This week is full of rivalries, rivalries and more rivalries. Let’s talk about the fact that there’s another #1 vs #2 matchup, a 5A rivalry featuring the top two teams in their district already having two losses and the classic Mid-Del showdown. There is a lot to look forward this week and you definitely won’t want to miss any of the action.
1. #1 Bixby 5-0 (2-0 in 6AII-2) @ #2 Choctaw 4-1 (2-0 in 6AII-2)
Revenge? A rematch of the 2020 6AII state championship? A fight to claim first in the district? Yeah, this is no doubt the best game of the week and possibly the game of the whole regular season. This is also one of the biggest home games for Choctaw in its school history. I’m also pretty sure almost the entire state of Oklahoma - outside of Bixby - will be rooting for the Yellowjackets to take down the two-time defending state champion Bixby Spartans. This game will determine a lot of seeding implications, but this could once again be the title game. The top-ranked Spartans just came off of yet another blowout win against a Putnam City West team that didn’t score until the fourth quarter in a game that was 67-0 at halftime. But we can’t forget about two weeks ago when Choctaw claimed a statement win against Booker T. Washington, 29-20. Out of all of the Yellowjackets’ four wins, this was the one they needed the most considering BTW is just behind them in the rankings at #3. Will this be the year Choctaw dethrones Bixby?
2. #6 Carl Albert 3-2 (2-0 in 5A-2) @ #7 Bishop McGuiness 3-2 (2-0 in 5A-2)
Are the Titans back already? After all, it sure seems like they woke up after dropping their first two to Midwest City and Del City. The embarrassing one though was when Eagles of Del City came to Carl Albert and hung 52 points on the Titans. Not to mention that Carl Albert only had a single touchdown in the second half. But since then, the Titans have gotten at least halfway back to themselves. A rivalry win on the road at Guthrie last week? That was the first test. Now they have to go to one of the hardest places in all of 5A. If they steal another one on the road Friday night against the Irish, this will turn from a “rebuilding year” to another championship year really fast. And to surprise everyone on a “rebuilding year”? That’s the definition of a top-tier football program. The Irish also lost to Del City earlier this year and they don’t have any quality wins on their résumé. But they are the Irish and they are at home and they desperately want revenge against the Titans. This game not only has a big say in who wins the district championship, but it’s also been a state championship preview. Carl Albert has defeated the Irish in the last two 5A title games and four of the last five. Anything can happen. I’ve heard from a Carl Albert graduate that this is probably the most heated rivalry in all of 5A.
3. #3 Booker T. Washington 4-1 (1-1 in 6AII-2) @ #4 Sand Springs 5-0 (2-0 in 6AII-2)
As mentioned, the Hornets lost a close one in Choctaw a couple weeks back. But if you’re a Hornet fan, you shouldn’t be too upset about that loss since it’s a very talented Yellowjacket team. The Hornets had a big bounce back win at home over Bartlesville 63-0. The blowout was largely behind phenomenal rushing performances by DJ McKinney and Ethan Washington, who each had a pair of rushing touchdowns and over 100 rushing yards. You can’t complain about that one bit if you’re a Hornet fan. Something that will be interesting though is how the Hornets will respond from a road atmosphere because you know Sand Springs will be fired up to garner a statement win.
4. Midwest City 4-1 (2-0 in 6AII-1) @ #5 Del City 4-1 (2-0 in 6AII-1)
This is the classic Mid-Del rivalry, but few expected either one of these squads to have the kind of season they’re having right now. I didn’t think we would be talking about even one of these teams beating Carl Albert. But the beauty of high school and college sports is upset after upset. The Eagles have statement wins over Carl Albert, Bishop McGuiness and Stillwater, which is why they have journeyed their way into the top-five in 6AII. A win at home against their top rival could put them up even higher depending on how the teams ahead of them perform.
5. #8 Bristow 4-1 (2-0 in 4A-3) @ #5 Grove 5-0 (2-0 in 4A-3)
Talk about a battle between a high-power offense and a high-power defense. Last week, Bristow scored its only three points in the fourth quarter and managed to win 3-0. You don’t hear that kind of score very often. Also a reminder that Wagoner is the defending 4A state champion. Not allowing a single point against Wagoner says a lot. Ever since losing their opener to Cushing, the Pirates of Bristow have allowed an average of 10 points a game. That could be a challenge to Grove. The Ridgerunners may have a high scoring offense, but they are lacking on defense. Having homefield advantage will help the Ridgerunners tremendously, but Bristow has had momentum as well.