Oologah, OK 74053
Record: 5-6 | Unranked
| 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
The playoffs are here! Well, not quite but for some teams it will feel that way. Some teams are playing to extend their seasons while some are playing to better position themselves for long postseason runs. Week 10 is always a whirlwind, so buckle up and hold on!
Here's what's on tap:
1. 6AII No. 1 Stillwater (9-0) at 6AII No. 4 Del City (7-2): It has been a day or two since Stillwater last laid claim to a district championship. Since 1995 to be exact. Pioneers can clinch the District 6AII-1 title with a win. A Del City victory (plus a Midwest City win over PC West) creates a three-way tie at the top of the district with district points deciding the champion. Stillwater is 2-0 against Del City, but they haven't played since 2007.
2. 5A No. 1 Carl Albert at 5A No. 4 Bishop McGuinness (8-1): If these two are squaring off, there's always something significant on the line. Last season it was the Class 5A championship. This time, it's for 5A-2 supremacy. The winner claims the district crown. For Carl Albert, it would two years in a row. For the Irish, it would be the third district title in four years.
3. A No. 2 Cashion (9-0) at A No. 3 Minco (8-1): Take the Stillwater-Del City playoff scenario and apply it here. Cashion wins the District A-3 title with a win. A victory for Minco creates a logjam atop the district with Crossings Christian off for the way and cemented at 7-1 in the district. A Cashion win also moves Minco to third.†
4. 2A No. 2 Sperry (9-0) at 2A No. 4 Beggs (8-1): It's been 77 years -- SEVENTY. SEVEN. -- since Sperry was 9-0. The Pirates have won a district title more recently than that (1992), but it's still been a long time for that, too. Beggs, on the other hand, is coming off a runner-up finish in Class 3A, so this is familiar territory for the Demons. The winner here claims the District 2A-3 title, and the loser finishes second. The quarterback matchup -- Sperry's Beau Tell against Beggs' Dalton Spring -- should be a good one, too.
5. 3A No. 3 John Marshall (8-1) at 3A No. 7 Kingfisher (6-3): Winner finishes second in 3A-1 and gets a home playoff game. Loser finishes third and hits the road -- likely to Plainview -- in the first round of the playoffs.
6. 4A No. 8 Hilldale (8-1) at 4A No. 1 Poteau (9-0): Poteau will have to reverse a recent trend if it wants to win District 4A-4. The Pirates can win the district with a win, but a Hilldale victory likely creates a three-team tie atop the standings with Broken Bow also involved. The streak Poteau has to end is its losing ways to Hilldale, who has beaten the Pirates four times in a row, dating bcak to 2010. Poteau's last win over Hilldale was 2009.
7. 6AI No. 7 Owasso (5-4) at 6AI No. 5 Putnam City North (8-1): Neither one can catch Union in 6AI-2, but the Panthers can lock up second place with a win over Owasso, the reigning 6AI champion. An Owasso win likely means the Rams, PC North finish in a tie for second and resort to district points. A win for PC North would be its first ever against Owasso. The Rams are 4-0 all-time against PC North.
8. 5A No. 7 Tahlequah (8-1) at 5A No. 9 Claremore (6-3): This one is simple enough -- winner gets second place in 5A-4, the loser finishes third. The running back battle between Tahlequah's Dae Dae Leathers and Claremore's Jace Hightower should be fun to watch.
9. 6AII No. 2 Bixby (8-1) at 6AII No. 7 Muskogee (6-3): Regardless of records, it seems as though Bixby always struggles with Muskogee. The Spartans have secured the 6AII-2 title and can look toward a home playoff game next week, while Muskogee needs a win to finish third in 6AII-2.
10. 5A No. 5 Altus (8-1) at 5A No. 10 Duncan (8-1): Same at the Tahlequah-Claremore game -- winner gets second place, loser finishes third.
Edmond Santa Fe at Norman: The Wolves are in the playoffs, but a win would assure a third-place finish. A Norman victory gives the Tigers a chance to make the playoffs with Westmoore headed to Jenks.
Ada at Edison: Winner finishes second in 5A-3, loser gets third since both Edison and Ada are vastly ahead of McAlester in district points.
Clinton at Cache: The Red Tornadoes are no strangers to district titles with 38, according to Iwasatthegame.com. Yet, Clinton hasn't won one since 2011. Cache hasn't won one since 1983. It's a winner-take-all game in 4A-1.
