how it's gone the past two years. Laverne and Shattuck have squared off in district play -- both games won by Laverne -- and twice in Class B title games -- split between the two schools -- since 2016. Only wrench in the plans this year could be Seiling, a team sitting there unbeaten in B-1 play like Laverne and Shattuck.
9. 2A No. 2 Sperry (7-0) at Victory Christian (6-1): Pure excitement surrounded the outcome of last year's game -- a 26-21 win for Victory Christian. The Conquerors won on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game when quarterback R.J. Wakley found Caleb Calhoon for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Both of those players are gone now for the Conquerors, who have to win to keep pace with Sperry in 2A-3. A win for Sperry creates a winner-take-all showdown with Beggs in week 10.
10. A No. 3 Minco (6-1) at Christian Heritage (4-3): District A-3 never disappoints when it comes to top-notch matchups each week, so it's no surprise to see this game crack the top 10. Despite being in third place in A-1 right now, Minco has given up the fewest amount of points in the district at 70. Christian Heritage isn't far off with 95. With Crossings Christian and Cashion atop the district standings, the winner of this one at least feels more secure in nabbing a playoff spot. Also, Christian Heritage is 3-0 all-time against Minco with the last game between the two being played in 2009.
Edmond Santa Fe at Westmoore: The Wolves are looking to bounce back from last week's 35-7 loss to Broken Arrow. A win over Westmoore for Edmond Santa Fe would create a clash against Jenks for second place in 6AI-1 next week.
Muskogee at Booker T. Washington: Muskogee's two losses have been by a combined three points this season. Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to struggle on offense, and they just lost a receiving weapon in DJ Jones for the rest of the season.
Mustang at Owasso: Mustang desperately needs to win to keep its playoff hopes alive. Owasso is 3-1 in 6AI-2, but the Rams are issuing 24.7 points per game.
Weatherford at Cache: Weatherford can work its way back into 4A-1 contention with a win. For Cache, it's been quite a week with Arthur McDonald appearing on national shows with his highlight-reel TD run.
Idabel at Stigler: Idabel hammered Stigler last year, 62-10. But 3A-3 has proven to be chaotic every single week, so expect an outcome that further mucks up the 3A-3 standings.
Seminole at Checotah: More 3A-3 craziness here. At this point, both of these teams need victories to stay in postseason contention. Seminole is 4-1 against Checotah, but they haven't met since
Kellyville at Prague: Ponies and Red Devils -- what a combo. District 3A-2 has proven to be pretty deep, and someone among Meeker, Prague, Kellyville and Okemah will miss the playoffs. The outcome of this one could help determine who advances beyond the regular season.
Commerce at Rejoice Christian: Commerce's Chris Ibarra is coming off a monster week against Oklahoma Union last week -- 18 carries, 301 yards, four touchdowns. And that doesn't even account for his defensive contributions. The Ibarra vs. Andrew Crow showdown at running back should be a fun one to watch.
Oklahoma Bible Academy at Hooker: District A-1 is all but a done deal if Hooker wins. Oklahoma Bible Academy can make it an interesting final few weeks among Hooker, Fairview and itself with a win.
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.
*Photo courtesy of Chance Batey/Bristow
| Ben Johnson
Whitt and I have reached red-alert status for this season. If we're not careful, we may be stripped of our picking duties. Either that, or our picks will be distributed for pure comedy.
