Oklahoma Bible Trojans
Enid, OK 73703
Record: 6-1 | Unranked
|@ Thomas - Fay - Custer||L||40-7|
|vs Arlington Grace Prep||W||35-6|
|vs Justice Alma Wilson||W||49-8|
|@ OK Christian Academy||W||13-36|
| Ben Johnson
It's time for fall break, and some district titles could be decided this week.
Here's what's on tap:
1. 6AII No. 4 Midwest City (5-2) at 6AII No. 3 Del City (6-1): District 6AII-1 has become a three-team race, and this one will go a long way in deciding whether it's a two-horse race or not. If Midwest City wins, it remains a three-team sprint to the end -- so long as Del City knocks off Stillwater in two weeks. A win for Del City sets up a clash for district supremacy on Nov. 2. Midwest City has dominated this matchup with five straight wins dating back to 2013. Overall, Midwest City is 35-16 against its long-time rival.
2. 4A No. 2 Tuttle (7-0) at 4A No. 3 Blanchard (6-1): Buckle up for Blanchard tailback Bryce Madron against Tuttle's defense, which has yielded only 56 points this season. Also, can Blanchard slow down Tuttle quarterback Carson Berryhill? A win for Tuttle all but wraps up the 4A-2 crown. Since 2011, Blanchard has won four of the seven meetings, but before Tuttle had won all 13.
3. 4A No. 4 Bristow (7-0) at 4A No. 5 Wagoner (6-1): This had all the looks of two unbeaten teams clashing for district bragging rights up until Oologah upset Wagoner in overtime last week. Another loss all but keeps Wagoner from winning the 4A-3 crown, and it would be the first time since 2011 that the Bulldogs hadn't claimed a district title. As for Bristow, quarterback Tyler Wayland leads a dynamic rushing attack that's powered by a demoralizing offensive line. The Bulldogs will counter with Schyler Adair in the backfield.
4. 4A No. 7 Broken Bow (6-1) at 4A No. 1 Poteau (7-0): When it comes to two teams not liking one another, here is exhibit A. And this time the District 4A-4 title is up for grabs. A win for Broken Bow all but secures the district title, whereas Poteau still has Hilldale looming on the schedule. Neither one of these teams has given up more than 48 points this season, so don't expect a wild, high-scoring shootout. Poteau and Broken Bow have met every year since 1996, and it's been Poteau with wins in five victories in the last seven seasons.
5. 5A No. 6 Duncan (7-0) at 5A No. 2 Ardmore (7-0): The similarities are striking between these two. Both are 4-0 in 5A-1. Duncan has scored 268 points this season, compared to Ardmore's 267. Then on defense, the Tigers have given up 51 points, whereas Duncan has issued 53 points to opposing teams. So the only question remains is what prevails in the game: Duncan's balanced offensive attack or Ardmore's nonstop rushing attack? Ardmore has won five straight against the Demons, including a 28-7 victory last season.
6. 2A No. 3 Vian (6-1) at 2A No. 6 Holland Hall (5-2): These two generated a memorable showdown during the 2016 playoffs when Holland Hall edged past the Wolverines, 27-26. This time, however, Vian has River Simon and Bodhi Vann back as seniors with the 2A-5 title on the line. The winner can start preparing for the fourth-place finisher in 2A-6.
7. 3A No. 1 Heritage Hall (6-1) at 3A No. 6 Kingfisher (5-2): A Charger victory all but nails down the 3A-1 district title. A win for Kingfisher creates chaos at the top of the district with Heritage Hall, Kingfisher and John Marshall in a three-team clash to the end. The Yellowjackets have scored an average of 38.7 points per game, but can their defense slow down Conner Carey and Billy Ross on the other side of the ball?
8. B No. 6 Laverne (6-1) at B No. 1 Shattuck (6-0): Perhaps the first of two matchups this season? That's how it's gone the past two years. Laverne and Shattuck have squared off in district play -- both games won by Laverne -- and twice in Class B title games -- split between the two schools -- since 2016. Only wrench in the plans this year could be Seiling, a team sitting there unbeaten in B-1 play like Laverne and Shattuck.