Oologah at Catoosa: A Catoosa win likely means third place and would leave Bristow and Wagoner to settle the district title. An Oologah victory likely means Bristow, Wagoner and Oologah finish tied for the district title, and would likely go to Bristow based on district points.
Checotah at Lincoln Christian: Well, the best way to describe the District 3A-3 standings is jumbled. But don't over-think it. More likely than not, Seminole, Stigler and Idabel should bag victories this week, so this game will decide whether there's a five-way tie for first place or a three-way tie for second place. Either way, it's all about district points at that stage.
Locust Grove at Vinita: After Berryhill at the top of this district, it gets a bit chaotic. Vinita need to win to keep its playoff hopes alive, whereas Locust Grove claims second place with a win.
Lindsay at Kingston: Even if Lindsay wins here, Kingston will have wrapped up its first district championship since 1987. That's how sizeable Kingston's district points lead is.
Panama at Holland Hall: The Dutch win a district title with a win over Panama, whereas a Panama victory likely hands the district title to Vian.
Christian Heritage at Crescent: Someone's season will end here. District A-3 is deep so this game will decide who finishes fourth. Crazy to think Crescent could go from Class A runner-up to out of the playoffs, but that's the scenario headed into this week's slate of games.
Pawhuska at Pawnee: Pawnee has to win to keep its playoff hopes alive. A Pawhuska win would assure the Huskies of third place in District A-5.
Hobart at Frederick: Simple enough on this one. The winner claims the District A-2 title and the loser finishes second.
Ringling at Apache: Did you read the Hobart-Frederick breakdown? Same thing applies here. Would be Ringling's eighth straight district title.
Gore at Central Sallisaw: Gore is looking for its first district championship since 2011. A Central Sallisaw win would give it a chance at a district title for the first time since 2001.
Weleetka at Wetumka: District B-5 will be decide in this one. Winner gets first place, loser gets second place.
Regent Prep at Foyil: These two clubs have played some stout defense this year, giving up only a combined 112 points in 17 games. The better defense here will help its win a district championship. The loser of the game stays home for the playoffs but won't claim a district title.
Paoli at Graham-Dustin: Winner claims the District C-4 championship. Loser finishes second.
*Photo courtesy of Jason Elmquist/Stillwater NewsPress
| Ben Johnson
Full slate of games greets us on this last week of August. Rejoice! Also, fans of Swisher, Coach Turney and myself will be happy to know we tied at 11-5 last week. Whitt is lagging way behind at 10-6.
OK, let's do this. Week 1 picks for your enjoyment:
Heritage Hall at Millwood
Michael Swisher: Millwood 31, Heritage Hall 28
Ben Johnson: Heritage Hall 24, Millwood 23
Whitt Carter: Millwood 34, Heritage Hall 21
Randy Turney: Heritage Hall 24, Millwood 20
Midwest City at Carl Albert
Michael Swisher: Midwest City 33, Carl Albert 29
Ben Johnson: Midwest City 35, Carl Albert 34
Whitt Carter: Carl Albert 27, Midwest City 24
Randy Turney: Midwest City 28, Carl Albert 14
Coweta at Wagoner
Michael Swisher: Wagoner 22, Coweta 12
Ben Johnson: Coweta 32, Wagoner 29
Whitt Carter: Coweta 41, Wagoner 37
Randy Turney: Coweta 21, Wagoner 14
Del City at Bishop McGuinness
Michael Swisher: Bishop McGuinness 31, Del City 17
Ben Johnson: Bishop McGuinness 28, Del City 23
Whitt Carter: Del City 27, Bishop McGuinness 26
Randy Turney: Bishop McGuinness 28, Del City 10
Kingfisher at Tuttle
Michael Swisher: Tuttle 29, Kingfisher 20