Week 4 picks - Swisher 15-3 | Coach Turney 16-2 | Whitt 15-3 | Ben 13-5
Overall - Swisher 66-25 | Turney 64-27 | Ben 57-34 | Whitt 57-34
My apologies in advance to the teams I pick below:
Midwest City at Stillwater
Michael Swisher: Stillwater 28, Midwest City 17
Ben Johnson: Stillwater 37, Midwest City 32
Whitt Carter: Stillwater 34, Midwest City 27
Randy Turney: Stillwater 34, Midwest City 20
Heritage Hall at John Marshall
Michael Swisher: Heritage Hall 24, John Marshall 22
Ben Johnson: John Marshall 20, Heritage Hall 18
Whitt Carter: Heritage Hall 27, John Marshall 14
Randy Turney: Heritage Hall 24, John Marshall 21
Booker T. Washington at Bixby
Michael Swisher: Booker T. Washington 27, Bixby 20
Ben Johnson: Bixby 21, Booker T. Washington 20
Whitt Carter: Bixby 21, Booker T. Washington 20
Randy Turney: Bixby 28, Booker T. Washington 20
Altus at Ardmore
Michael Swisher: Ardmore 23, Altus 17
Ben Johnson: Ardmore 20, Altus 19
Whitt Carter: Ardmore 35, Altus 21
Randy Turney: Ardmore 21, Altus 20
Tahlequah at Skiatook
Michael Swisher: Skiatook 24, Tahlequah 14
Ben Johnson: Tahlequah 24, Skiatook 20
Whitt Carter: Tahlequah 35, Skiatook 31
Randy Turney: Skiatook 28, Tahlequah 21
Lincoln Christian at Seminole
Michael Swisher: Lincoln Christian 31, Seminole 21
Ben Johnson: Lincoln Christian 27, Seminole 19
Whitt Carter: Lincoln Christian 42, Seminole 28
Randy Turney: Lincoln Christian 22, Seminole 14
Davenport at Dewar
Michael Swisher: Davenport 41, Dewar 33
Ben Johnson: Davenport 37, Dewar 22
Whitt Carter: Davenport 52, Dewar 42
Randy Turney: Davenport 48, Dewar 40
Berryhill at Locust Grove
Michael Swisher: Berryhill 30, Locust Grove 29
Ben Johnson: Berryhill 29, Locust Grove 20
Whitt Carter: Berryhill 28, Locust Grove 21
Randy Turney: Berryhill 34, Locust Grove 21
Yukon at Edmond Santa Fe
Michael Swisher: Edmond Santa Fe 31, Yukon 20
Ben Johnson: Edmond Santa Fe 24, Yukon 17
Whitt Carter: Edmond Santa Fe 27, Yukon 17
Randy Turney: Edmond Santa Fe 21, Yukon 14
Yale at Regent Prep
Michael Swisher: Regent Prep 42, Yale 28
Ben Johnson: Regent Prep 38, Yale 30
Whitt Carter: Regent Prep 38, Yale 32
Randy Turney: Regent Prep 38, Yale 14
Crescent at Crossings Christian
Michael Swisher: Crescent 29, Crossings Christian 24
Ben Johnson: Crossings Christian 27, Crescent 23
Whitt Carter: Crossings Christian 24, Crescent 20
Randy Turney: Crossings Christian 28, Crescent 20
Jones at Meeker
Michael Swisher: Jones 35, Meeker 20
Ben Johnson: Jones 42, Meeker 27
Whitt Carter: Jones 36, Meeker 28
Randy Turney: Jones 34, Meeker 22
Clinton at Weatherford
Michael Swisher: Clinton 18, Weatherford 14
Ben Johnson: Clinton 22, Weatherford 17
Whitt Carter: Weatherford 24, Clinton 18
Randy Turney: Weatherford 22, Clinton 20
Broken Bow at Hilldale
Michael Swisher: Hilldale 21, Broken Bow 20
Ben Johnson: Hilldale 27, Broken Bow 21
Whitt Carter: Hilldale 34, Broken Bow 28
Randy Turney: Hilldale 22, Broken Bow 14
Woodward at Bishop McGuinness
Michael Swisher: Bishop McGuinness 31, Woodward 14
Ben Johnson: Bishop McGuinness 33, Woodward 22
Whitt Carter: Bishop McGuinness 37, Woodward 21
Randy Turney: Bishop McGuinness 38, Woodward 20
Memorial at Collinsville
Michael Swisher: Collinsville 28, Memorial 17
Ben Johnson: Collinsville 23, Memorial 12
Whitt Carter: Collinsville 28, Memorial 13
Randy Turney: Collinsville 22, Memorial 21
Union at Mustang
Michael Swisher: Union 28, Mustang 26
Ben Johnson: Union 37, Mustang 17
Whitt Carter: Union 27, Mustang 16
Randy Turney: Union 38, Mustang 18
| Ben Johnson
District play has arrived in full force, and there are great games all over the state this week.
