Week Eleven 6A-II rankings and playoff predictions; a look at this weekend's games

The final eight were already decided going into last week's games, and now we have the final seeds for the fourth installment of the 6A Division Two playoffs.

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last Week No. 1) vs. No. 6 Putnam City Pirates (6)

The District Two Champions from Booker T. Washington (9-1, 6-0) will host Putnam City (7-3, 4-3). The Hornets won a relatively close (by their standards) 42-13 battle in Bartlesville (1-8, 1-5) while the Pirates won a solid 52-14 tuneup game in Enid (3-7, 1-6).

Washington's only loss this season was a 30-21 out-of-state exhibition with West Monroe, Louisiana (10-0). They even topped Midwest City 27-24 in overtime.

Putnam City played the tougher district and fell only 27-21 to Lawton and 39-32 to Stillwater but was dominated 32-14 by Midwest City. In their regular season finale AJ Newsome passed for 246 yards and four touchdowns with 38 yards on the ground for two touchdowns, all in the first half. 

The pick: BTW 46 Putnam 21.

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 8 Sand Springs Sandites (8)

The District One Champions from Midwest City (9-1, 7-0) won a solid 35-21 outing with Stillwater (8-2, 5-2) almost entirely on the ground. The Bombers combined for 151 rushing yards while Preston Colbert was 18-22-234-1 by air. They gave up 95 yards in penalties and had one fumble. The Bombers have lost only one game this season, by an overtime field goal to the top-ranked Hornets. 

Sand Springs (5-5, 3-3) fell 42-21 to the defending State Champions from Bixby (6-4, 5-1) but it was all knotted up at 21-21 going into the fourth quarter. They tied 7-7 in the first, the Spartans won a second quarter 14-0 shutout, and the Sandites did the same in the third. Caden Pennington was 3-12-19-1 by air while Payton Scott carried 29 times for 148 yards and all three Sandite touchdowns. 

The pick: MWC 33 CPHS 19.

No. 3 Lawton Wolverines (3) vs. No. 7 Muskogee Roughers (7) 

Last year's State Runners-Up made their way to the finals with a 35-28 semifinal victory over Muskogee. The Roughers (5-4, 4-2) will get a rematch this year, and they'll need to bring their A-game. The Wolverines (8-2, 6-1) are coming off a dominant 56-28 victory in Deer Creek (4-6, 2-5) that started with a 42-7 lead by the second period. Alihas Hopper was 21-26-238 passing with five touchdowns. Miles Davis had 203 yards and two touchdowns on eighteen carries.

Muskogee rediscovered their typically potent offense after a lackluster 27-14 win in Sapulpa (1-9, 1-5), drubbing Ponca City (1-9, 1-5) 51-19 on the road. Jacob Medrano was 16-18-305 with five touchdowns by air and Kristian Hillmon carried 11 times for 93 yards They gave up 115 yards in penalties, but had no turnovers. 

The pick: Lawton 48 Muskogee 35.

No. 4 Stillwater Pioneers (4) vs. No. 5 Bixby Spartans (5)

The three-time defending State Champions (6-4, 5-1) pulled out a winning season and home playoff game with their 42-21 fourth-quarter stand against the Sandites (5-5, 3-3) but they'll have their work cut out for them against Stillwater (8-2, 5-2) whose season has looked far cleaner and more consistent. 

There have been two Bixbys this season. One Bixby beat Jenks 35-18, Muskogee 38-23, Ponca 68-7, and Sand Springs 21-0. The other Bixby lost three-straight including a 37-35 upset in Putnam City. They only beat Bartlesville 37-21, and they were shutout 21-0 by Booker T. Washington. In their regular season finale they squandered a 21-7 lead and allowed the Sandites to tie it up with a third-quarter shutout before rallying in the fourth. Staton King was 19-29-212-1 passing and Tucker Pawley ran for 229 yards and five touchdowns on 41 carries. 

There's only one Stillwater and they can be counted on to show up. The Pioneers started on a five-win streak before falling 43-29 to Lawton, then went on another three-win streak before falling 35-21 to Midwest City. In their regular season finale they went down swinging with a 263-yard running performance and three touchdowns from Tyler Disidore. They also fumbled three times, turning over two of them.