Ben Johnson: Tuttle 37, Kingfisher 22
Whitt Carter: Tuttle 34, Kingfisher 28
Randy Turney: Tuttle 21, Kingfisher 20
Holland Hall at Cascia Hall
Michael Swisher: Cascia Hall 21, Holland Hall 14
Ben Johnson: Cascia Hall 33, Holland Hall 23
Whitt Carter: Cascia Hall 31, Holland Hall 17
Randy Turney: Cascia Hall 20, Holland Hall 14
Laverne at Alex
Michael Swisher: Laverne 34, Alex 30
Ben Johnson: Laverne 47, Alex 28
Whitt Carter: Laverne 28, Alex 20
Randy Turney: Laverne 36, Alex 14
Oologah at Collinsville
Michael Swisher: Collinsville 16, Oologah 7
Ben Johnson: Collinsville 30, Oologah 27
Whitt Carter: Collinsville 37, Oologah 35
Randy Turney: Collinsville 17, Oologah 14
Norman at Norman North
Michael Swisher: Norman North 38, Norman 14
Ben Johnson: Norman North 30, Norman 13
Whitt Carter: Norman North 41, Norman 24
Randy Turney: Norman North 21, Norman 17
Mansfield Lake Ridge (Texas) at Union
Michael Swisher: Union 28, Mansfield Lake Ridge 19
Ben Johnson: Union 26, Mansfield Lake Ridge 23
Whitt Carter: Mansfield Lake Ridge 28, Union 17
Randy Turney: Union 24, Mansfield Lake Ridge 10
Mansfield (Texas) at Broken Arrow
Michael Swisher: Broken Arrow 22, Mansfield 20
Ben Johnson: Broken Arrow 28, Mansfield 17
Whitt Carter: Broken Arrow 24, Mansfield 21
Randy Turney: Broken Arrow 35, Mansfield 17
Mansfield Legacy (Texas) at Jenks
Michael Swisher: Mansfield Legacy 31, Jenks 20
Ben Johnson: Mansfield Legacy 23, Jenks 13
Whitt Carter: Mansfield Legacy 28, Jenks 20
Randy Turney: Mansfield Legacy 20, Jenks 14
Mustang at Yukon
Michael Swisher: Mustang 31, Yukon 28
Ben Johnson: Yukon 27, Mustang 26
Whitt Carter: Mustang 37, Yukon 22
Randy Turney: Mustang 24, Yukon 7
Altus at Lawton
Michael Swisher: Lawton 23, Altus 20
Ben Johnson: Lawton 29, Altus 17
Whitt Carter: Lawton 42, Altus 21
Randy Turney: Lawton 28, Altus 7
Owasso at Fayetteville (Ark.)
Michael Swisher: Owasso 31, Fayetteville 30
Ben Johnson: Owasso 41, Fayetteville 20
Whitt Carter: Owasso 30, Fayetteville 27
Randy Turney: Owasso 17, Fayetteville 14
Ada at Ardmore
Michael Swisher: Ardmore 33, Ada 14
Ben Johnson: Ardmore 32, Ada 17
Whitt Carter: Ardmore 37, Ada 24
Randy Turney: Ardmore 32, Ada 20
Idabel at Broken Bow
Michael Swisher: Broken Bow 31, Idabel 20
Ben Johnson: Broken Bow 20, Idabel 13
Whitt Carter: Broken Bow 28, Idabel 16
Randy Turney: Broken Bow 21, Idabel 20
Jones at Lincoln Christian
Michael Swisher: Lincoln Christian 30, Jones 17
Ben Johnson: Lincoln Christian 44, Jones 37
Whitt Carter: Lincoln Christian 41, Jones 27
Randy Turney: Jones 34, Lincoln Christian 14
Commerce at Adair
Michael Swisher: Adair 28, Commerce 20
Ben Johnson: Commerce 26, Adair 23
Whitt Carter: Commerce 21, Adair 14
Randy Turney: Adair 28, Commerce 7
Thomas at Alva
Michael Swisher: Alva 28, Thomas 24
Ben Johnson: Thomas 35, Alva 33
Whitt Carter: Thomas 34, Alva 13
Randy Turney: Thomas 14, Alva 13
Crescent at Morrison
Michael Swisher: Morrison 23, Crescent 17
Ben Johnson: Morrison 24, Crescent 16
Whitt Carter: Crescent 35, Morrison 31
Randy Turney: Crescent 31, Morrison 28
Rejoice Christian at Crossings Christian
Michael Swisher: Rejoice Christian 42, Crossings Christian 21
Ben Johnson: Rejoice Christian 41, Crossings Christian 21
Whitt Carter: Rejoice Christian 28, Crossings Christian 24
Randy Turney: Rejoice Christian 34, Crossings Christian 18
Pioneer at Coyle
Michael Swisher: Coyle 38, Pioneer 31
Ben Johnson: Coyle 44, Pioneer 40
Whitt Carter: Pioneer 32, Coyle 20
Randy Turney: Coyle 41, Pioneer 20
Regent Prep at Prue
Michael Swisher: Regent Prep 44, Prue 40
Ben Johnson: Regent Prep 51, Prue 32
Whitt Carter: Prue 21, Regent Prep 18
Randy Turney: Regent Prep 48, Prue 6
Let us know what you think. Tweet your predictions to us at @Skordle.