Woodward, OK 73801
Record: 2-8 | Unranked
|@ Bishop McGuinness||L||55-14|
|@ Carl Albert||L||56-7|
| 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
| Ben Johnson
BROKEN ARROW -- Some results over the weekend were stunning. But none near as shocking as the news from Broken Arrow to start the week.
In a release from the school on Monday morning, Broken Arrow announced it was stripping David Alexander of his head coaching duties. A move no one saw coming, including Alexander himself.
Two years after leading the Tigers to their first state championship, Alexander, 56, now finds himself without a head coaching gig. He went 60-23 in seven seasons and finished with a state runner-up finish in 2015.
“We appreciate and thank coach Alexander for his dedication and time with the program," said Chuck Perry, associate superintendent of student services, in a statement released by the district.
"His legacy has been cemented in the fact that he came home to his high school alma mater and was the first coach to take the program to the top of the mountain. After much consideration, though, we feel the timing is right and is in the best interest of the district to move in a new direction.”
Alexander gradated from Broken Arrow in 1982.
The district said the search for the next head coach begins immediately.
| Korry Rogers
We are back! A good week for Whitt last week, who is still too far behind to matter.
We are one week closer to handing out gold balls, so let’s fire off some more picks for the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds!
Last week (overall):
Whitt: 16-3 (87-36)
Swish: 13-6 (91-32)
Ben: 13-6 (95-28)
WEEK 3 - PLAYOFF GAMES & PICKS
| Ben Johnson
PLAYOFF GAMES - WEEK 2 - PICKS
Broken Arrow @ Union
Westmoore @ Santa Fe
| Ben Johnson
What we saw last week was technically the playoffs. Now it starts for real and we have some thoughts to share...
Quick playoff snapshot from the Skordle guys…
Most dangerous team
- Bixby (Class 6AII) - Duh! Most likely the best team in the state, regardless of class. Braylin Presley is the real deal. Good luck to anyone playing the Spartans.
Class 4A: Emmanuel Crawford (Grove) - Sophomore running back should start catching eyeballs real quick. Grove has a tough path through Hilldale and potentially Weatherford, but the Ridgerunners are a team to keep an eye on moving forward.
- Kind of taking this the opposite direction because I’ve heard chatter about some thinking Central will beat Lincoln Christian. I don’t see it. KT Owens and Co. are good but not good enough to take down the Bulldogs.
Class 2A - Atoka Wampus Cats - That’s too easy! Eufaula Ironheads is always solid, too.
Don't count this team out
Class 2A - Kellyville - Trevor Jones is rock solid at running back and Colton Ayres is solid at QB. Ponies take on a quality OCS team, and the winner should like its chances in that quadrant of the 2A bracket.
6AI - Owasso
6AII - Bixby
5A - Carl Albert
4A - Wagoner
3A - Holland Hall
2A - Vian
A - Cashion
B - Dewar
C - Timberlake
Most dangerous team - Choctaw (6AII) - Yes, Bixby is the best team. We all know that. Nobody’s arguing it. But Choctaw has just enough talent to be that dangerous sleeper. Not upset alert…but dangerous enough. Bixby has blown out everyone this year except Jenks (not a bad 6AI team if you weren’t aware) and….Choctaw. The Yellow Jackets played them within 11 in the regular season.
Best first-round matchup - Newcastle at Tuttle (4A) - Piedmont and El Reno is intriguing. So is Booker T. and Midwest City. However, this matchup between friendly(?) neighbors is Week 2 rematch that saw the Tigers escape 24-21.
Upset alert - OSSAA - Yeah, I took the easy way out and didn’t pick a team. But, in all seriousness, if we are able to get through this season and these playoffs, it will be an upset of sorts for it to have been pulled off. I took an unofficial poll prior to the season starting asking some fellow media members if they felt a football season would even take place. It ranged from “no” to “probably shouldn’t, but it’s possible.” There were no straight up “yes” answers. God bless anyone who has been affected directly or indirectly by COVID, and I mean that, but we needed football.
Don’t count this team out - Shattuck (B) - Yes, the Indians got BLASTED by Laverne in the final week of the regular season. Sure, maybe it’s not all “sunshine and rainbows” way out west. However, it’s still Shattuck. The three-time defending state champs have pulled off the improbable before. Am I saying it’s going to happen again? No, but don’t count them out.
Dream matchup - Pawhuska vs. Cashion (A) - Pawhuska is putting up numbers this year that would make most basketball coaches envious. Led by Bryce Drummond, the Huskies average 69.5 - YES, 70! (rounded up of course) - points a game. Cashion, meanwhile, prefers to not surrender points and only gives up 8.5 a game. It’s strength vs. strength if these two meets - as we suspect - in the Class A semifinals. The opposite units aren’t bad either. Cashion scores 48.6 a game while the Huskies give up 15.3. It has all the makings of a matchup classic. Of course, a win only puts you in the finals. The victor could very well get defending champ Ringling the next week.
6AI - Owasso
6AII - Bixby
5A - Carl Albert
4A - Weatherford
3A - Holland Hall
2A - Vian
A - Cashion
B - Laverne
C - Timberlake
Most dangerous team
| Ben Johnson
Story by Whitt Carter
Sulphur’s Logan Smith showed early on in his career that he had a chance to be a special player.