The pick: Bixby 38 Stillwater 32

No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) 

Choctaw (6-4, 3-4) once again missed the playoffs by a hair with a winning record and solid season. They went 3-0 outside of their district, including an impressive come-from-behind 21-20 win against Sand Springs. They shut out Enid 37-0 and drilled Putnam West (1-9, 0-7) 45-17 in the season finale. 

Avg Score: 26-23

No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (10)

Deer Creek (4-6, 2-5) notched wins against 6A-I Southmoore and Edmond Memorial, as well as a 38-24 district win against Enid and a 34-7 performance against Putnam West. Their season finale was a 56-28 home loss to Lawton. 

Avg Score: 25-34

No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (11)

Enid (3-7, 1-6) won their opening two games 34-23 over Guthrie and 61-34 against Ponca City, and made headlines with a 49-42 double-overtime comeback win against Putnam City West who led 42-7 after three quarters. Despite a potent offense, that would be their only district victory and they closed the season with six-straight losses and a 52-14 finale against Putnam City. AJ Newsome passed for 246 yards and four touchdowns with 38 rushing yards and two touchdowns in the loss. 

Avg Score: 30-44

No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (12)

Putnam West (1-9, 0-7) won their season-opener 16-15 against Duncan, but wouldn't notch another win this year. They had a few solid performances, putting up 42 points against Enid and only falling 21-11 to Putnam City, but ended the year with a 45-17 loss to Choctaw. 

Avg Score: 15-38

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13)

Bartlesville (1-8, 1-5) found their lone win in game six, 9-2 against Sapulpa. They also defeated McAlester 30-25 in the season debut, but forfeited the game later due to an ineligible player. After the suspension, then resignation of their former head coach, the Bruins were in a holding pattern under interim coach Kyle Ppool. 

Avg Score: 16-39

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (14)

Sapulpa (1-9, 1-5) started the season with seven-straight losses before trouncing Ponca City 42-14. They had several solid performances, including a 27-20 game against Choctaw, and a 27-14 loss to Muskogee, but never could cross the finish line. They ended the year with a 54-13 loss to Broken Arrow and managed 132 rushing yards against 6A-I powerhouse team. 

Avg Score: 13-34

No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (15)

Ponca City (1-9, 1-5) edged out Bartlesville 14-12 in week five to avert a winless season and ended the year with a 51-19 battle against Muskogee. Justin Andrews was 20-44-254-1 passing for both Wildcat touchdowns. 

Avg Score: 14-44. 

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 68-18 (.791)
Last Week: 8-0 (1.00)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 58-15* (.794)
Last Week: 8-0 (1.00)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Ten 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

It's the last week of the regular season, and the eight playoff-bound teams have all clinched their berths. From District One it'll be Midwest City, Lawton, Stillwater, and Putnam City. District Two will advance Booker T. Washington, Bixby, Muskogee, and Sand Springs. The teams still have one last game to try and improve their seed. 

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last Week No. 1) vs. No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13)* District 2

Booker T. (8-1, 5-0) clinched the District 2 Championship last week with a 21-0 shutout of the defending State Champions from Bixby (5-4, 4-1). The Hornets held Bixby to 115 total yards, including 11 yards on 33 runs, thanks in part to seven sacks. Thomas Grayson ran 20 times for 131 yards and all three Hornet touchdowns came in the first half. Both teams gave up two interceptions apiece with no fumbles. 

Bartlesville (1-7, 1-4) was part of a record setting night, but at their expense. The Sand Springs Sandites (5-4, 3-2) dealt the Bruins a 55-13 loss, running for over 500 yards. Noah Sunday was 22-36-227-1 passing but their run game was held to 77 yards on 25 carries and they gave up one fumble. 

The pick: BTW 58 BHS 7.

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 4 Stillwater Pioneers (5)* District 1

The Bombers (8-1, 6-0) are one step closer to a District title after scoring a 46-25 win over Enid (3-6, 1-5). Their defense was slow-starting as both teams scored on their initial drives before the Bombers jumped ahead with five-straight touchdowns. Preston Colbert was 11-16-222-0 passing and Austin Anderson carried 19 times for 186 yards.

