All I can say is, what a crazy week for a first-round slate.
Choctaw and Del City both getting upset at home in 6A-II, Cushing getting upset at home in 4A, Broken Arrow getting revenge against Owasso in 6A-I and Bishop McGuinness finally get its way at Ardmore in 5A action.
Those were all of the notable games that shook up the brackets in the 2021 playoffs.
Just by looking at the two major upsets in 6A-II, the road to four straight state championships for Bixby looks even brighter.
But this second week of the playoffs could be even more chaotic. Here are my top games for the week as well as my predictions for those games:
6AI Semifinal Game: Broken Arrow 8-3 (2nd in 6AI-1) vs Tulsa Union 10-1 (1st in 6AI-2) *Game being played at Owasso
Now this is exciting. Another rematch for the Broken Arrow Tigers? What a journey for this team!
They passed the first rematch test last week against Owasso, but will they pass the second one this week?
Besides getting shutout 22-0 by Jenks, this Union squad really hasn’t had any trouble during the 2021 season. Union had to fight out an overtime slugfest with Owasso earlier in the year, but ended up pulling it off 10-7.
But other than that, no problem for the Union faithful. Union matched up against Broken Arrow in a non-district game, winning 38-28.
The one thing Oklahoma high school football fans have to remember is that before Broken Arrow pulled off the 41-40 win last week against Owasso, the Rams blew by Broken Arrow 42-3 earlier this season.
Senior running back Maurion Horn had 33 carries for 207 yards and two touchdowns in the shootout last Friday night.
While Union has had a tremendous season, I think the Tigers will continue their Cinderella run, upset Union and make it to the state championship.
5A Quarterfinal Game: Coweta 10-1 (2nd in 5A-3) @ Carl Albert 9-2 (1st in 5A-2)
This has been another strong season for the Coweta Tigers. Their only loss this year was a blowout when they hosted the McAlester Buffaloes.
A 33-2 loss may look bad on the Tigers’ schedule, but keep in mind that McAlester finished #1 in the 5A rankings this year.
Also let me tell you football fans about Gage Hamm really quick.
The 6-foot-3 senior has been everywhere! He has a total of 1,828 passing yards, 24 passing touchdowns, only one interception, 419 rushing yards and four rushing touchdowns.
Can we also talk about junior wide receiver Mason Ford? He can run the ball as well.
He may only have 305 rushing yards, but he has six scores on the ground as well as 12 touchdown receptions. Are you kidding me? This is a stacked offense.
But who would’ve thought Carl Albert would be in the position they are in?
I mean, after all, the five-time defending state champions did lose a majority of their squad from last season. It was supposed to be a rebuilding year, right?
Well, we all thought wrong. The Titans bounced back from an 0-2 start and have won nine straight, claiming the district once again.
Not to mention they had two huge road wins at both of their rivals’ fields.
First they traveled to Guthrie and won 22-19, then they stole another one at Bishop McGuinness, 35-34. Talk about a magical season. Wow.
This will be a nail biter, but I think Coweta’s offense pulls through and wins. Yes, I have taken a lot of risky picks as you have seen from the picks from me and the rest of the Skordle staff.
But this Coweta squad looks dangerous.
4A Quarterfinal Game: Wagoner 9-2 (2nd in 4A-3) @ Tuttle 11-0 (1st in 4A-2)
The defending state champions have had a challenging season in 2021, but 9-2 is still very solid for the Bulldogs.
There has been a few games where they’ve had to escape and come in clutch to get the job done.
They definitely had a “just win and survive” contest last week when the Bulldogs hosted Hilldale and escaped the upset with a 37-35 nail-biting win.
The Bulldogs also had to play some hard defense against an average Tahlequah team to win on the road 21-7.
Overall, it still has been a very good year for the defending champs.
There is one other word besides “championship” that is on the top-ranked Tigers’ minds and that is “revenge.”
Wagoner hosted Tuttle in the 2020 quarterfinals. Even though Wagoner won 21-14, the Tigers were the toughest opponent Wagoner went up against during the championship run.
This Tiger team this year is different, however. Through all of their 11-win, undefeated season, the Tigers have allowed an average of just over 6 points a game. That’s barely a touchdown every game. That’s definitely some insanity.
This will be very close, but I have the Tigers pulling away in a slugfest with their high power defense.
4A Quarterfinal Game: Blanchard 8-3 (3rd in 4A-2) @ Poteau 10-1 (1st in 4A-4)
Yep, you guessed it. Another 4A matchup.
Plus, the winner of this game will play in the 4A semifinals against the winner of Wagoner at Tuttle. Could we see a rivalry rematch of Blanchard-Tuttle? That would be a blast, wouldn’t it?
The Lions have had a tough season and have lost two close ones to their rivals Cushing (27-13) and Tuttle (14-13).
But last week, Blanchard went into Bethany against a much improved Broncho team and pulled off the upset, 24-21.
It just looked like they were due for a clutch win because of the close bad luck they had recently. It was a huge road win for the Lions last week.
Poteau has come into this season angry after a shocking 17-10 loss at home against Clinton in the playoffs last year.
The high-scoring Pirates have averaged just over 44 points a game this year. The Pirates had no problem in their first round game at home, blowing out Catoosa 56-14.
It will be a really great matchup and Blanchard will keep it close. But Poteau will win by at least two touchdowns.
4A Quarterfinal Game: Bristow 9-2 (3rd in 4A-3) @ Clinton 10-1 (1st in 4A-1)
The Bristow Pirates has been a surprise this year after going 8-4 last year.
And how about last week? They went into the first round at Broken Bow and blew them out 55-6.
Earlier this year, the Pirates won a huge slugfest win against the defending state champion Wagoner Bulldogs 3-0.
You also have the high scoring Clinton Red Tornadoes who have scored at least 40 points or more in their last seven games.
The biggest win has to be two weeks ago when they shutout Bethany 49-0 to win 4A-1.
You can’t sleep on the defense either. Besides their 39-24 non-district loss to 3A opponent Heritage Hall, the Red Tornadoes have only allowed around 7 points a game in all of their 10 wins this year.
This game is a must-watch though because of Bristow’s big upset wins this year. It will be a great and close game.
However, Clinton will march onto the semifinals to play the winner of Grove and 4A Cinderella Elk City.