Narrowing down the list to the top 10 games wasn't easy, but here it is:
1. 6AII No. 2 Midwest City (3-1) at 6AII No. 1 Stillwater (4-0): In a loaded Class 6AII District 1, the winner here has to feel good about having the inside edge to a district title. The Bombers, having beaten Stillwater four of the last six matchups since 2012, topped the Pioneers in a 35-21 clash last season. In that game, Midwest City quarterback Preston Colbert accounted for 234 yards through the air, including three touchdowns. For good measure, he also rushed for two scores. Last week, Lawton's Miles Davis torched Midwest City for 181 yards and two touchdowns, and now Stillwater will deploy Qwontrel Walker, who rushed for 300-plus yards against Deer Creek last week.
2. 3A No. 1 Heritage Hall (3-1) at 3A No. 2 John Marshall (4-0): Heritage Hall's Billy Ross is closing in on 2,000 career rushing yards. John Marshall quarterback Jerod Leviston is closing in on 1,000 yards through the air this season. And while the offenses may have superb star power, it's the defense stealing the spotlights here. Heritage Hall has only given up 51 points -- most coming in a 30-20 loss to Millwood. John Marshall has yielded only 28 points -- most recently only giving up 10 in a 76-10 win over Bridge Creek last week. These two -- both reigning state champions: Heritage Hall (4A) and John Marshall (3A) -- have met in non-district play the last two seasons with the Chargers winning both. Now they get to square off with district supremacy on the line.
3. 6AII No. 4 Booker T. Washington (2-2) at 6AII No. 3 Bixby (3-1): Rematch of last year's 6AII title game -- one that saw Booker T. Washington come from behind to win. Both teams showcase stellar defensive units. Bixby is led by Ryan Kerr, Brody Sartin, Ethan Hall, Noah West and others, while Booker T. Washington's defense is led by Dax Hill, one of the nation's top recruits who just committed to Michigan. The key for both teams will be finding offensive success. Bixby will lean on quarterback Mason Williams, tailback Braden Roller and wideout Brennan Presley. Booker T. Washington was without its top tailback, Thomas Grayson, against Bartleville last week, and primary quarterback Dwight Hamilton also suffered an arm injury against the Bruins. If Hamilton is unable to go, the Hornets are likely to turn to Tai Dobbins. These two clubs have met every year since 2014, and the Hornets have won three of the five games.
4. 5A No. 3 Altus (4-0) at 5A No. 2 Ardmore (4-0):†This might end being the quickest game of the week. Lots and lots of running and by a multitude of players. The Bulldogs have had at least seven players carry the ball at least 16 times and for more than 130 yards to this point in the season. And six of those seven have found the end zone. Ardmore has five -- Cameron Petties, Tero Roberts, Jadrien Monor, Jermaine Scallion and Eean Ross -- primary ball carries, all of which have shared the ball for more than 1,100 yards. Since 2010, Altus and Ardmore have shared district space, and Ardmore has gone 5-2 in those contests.
5. 5A No. 7 Tahlequah (4-0) at 5A No. 4 Skiatook (4-0): Two of the most unheralded players in the state -- Tahlequah's Dae Dae Leathers and Skiatook's Jayden Garner -- will battle it out this week. Leathers and the Tigers rushing attack has been nearly impossible to stop, and Skiatook has been extremely balanced on offense with Garner and Cody Evans at quarterback. One area where Skiatook could have the advantage is defense; the Bulldogs have given up only 19 points through four games. Twice opponents have scored 20 or more points against the Tigers.