Stillwater (8-1, 5-1) is still in contention for the title after a 39-32 win against Putnam City (6-3, 3-3), but they'll need some help to get there. Not only will they need to beat Midwest City, but they'll also need Lawton to lose. It's impossible for the Pioneers to pass the Bombers in point-differential, so even with a fifteen-point win, they'll need the Wolverines to win by less than two points for Stillwater to host a playoff game. Tyler Disidore ran 18-110, Qwontrell Walker ran 17-111, and Garrett Leming was 11-74 in the back-and-forth affair. 

The pick: MWC 38 SHS 29.

No. 3 Lawton Wolverines (3) vs. No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (10)* District 1

Lawton (7-2, 5-1) is still in the running for the district title, but it's almost entirely out of their hands. Even with a fifteen-point win over Deer Creek (4-5, 2-4), they'll still need Stillwater to upset Midwest City by at least eight points. Last week they throttled Putnam City West (1-8, 0-6) 44-7. Deer Creek is coming off a 34-21 loss to Choctaw (5-4, 2-4).

The pick: LHS 47 DC 14.

No. 5 Bixby Spartans (4) vs. No. 8 Sand Springs Sandites (8)* District 2

The three-time defending State Champions (5-4, 4-1) suffered a 21-0 shutout at the hands of Booker T. (8-1, 5-0). Staton King was 7-21-104-2 passing and Tucker Pawley was held to 38 yards on 19 carries. All 21 of the Hornets' points came in the first half. The Spartans will clinch a home playoff game with a win. 

Sand Springs (5-4, 3-2) did what they do best and fed the ball to Payton Scott all night long against Bartlesville (1-7, 1-4). The senior star ran for 506 yards and seven touchdowns in the 55-13 beat down. The Sandites won the turnover battle with one pick and one fumble. The Sandites can still earn a home playoff game with an upset of Bixby and a Ponca City upset of Muskogee. 

The pick: BHS 38 CPHS 29.

No. 7 Muskogee Roughers (6) vs. No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (14)* District 2

Muskogee (4-4, 3-2) is coming off a lackluster 27-14 performance against Sapulpa (1-8, 1-5). Jacob Medrano was 18-27-203-0 passing and the Roughers were 37-139 on the ground. They'll clinch third place with a win and a Sandite loss, but if the Sandites upset Bixby it'll come down to point-differential and the Roughers have the lowest spread of the four post-season qualifiers. 

Ponca City (1-8, 1-4) is effectively out of contention, but they could still play the spoiler when it comes to post-season seeding. The Wildcats are coming off a 28-14 loss to Norman (1-8) and should theoretically be an easy win for the Roughers. However, the Wildcats have had some impressive offensive outings this season, scoring 34 against Enid and 21 against Booker T. 

The pick: MHS 39 PoHi 19.

No. 6 Putnam City Pirates (7) vs. No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (11)* District 1

Putnam City (6-3, 3-3) lost a 39-32 heart-breaker in Stillwater to seal them in at fourth in districts. The Pirates are bound for Booker T. in the post-season, but first they get a tuneup game against Enid (3-6, 1-5). A.J. Newsome was 19-33-268-0 passing while Keylhan Henderson led the ground game with 109 yards on 17 carries.

Enid (3-6, 1-5) is coming off a 46-21 loss to Midwest City (8-1, 6-0). Mason Skrimager was 27-37-191-2 passing.

The pick: PHS 40 EHS 23.

No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) vs. No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (12)* District 1

Choctaw (5-4, 2-4) won a 34-21 bout with Deer Creek (4-5, 2-4), but is out of playoff contention and shooting to end the year with a winning record. Putnam City West (1-8, 0-6) is coming off a 44-7 beat down from Lawton (7-2, 5-1) and is just hoping to avoid a winless district record.

The pick: CHS 35 PCW 21.

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (15) vs. Broken Arrow Tigers

Sapulpa (1-8, 1-5) wrapped up their district season with a 27-14 loss to Muskogee (4-4, 3-2) and will end the year against 6A-I Broken Arrow (5-4). The Chieftains were 24-106 on the ground and 8-16-76-1 by air against the Roughers. Broken Arrow is coming off a 49-7 victory over Edmond Memorial (1-8) led by Noah Cortes with 231 yards on the ground and Kejuan Tolbert with 173. 

The pick: BAHS 56 SHS 10.

