First-Round Matchups to Watch
by Steven Reese (@stevenreese33)
11/11/2021 8:45:29 AM
posted in: Articles | 1,545 views

This is the best time of the year. 

College football calls it “Championship November.” 

But best of all, it’s that way for high school football as well. 

The most fun part about it is that there are 88 playoff games around the state of Oklahoma that you can attend.

And if your team is in the mix, even better! From the district winners to the teams that barely punched their ticket into the playoffs, it’s a whole new slate for everyone. 

And just like March Madness, everyone has a chance to win it all in the high school football playoffs. 

Here are my top five games this week including my predictions for these -tier matchups. 

Bishop McGuinness 6-4 (3rd in 5A-2) @ Ardmore 9-1 (2nd in 5A-1) 

Bishop McGuinness finished third in its district? That may not be that big of a deal. However, the one thing fans in Oklahoma have to remember is that this is one of the toughest districts not only in 5A, but in the entire state. 

When you have teams like Carl Albert, Guthrie, Piedmont and Lawton Eisenhower in the same district, you know it’s always some intense competition. 

All of these teams have been well represented and have well-rounded athletic programs. 

The Irish, however, have a very tough road test this Friday. Ardmore is no sleeper. In fact, the Tigers finished in the top-five in 5A and they are known to be a tough opponent to beat on their

home field. 

The Irish are out for blood though, which is why I have them pulling off the upset. All four of their losses have been by one possession. 

Two of those losses were 35-34 to both Carl Albert and Guthrie. I think the Irish will finally become clutch and they just could be the 5A Cinderella squad. 

Owasso 8-2 (3rd in 6AI-2) @ Broken Arrow 7-3 (2nd in 6AI-1) 

It’s unbelievable that Owasso didn’t even get second in its district. 

After all, the Rams are averaging around 45 points a game. 

The Rams just had a couple of shocking close losses, a 10-7 slugfest to Union in overtime anda surprising shootout with Mustang, 47-41. This team may just be a few plays away from being undefeated right now. 

The Broken Arrow Tigers have to be happy with getting to play at home in the first round considering they had to travel to Owasso earlier this year. 

The Rams had no problem winning that game 42-3, but the Tigers have been hot since they lost to Jenks on Oct. 1. 

They closed out the regular season with five straight wins.

I think Broken Arrow will play much better this Friday since it’s a home game, but Owasso will still pull through. 

In my predictions that I get the pleasure of doing with Whitt Carter and Jayce Osmus of Skordle, that makes the Tigers one of the two teams in 6A-I that I have winning on the road this week. 

My other road team is Edmond Santa Fe over Mustang. 

Blanchard 7-3 (3rd in 4A-2) @ Bethany 8-2 (2nd in 4A-1)

Blanchard is another third-place team you can’t sleep on. 

The Lions almost escaped top-ranked Tuttle last week, but fell short 14-13. 

On top of that, the Lions played a really good 5A Noble team and fell by just two touchdowns to Cushing. 

Cooksey has done incredible at quarterback for the Lions and he’s only a sophomore. He is definitely the face and future of this program. 

The Bethany Bronchos rolled their way through 4A-1 right up until they traveled to Clinton last week. 

Clinton definitely showed the Bronchos which team owned the district by shutting them out 49-0. 

While Bethany had a huge improvement from last year, I still have Blanchard winning this game. 

Bethany does have a fun atmosphere and it can get wild. But ultimately, Cooksey and the Lions offense will get the job done and advance. It will be a close game though.

Bristow 8-2 (3rd in 4A-3) @ Broken Bow 9-2 (2nd in 4A-4)

This is my 4A upset special, but both of these teams have had very successful seasons. 

After the opening loss to McAlester, Broken Bow managed to get on an eight-game winning streak, but lost to 4A-4 winner Poteau 59-16. Regardless, the Savages did finish second in the district which is still very impressive. 

The Pirates are just three possessions away from being undefeated. 

They lost to a much improved Cushing team 35-26 and almost upset Grove. 

Not to mention, they won a slugfest to the defending 4A champion Wagoner Bulldogs, 3-0. 

This is a 4A Cinderella squad to watch out for. I think they will get out of their close-loss slump and pull out the road victory. 

Noble (3rd in 5A-1) @ Guthrie (2nd in 5A-2) 

Who would’ve ever thought we would be talking about these two teams in the playoffs? I certainly didn’t. 

Noble went 4-7 last season. Guthrie just managed to get in a decent spot in the playoffs last year partly because of some of the games were canceled. 

Plus, everyone could choose to be in the playoffs last year as well. 

The Bears had statement wins over Blanchard, Piedmont (5A opponent), and an upset win at Ardmore. 

This has definitely been one of the more surprising teams in 5A this year. 

All Oklahoma high school fans know that winning at Ardmore is not even close to being an easy task. 

Overall, I have Guthrie winning this matchup. 

The Bluejays fell just short to rival and defending 5A state champion Carl Albert, 22-19. 

On top of that, they managed to beat other rival McGuinness 35-34 as well as Lawton Eisenhower 28-10. 

Not only do I think the Bluejays will win this matchup, but they could make a deep run in the playoffs.  

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