6. 3A No. 4 Lincoln Christian (4-0) at 3A No. 7 Seminole (4-0): Much like Heritage Hall and John Marshall, Lincoln Christian and Seminole spent the last two seasons playing as non-district foes (with Lincoln Christian winning both). Seminole will undoubtedly turn to Cameron Gunville (761 yards on 70 carries) in the ground game, while Lincoln Christian will spread it around, thanks to quarterback Chase Ricke (875 yards, 10 TDs on 41 of 69 attempts), tailback Brendyn Harris (402 yards on 66 carries) and Sam Brueggemann (436 yards on 14 catches).
7. B No. 2 Davenport (4-0) at B No. 4 Dewar (4-0): Jacob Acord and Stevie Orr have been nothing short of stellar on the offensive side of the ball for Davenport. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs' defense remains tough to crack. These two teams put on a show last year in a 44-42 win for Davenport.
8. 3A No. 3 Berryhill (4-0) at 3A No. 9 Locust Grove (4-0): Here's a solid matchup of two quarterbacks that don't get the credit they deserved. Berryhill's Cody Ross has tossed for 750 yards and six touchdowns while completing 46 of 80 attempts. For Locust Grove, Caden Bendabout is completing 71 percent (54 of 76) of his passes for 865 yards and seven touchdowns. These two teams have met every year since 2013, and Locust Grove has won three of the five, although Berryhill has won the last two (a 46-14 win last year).
9. 6AI No. 6 Yukon (4-0) at 6AI No. 4 Edmond Santa Fe (4-0): The winner here might announce itself as a potential threat to Broken Arrow, Jenks or Union at the top of 6AI. The Wolves have won the past seven games dating back to 2011, and they'll test Yukon's defense with Kanan Hansen at quarterback.
10. B No. 7 Yale (4-0) at B No. 3 Regent Prep (3-0): Yale hasn't gotten the credit it deserves this season, but that'll end if it's able to knock off Regent Prep. The Rams' Braden Gilbert has thrown for 957 yards and 14 touchdowns while completing 37 of 57 passes this season. The two teams have only met once, and Yale won 38-14 in 2011.
Crescent at Crossings Christian: Another week, another big showdown in District A-3. These two haven't met since 2015 with the series tied 2-2.
Jones at Meeker: Meeker's unbeaten start will be tested with these two clubs facing off for the first time since 2009.
Clinton at Weatherford:†These two Interstate-40 rivals have met every year since 1957, including several some memorable playoffs showdown. Weatherford won last year's meeting 30-7.
Broken Bow at Hilldale: Hornets have beaten Broken Bow two years in a row, including last year's 21-6 decision.
Woodward at Bishop McGuinness: Woodward hasn't beaten Bishop McGuinness since 1996. The Irish have won the last seven matchups between the two clubs.
Memorial at Collinsville: Jamoni Jones rushed for 300-plus yards against East Central last week, but now he'll face a test in the Cardinals' stout defense. Collinsville's defense has been a lockdown unit since allowing 250-plus yards to Bartlesville's DeAndre Young in week two.
Union at Mustang: Union has won all six games against Mustang in the series between the two. Three times it has finished as a one-possession game, but Union won last year 48-28.
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.
*Photo by Jimmy Gillespie/Stillwater NewsPress
Skordle shorts: Piedmont, Midwest City, Crossing Christian, Grove post big wins, plus news and notes
| Ben Johnson
Piedmont upends Weatherford
Quarterback Dylan Hampton scored on a 5-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter, and Piedmont was able to hang on for a 21-10 victory over the Eagles in Week 2. The win over Weatherford was Piedmont's first since 2004, and it also helped the Wildcats atone for a season-opening loss to El Reno.
"Our kids played extremely hard and found a way," Piedmont coach Trent Worley said. "There were very resilient. Defense was outstanding all night."