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 60-18 (.769)
Last Week: 7-1 (.875)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 50-15* (.769)
Last Week: 8-0 (1.00)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Nine 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last Week No. 1) vs. No. 4 Bixby Spartans (3)* District 2

The Hornets (7-1, 4-0) reaffirmed their number one rank with a 40-0 shut out of Sand Springs (4-4, 2-2). They outperformed 450 yards to 155, with a 20-34-196-0 passing performance from Phillip Wheatley and a 24-164 ground game from Thomas Grayson. Dewanye Cooks Jr. recorded a 98-yard kickoff return to set the tone for the night. Defensively they recorded six tackles for loss, five sacks, and two fumble recoveries.

The three-time defending State Champions (5-3, 4-0) came out on top of a surprisingly close 37-21 battle in Bartlesville (1-6, 1-3). The Spartans had their lowest-scoring win since the season-opener against Jenks (4-4) despite recording a safety and two interceptions. 

The pick: BTW 39 Bixby 33.

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (11)* District 1

The District One favorites continued their dominating and undefeated district streak with a 32-14 win at Putnam City (6-2, 3-2). Midwest City (7-1, 5-0) was up 26-0 at halftime and 32-0 in the fourth quarter before allowing the Pirates to score. Preston Colbert was 15-18-329-0 passing and the Bombers added another 167 yards on the ground.

Enid (3-5, 1-4) fell in a 20-0 deficit against Stillwater (7-1, 4-1) before getting on the scoreboard and finishing 53-34. Mason Skrimager passed for 247 yards and ran for 69 yards with a combined four touchdowns. 

The pick: MWC 53 Enid 16.

No. 3 Lawton Wolverines (4) vs. No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (12)* District 1

Lawton (6-2, 4-1) put a 41-17 hammering on Choctaw (4-4, 1-4) and shouldn't have too much difficulty closing out the season for a second place finish in the district. Next up they'll take on Putnam City West (1-7, 0-5) who fell 34-7 to Deer Creek (4-4, 2-3) on Thursday. 

The pick: Lawton 50 PCW 18.

No. 5 Stillwater Pioneers (5) vs. No. 7 Putnam City Pirates (8)* District 1

Stillwater (7-1, 4-1) is still shooting for a district title after their 53-34 win in Enid (3-5, 1-4). If they can win out their next two games they can force a three-way tie for the title and the spot will be awarded on point differential. First they have to get past Putnam City (6-2, 3-2) who is coming off a 32-14 defeat against Midwest City. 

Gunnar Gundy was 7-12-89 passing while the Pioneer running backs did most of the work, racking up 422 yards in their win. Putnam City was held to 89 yards on 28 carries in their loss, and A.J. Newsome passed 18-40-191-2.

The pick: SHS 39 PHS 26.

No. 6 Muskogee Roughers (6)* vs. No. 15 Sapulpa Chieftains (15)* District 2

Muskogee (3-4, 2-2) took a bye week to recover after their close 40-34 shootout win with Sand Springs (4-4, 2-2) and will next have to get past Sapulpa (1-7, 1-4). In their game with the Sandites the Roughers gave up four fumbles and an interception but still managed to come out on top thanks to an 18-25-381-1 passing performance by Jacob Medrano. They were held to 91 yards on 28 carries. 

After falling 9-2 to previously winless Bartlesville (1-6, 1-3), the Sapulpa Chieftains rebounded with a vengeance in a 42-14 battle with Ponca City (1-7, 1-4). Eli Williams ran eleven times for 126 yards while three running backs combined for 149 yards. 

The pick: MHS 49 SHS 12.

No. 8 Sand Springs Sandites (7) vs. No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13)* District 2

Sand Springs (4-4, 2-2) lost their first shutout since 2011, 40-0 at Booker T. Washington (7-1, 4-0). Caden Pennington was 6-10-53-0 and Payton Scott was held to 96 yards on 20 carries. 

Bartlesville (1-6, 1-3) lost a surprisingly close 37-21 bout with Bixby (5-3, 4-0) despite giving up two interceptions and a safety. Noah Sunday was 22-45-236-2, and teams that pass that well have done fairly against Sand Springs well this season. 

The pick: CPHS 35 BHS 26.

No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) vs. No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (10)* District 1

Choctaw (4-4, 1-4) kept up with Lawton (6-2, 4-1) for most of the game, leading 17-14 in the third quarter before the Wolverines pulled ahead for a 41-17 win. Deer Creek (4-4, 2-3) hammered Putnam City West (1-7, 0-5) 34-7, jumping out to a 34-0 lead before letting their foes on the board. 