9. 2A No. 2 Sperry (7-0) at Victory Christian (6-1): Pure excitement surrounded the outcome of last year's game -- a 26-21 win for Victory Christian. The Conquerors won on a Hail Mary pass at the end of the game when quarterback R.J. Wakley found Caleb Calhoon for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Both of those players are gone now for the Conquerors, who have to win to keep pace with Sperry in 2A-3. A win for Sperry creates a winner-take-all showdown with Beggs in week 10.
10. A No. 3 Minco (6-1) at Christian Heritage (4-3): District A-3 never disappoints when it comes to top-notch matchups each week, so it's no surprise to see this game crack the top 10. Despite being in third place in A-1 right now, Minco has given up the fewest amount of points in the district at 70. Christian Heritage isn't far off with 95. With Crossings Christian and Cashion atop the district standings, the winner of this one at least feels more secure in nabbing a playoff spot. Also, Christian Heritage is 3-0 all-time against Minco with the last game between the two being played in 2009.
Edmond Santa Fe at Westmoore: The Wolves are looking to bounce back from last week's 35-7 loss to Broken Arrow. A win over Westmoore for Edmond Santa Fe would create a clash against Jenks for second place in 6AI-1 next week.
Muskogee at Booker T. Washington: Muskogee's two losses have been by a combined three points this season. Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to struggle on offense, and they just lost a receiving weapon in DJ Jones for the rest of the season.
Mustang at Owasso: Mustang desperately needs to win to keep its playoff hopes alive. Owasso is 3-1 in 6AI-2, but the Rams are issuing 24.7 points per game.
Weatherford at Cache: Weatherford can work its way back into 4A-1 contention with a win. For Cache, it's been quite a week with Arthur McDonald appearing on national shows with his highlight-reel TD run.
Idabel at Stigler: Idabel hammered Stigler last year, 62-10. But 3A-3 has proven to be chaotic every single week, so expect an outcome that further mucks up the 3A-3 standings.
Seminole at Checotah: More 3A-3 craziness here. At this point, both of these teams need victories to stay in postseason contention. Seminole is 4-1 against Checotah, but they haven't met since
Kellyville at Prague: Ponies and Red Devils -- what a combo. District 3A-2 has proven to be pretty deep, and someone among Meeker, Prague, Kellyville and Okemah will miss the playoffs. The outcome of this one could help determine who advances beyond the regular season.
Commerce at Rejoice Christian: Commerce's Chris Ibarra is coming off a monster week against Oklahoma Union last week -- 18 carries, 301 yards, four touchdowns. And that doesn't even account for his defensive contributions. The Ibarra vs. Andrew Crow showdown at running back should be a fun one to watch.
Oklahoma Bible Academy at Hooker: District A-1 is all but a done deal if Hooker wins. Oklahoma Bible Academy can make it an interesting final few weeks among Hooker, Fairview and itself with a win.
So who wins all the matchups? Check back for our weekly picks on Thursday.
*Photo courtesy of Chance Batey/Bristow
| Ben Johnson
Look back at 2017
2017 district champs
A-1: Thomas - The Terriers hit the half-century mark in district titles with an unbeaten run against A-1 foes. A 20-0 win over Hooker set the stage for a district crown, and that was part of the Terriers' 10-game winning streak, which continued into December. But Afton derailed Thomas' playoff run in the semifinals.
A-2: Watonga - A September win over Cordell proved to be the deciding factor for the A-2 crown for Watonga. The Eagles went on to avenge a season-opening loss against Okeene with a win to open the playoffs, but then Watonga was dispatched from the postseason in the next round against Oklahoma Christian Academy.
A-3: Ringling - The Blue Devils knocked off Apache to begin district play, and they rolled the rest of the way against A-3 opponents. Ringling's playoff run lasted until the second round when Hooker moved on to the quarterfinals.
A-4: Minco - Led by Cole Burchfield in the backfield, Minco motored to the district title last year. Eleven straight wins, including six in district play, preceded Minco's run to the Class A quarterfinals, where the Bulldogs were beaten by Afton.
A-5: Crescent - Cashion, Pawnee and Morrison were no match for the Tigers during district play. Crescent manhandled every opponent it faced in its first 14 games, including wins over Cashion (54-14), Morrison (51-24) and Pawnee (35-14) during the regular season. The Tigers' unbeaten run, though, came to a halt in the Class A title game, which ended with a 44-12 loss to Afton.