The 6-foot-1, 200 lb. senior always possessed elite speed and good size for a running back at the Class 3A level.
But did he ever think he would join the conversation as one of the best ever at Sulphur?
“Being in that category with some studs is crazy to think about,” he said. “Those are the guys I looked up to as a kid.”
Crazy as it sounds, Smith certainly has a seat at the table, as he currently leads the entire state – all classes – in rushing through the end of the regular season.
Smith has carried 173 times for 2,018 yards and 27 touchdowns, which are eye popping numbers at any level.
He is 304 yards ahead of Luke Tarman from Bishop McGuinness, the closest rusher to the distant Bulldog leader.
For Smith, his success this season can be attributed to a multitude of things, especially the guys he has around him and the creative play-calling from the Sulphur coaches.
“I have a lot of trust in my offensive line,” he said. “And the rest of the offense, too. And believing in coach (Corey) Cole to put us in the best spot for success on that specific down.”
Many that watch Sulphur each year and each week have seen Smith improve each year, but especially this season, where he took a huge jump from being very good to great.
“I just tried to stay dedicated in the weight room and have a focused mindset on what I wanted to accomplish in football and this season,” he said.
Smith thinks the weight room has been his biggest friend and key to his success, as it is something he has gone all-in on each day.
“Getting in there and working will eventually play a tremendous role in your success,” he said. “It is a big part of my everyday life and has made the biggest impact on the field for me.”
Strength and conditioning, along with track, has helped the senior develop top-level speed and agility, something he puts on display seemingly each week, as he is truly a big-play waiting to happen.
Smith has 18 touchdowns this year of 40 yards or more, including 11 in the last four games.
He has also rushed for over 300 yards in back-to-back games, including a 312-yard, six touchdown performance last Friday night in the win over Lone Grove, which followed a win over Plainview in which Smith racked up 351 yards and four scores.
“I think my strengths as a runner are my size, speed and vision,” he said. “And having the awareness to know when to cut or not.”
He also is a big-time weapon in the passing game, catching 15 passes for 204 yards and three touchdowns this season. Smith also has a 53-yard punt return for a score.
The senior also has the luxury of having an offensive line that is experienced, and also, improving each week, helping pave the way for over 320 rushing yards per game as a team.
“I’d say the offensive line is the main reason why I have every yard I do,” Smith said. “They have done a great job and without them I wouldn’t have a single yard.”
Spoken like a true leader, which is something Sulphur head coach Jim Dixon has praised Smith for adopting as he has gotten older, developing into the leader for the 2020 Bulldogs.
“I try to focus on being a leader on an off the field and working hard no matter what happens that day,” he said. “I was fortunate enough to see guys like Trey (Kiser) lead us when I was younger and that’s just what I try to do.”
That’s how Smith wants to leave his legacy among the Sulphur greats, for leading the way and continuing to lead by example.
“I want to be remembered for my work ethic and leadership and honestly, how I impacted our team’s success,” he said.
What that success becomes is still yet to be determined, as the Dogs now shift focus to the playoffs.
But for Smith and his teammates, there is only one goal in mind.
“We want to win a state championship,” he said. “When you are at Sulphur, that’s the goal every year.”
How Smith envisions his team giving themselves a chance at accomplishing their ultimate goal is really no surprise.
“We have to stay true to what we do and trust in what we have been doing all year,” he said. “And we know if we keep working hard, we will give ourselves a shot.”
Photo credit: DeJay Arms
| Ben Johnson
Jenks @ Westmoore
PC North @ Stillwater
Booker T @ Bixby
Lawton Mac @ Ardmore
Tahlequah @ Collinsville
Tuttle @ Blanchard
Poteau @ Broken Bow
Wagoner @ Skiatook
Lincoln @ Stigler
Kingfisher @ Anadarko
Sulphur @ Lone Grove
Vinita @ Verdigris
Adair @ Claremore Seq.
Christian Heritage @ Washington
Prague @ Chandler
Crescent @ Cashion
Thomas @ Texoma
Shattuck @ Laverne
Regent Prep @ Davenport
Midway @ Sasakwa
| Michael Swisher
By John Hardaway - I Even Eat BBQ on Pizza
Someplace I like to eat – Jo’s Famous Pizza
Jo’s Famous Pizza is one of my favorite pizza places in Oklahoma.
I visit the Edmond location regularly and will continue to do so forever. It’s a great place with awesome staff and service who will go beyond and above to continue earning your business.
I have also been to the original Jo’s in Purcell a handful of times and it’s never disappointed either.
What makes Jo’s so great in my opinion is the incredible crust that’s flaky and buttery every time. They also only use fresh ingredients for toppings.
They have all the classic pizzas. If you like Pepperoni Pizza, you probably won’t find a better one around!
The entire top is going to be covered in pepperonis and the best part is the pepperoni grease works down into the crust.
As for the specialty pizzas, I love the Cowboy (it’s BBQ, a shocker, I know) and the Taco. Trust me, it’s so good, but must be for dine-in only because of the cold lettuce topping it needs to be eaten immediately.