The pick: CHS 35 DC 28.

No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (14) vs. Norman Tigers

Ponca City (1-7, 1-4) will play an unusual late season non-district game at 6A-I Norman (0-8) where they'll hope to snap back from a 42-14 upset in Sapulpa (1-7, 1-4). Double-threat Ponca QB Justin Andrews was 15-31-195-0 passing and 23-146 rushing.

Norman is coming off a 59-7 loss to Broken Arrow (4-4) where they were held to 100 rushing yards on 25 carries and a 3-14-25-3 passing performance. 

The pick: PoHi 24 NHS 21.

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 53-17 (.757)
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 42-15* (.737)
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Eight 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last Week No. 1) vs. No. 7 Sand Springs Sandites (7)* District 2

The Hornets (6-1, 3-0) are coming off a bye week after a dominant 42-21 win against Muskogee (3-4, 2-2). Thomas Grayson rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns while Philip Wheatley was 10-19-226 passing. They picked off two passes and held the Roughers to 295 yards, forcing seven punts. Still battling the refs, they ended the night with 9 penalties for 98 yards. 

Sand Springs (4-3, 2-1) saw their four-straight streak come to a close in a back-and-forth 40-34 Homecoming loss to Muskogee. The Sandites jumped out to a 13-0 lead, the Roughers scored thirty-straight, then the Sandites scored 21 more to reclaim the lead. A 96-yard kick return and field goal gave Muskogee the final points of the game and the Sandites ran out of time in the Rougher red zone. 

The Sandites forced two fumbles, recovered four, posted six tackles-for-loss, and picked off one interception. Payton Scott was 34-199 rushing with two touchdowns while Caden Pennington had his breakout night passing 9-21-151-0 with three touchdowns.

The pick: BTW 42 CPHS 24.

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 8 Putnam City Pirates (8)* District 1

Midwest City (6-1, 4-0) remains undefeated in District 1 after a 61-25 win over Putnam City West (1-6, 0-4). The Bombers have dominated most of their foes this season, winning by an average score of 40-18. 

Putnam City (6-1, 3-1) won their second straight, doubling down on Deer Creek (3-4, 1-3) 48-24. The Pirates held only a 28-21 lead at halftime, but won the second half 20-3 behind A.J. Newsome's powerful passing abilities. The quarterback was 19-28-435-0 with six touchdowns but their run game was held to 69 yards on 25 carries. They gave up one fumble, offset by an interception. 

The pick: MWC 42 Putnam 23.

No. 3 Bixby Spartans (3) vs. No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13)* District 2

The three-time defending State Champions (4-3, 3-0) remained undefeated in districts with their biggest win of the season, 68-7 over Ponca City (1-6, 1-3). Tucker Pawley returned to the trenches for eight carries and 65 yards after missing three weeks with a knee injury. 

Bartlesville (1-5, 1-2) picked up their first win of the season, 9-2 against Sapulpa (0-7, 0-4). Noah Sunday was 12-23-81-0 passing while Deandre Young led the ground assault with fourteen carries for 111 yards and the lone touchdown. 

The pick: Bixby 65 Bartlesville 10.

No. 4 Lawton Wolverines (4) vs. No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9)* District 1

Lawton (5-2, 3-1) has rattled off three straight victories since their loss to Midwest City, most recently 54-28 at Enid (3-4, 1-3). They were held to a close 20-14 lead going into halftime before rapidly outpacing their hosts in the second half. Miles Davis ran 17-184 with three touchdowns.

Choctaw (4-5, 1-3) played a close game against Stillwater (6-1, 3-1), trailing only 28-24 in the fourth quarter before the Pioneers added one last touchdown for a final score of 35-24. 

The pick: Lawton 35 Choctaw 24.

No. 5 Stillwater Pioneers (5) vs. No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (11)* District 1

Stillwater (6-1, 3-1) fended off Choctaw 35-24 last week behind an ample run game. Tyler Disidore ran eleven times for 32 yards and three touchdowns while Qwontrell Walker amassed 193 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. 