A-6: Kiefer - The Trojans started the season 0-4, but a 34-14 win over Woodland in late September turned Kiefer's season around. Kiefer, Woodland and Hominy all finished atop the district at 5-1, but it was the Trojans who prevailed, thanks to district points. Kiefer, though, was bounced quickly from the playoffs, a 28-0 loss to Morrison in the opening round of the postseason.
A-7: Afton - The Eagles labored through a stout district -- that included Rejoice Christian, Barnsdall and Hulbert -- and emerged unscathed. A 22-20 victory over Rejoice Christian in mid October propelled Afton a district title, and from there the Eagles went into cruise control the rest of the season. In the playoffs, Afton outscored its opponents 214 to 46.
A-8: Talihina - Led by seniors Heath Humphreys and Sooner Box, the Tigers coasted to the A-8 crown. Talihina dismantled Central Sallisaw, 36-0, in a showdown of the district's top two teams. The Tigers finished the regular season 9-1 and beat Barnsdall in the opening round of the playoffs before being upset by Hominy in the second round.
Talking title game: Afton 44, Crescent 12
Afton quarterback Wil Amos put on a show for the ages. Crescent had no answer for Amos on either side of the ball, with the Eagles' senior signal caller racking up 418 yards and six touchdowns on 39 carries to lead Afton to its first football championship. Amos added an interception on defense, while the Eagles held Crescent to 196 yards of offense.
On to 2018...
Players to watch
- Landon McCracken (Apache): An offensive stalwart during his junior season in 2017. He passed for 2,591 yards and 29 touchdowns while completing 202 of 309 passes. He also ran for 776 yards and eight touchdowns on 92 carries.
- Griffin Lamb (Cashion): While leading Cashion to a 9-3 season, Lamb was the Wildcats' offensive catalyst. He racked up 2,250 yards and 31 touchdowns through the air while completing 66.3 percent (138 of 208) of his passes.
- Hunter Bowers (Crescent): The Tigers' junior quarterback was a driving force in getting Crescent to the Class A championship game. An ankle injury limited his output in the title game, but his numbers all season long were outstanding. He passed for 2,250 yards and 34 touchdowns with 121 completions on 195 attempts. He also mixed in 1,052 yards and 22 touchdowns on 129 carries.
- Tanner McBee (Hooker): A difference maker on both sides of the ball. He amassed 1,165 yards and 17 touchdowns on 207 carries, and on defense he collected 68 tackles and three interceptions.
- Karder Neville (Hooker): As a junior, Neville reeled in 40 receptions for 731 yards and eight touchdowns. He also totaled 80 tackles and three sacks on defense.
- Nathan Malchaski and Garrett Malchaski (Dibble): Defensive pair racked up a ton of tackles in 2017. Nathan, a sophomore last season, had 126 tackles and four tackles, while Garrett notched 115 tackles and four tackles as a junior.
- Tyler Grove (Wynnewood): Sophomore season saw Grove blossom into a solid contributor with 882 yards and 10 touchdowns passing. On defense, he hauled in four interceptions, and he also punted 15 times with a 35.8 yard average.
- Josh Harvey (Healdton): There were 121 tackles on defense during his sophomore campaign to go with 440 yards and seven touchdowns on 69 carries on offense.
- Dylan Roach (Hominy): Burst onto the scene during his junior season. He racked up 2,264 yards and 31 touchdowns on 155 carries. However, he did that while leading Prue to an 11-3 season, and he's transferred to Hominy for his senior season.
- Blake Hipp (Hominy): The signal caller alongside Roach in the backfield. A 6-foot-2, 180-pound senior who passed for 1,753 yards and 22 touchdowns last season, on top of rushing for 547 yards and nine touchdowns on 101 carries.
- Joe Smith (Barnsdall): Came up just short of 1,000 yards during his junior season. He piled up 951 yards and 12 touchdowns on 91 carries.
- Tommy Smith (Gore): The 5-foot-11, 210-pound senior was a key cog on both sides of the ball as a junior in 2017. He ran the ball 210 times for 1,409 yards and 20 touchdowns, and he added 79 tackles and an interception.
- Josh Factor (Kiefer): At middle linebacker, Factor racked up 103 tackles as a sophomore last season for the Trojans.
- Andrew Crow (Rejoice Christian): Emerged as the Eagles' primary threat out of the backfield with 1,054 yards and 20 touchdowns in 2017.