Enid (3-4, 1-3) kept up with Lawton till halftime but was ultimately swept away 54-28. Telin Phillips and Khalid Lee combined for 148 rushing yards and two touchdowns while Mason Skrimager passed 19-36-182-2 with two touchdowns.

The pick: Stillwater 38 Enid 23.

No. 6 Muskogee Roughers (6)* District 2

Muskogee (3-4, 2-2) won a key 40-34 district shootout in Sand Springs (4-3, 2-1) and shouldn't have any further obstacles in reaching the playoffs. The Roughers gave up four fumbles, an interception, and a pair of turnovers on downs and still managed to trump the Sandites. Jacob Medrano was 18-24-381-1 with all four Rougher touchdowns. They will have a week off to adjust and work out their miscues before taking on Sapulpa (0-7, 0-4). 

No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (10) vs. No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (12)* District 1

Deer Creek (3-4, 1-3) had a rough night last week, falling 48-24 to Putnam City (6-1, 3-1). They kept to the ground most of the night, running 44 times for 221 yards, and passed 14-27-131-1. They won the turnover battle 2-1 and gave up only 35 yards in penalties but couldn't handle the lethal Wolverine offense.

Putnam West (1-6, 0-4) took a heavy 61-25 hit against Midwest City (6-1, 4-0) for their sixth-straight loss. The won their season opener 16-15 against 5A Duncan (3-4) and nearly defeated Enid in week four before blowing a 42-point lead. 

The pick: DC 27 PCW 23.

No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (14)* vs. No. 15 Sapulpa (15)* District 2

Ponca City (1-6, 1-3) suffered their worst loss of the season, 68-7 at Bixby (4-3, 3-0) and will hope to get back in action with winless Sapulpa (0-7, 0-4). Justin Andrews was 13-32-174-0 passing and the Wildcats were held to 39 yards on 28 carries. 

Sapulpa took on previously winless Bartlesville (1-5, 1-2) and were defeated 9-2. Their lone points came on a safety after a bad snap sent an intended punt into the Bruin end zone. 

The pick: Ponca 18 Sapulpa 13. 

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 47-16 (.746)
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 37-14* (.725)
Last Week: 7-0 (1.00)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Seven 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last week No. 1)* District 2

The Hornets (6-1, 3-0) got a big obstacle out of the way in Muskogee (2-4, 1-2) and will have a bye week to recover before taking on Sand Springs in Week Eight. 

On Friday they handily doubled down on the Roughers 42-21. Thomas Grayson rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns while Philip Wheatley was 10-19-226 passing. They picked off two passes and held the Roughers to 295 yards, forcing seven punts. Still battling the refs, they ended the night with 9 penalties for 98 yards. 

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (12)* District 1

Midwest City (5-1, 3-0) continued to show off their defensive might with a 27-3 beatdown of Choctaw (4-2, 1-2). Oklahoma-commit Jalen Redmond had four tackles-for-loss as the Bombers held Choctaw to 171 offensive yards. 

Putnam West (1-4, 0-2) suffered a blowout against undefeated Stillwater (5-0, 2-0) falling 49-7. The Patriots attempted only three passes and didn't complete any. They were 44-246 on the ground, but gave up three fumbles and 159 yards in penalties. 

The pick: MWC 49 PCW 7.

No. 3 Bixby Spartans (3) vs. No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (14)* District 2

The three-time defending State Champions (3-3, 2-0) notched another district win 48-10 in Sapulpa (0-6, 0-3). Staton King passed 11-17-198-0 while Braden Roller and Vic Griffin combined for 198 yards on the ground. Defensively they held the Chieftains to 30-22 rushing yards and only eight first downs. They were up 48-0 to start the fourth quarter before sending in the backups. 

Ponca City (1-5, 1-2) had their homecoming sabotaged 42-7 by Sand Springs (4-2, 2-0). Double-threat sophomore quarterback Justin Andrews was 12-25-102-1 passing and 24-83 rushing to account for 65% of the Wildcat offense. He scored the lone touchdown for his team with three minutes remaining against the Sand Springs reserves. 

The pick: Bixby 55 Ponca 9.

No. 4 Lawton Wolverines (5) vs. No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (10)* District 1

Lawton (4-2, 2-1) is out to prove themselves after falling to Midwest City three weeks ago, knocking undefeated team in back-to-back weeks. After topping Putnam City (5-1, 2-1) 27-21 two weeks ago, they handled the Stillwater Pioneers (5-1, 2-1) 43-29. The Wolverines led 28-3 early in the third quarter before allowing the Pioneers to battle back.

Enid (3-3, 1-2) averaged 45 points per game over the first four weeks before being shut out 37-0 by Choctaw (4-1, 1-2). They fared better last week against Deer Creek (3-3, 1-2) but still fell 38-24 and will need a few upsets to have a shot at the playoffs.

The pick: Lawton 42 Enid 18.

No. 5 Stillwater (6)* vs. No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9)* District 1

The Pioneers (5-1, 2-1) saw their undefeated season come to an end in a 43-29 drubbing at Lawton (4-2, 2-1). The Pioneers were down 28-3 in the third quarter before staging a comeback attempt. Turnovers plagued the visitors, however, and Gunnar Gundy was 15-31-235 with three interceptions. 

Choctaw (4-4, 1-2) had their worst offensive output of the season. After steamrolling Enid 37-0 the week before, karma repaid them and they fell 27-3 to Midwest City (5-1, 3-0). The Yellowjackets struck first with a field goal but Midwest City scored two touchdowns by air, one by run, and one on an interception return. Choctaw gave up two interceptions and one fumble while failing to secure any turnovers of their own. They were 8-12-69-2 passing and 53-102 rushing.

The pick: Stillwater 42 Choctaw 28.

No. 6 Muskogee Roughers (4) vs. No. 7 Sand Springs Sandites (8)* District 2

Muskogee (2-4, 1-2) is coming off back-to-back losses and will be out for blood when they visit Sand Springs (4-2, 2-0) for the Sandite Homecoming. Jacob Medrano was 18-35-208-2 in a 42-21 loss to Booker T. Friday and the Roughers were held to only 87 rushing yards on 32 carries. The Roughers gave up 80 yards in penalties.

Sand Springs is coming off their biggest win of the season, 42-7 at Ponca City (1-5, 1-1). The Sandites were up 35-0 to start the fourth when they sent in the JV. Braden Foster hit Daren Hawkins for a 45-yard touchdown on his first varsity pass and the coaches cleared the press box and called it a night with eight minutes to go. 

Caden Pennington was 3-3-53-0 passing and 6-46 rushing, while Payton Scott was 25-284 with five touchdowns. Jaden Weiser was six-for-six on extra points, Tre Finch accumulated four tackles-for-loss including two sacks, and Braden Askew had a 20-yard interception return.

Virgil says: Muskogee 31 CPHS 21.
Scott says: CPHS 35 Muskogee 21.

No. 8 Putnam City Pirates (7) vs. No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (11)* District 1

Putnam City (5-1, 2-1) got back in the win column with a lackluster 21-11 performance against Putnam West (1-5, 0-3). West led by as much as 9-0 before the Pirates got on the board. The favorites trailed 11-7 at halftime before winning the second half 14-0. Deer Creek (3-3, 1-2) notched their first district victory 38-24 against Enid (3-3, 1-2). 

The pick: Putnam 24 DC 16.

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13) vs. No. 15 Sapulpa (15)* District 2

It's a battle of defeateds as both Sapulpa (0-6, 0-3) and Bartlesville (0-5, 0-2) are looking for their first wins of the year. At least one of these teams will avoid an 0-10 season. The other will have a far tougher time getting in the win column in the coming weeks.

Bartlesville is coming off a bye week following a 14-10 upset by Ponca City (1-5, 1-2), who will be the Chieftain's best hope for a win if they don't pull it off against the Bruins. The Bruins won their season opener 30-25 against McAlester (1-5) on the field, but later forfeited due to an ineligible player. Sapulpa put up a decent fourth quarter effort against Bixby (3-3, 2-0) finishing with 10 unanswereds to avoid the 48-0 shutout. 

The pick: Bartlesville 26 Sapulpa 17.

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 41-15 (.732)
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 30-14* (.681)
Last Week: 6-1 (.857)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Six 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last week No. 1) vs. No. 4 Muskogee Roughers (4)* District 2

Booker T. Washington (5-1, 2-0) took a 63-0 third-quarter lead for the second-straight week and defeated the Sapulpa Chieftains (0-5, 0-2) after a scoreless fourth quarter. 

The Hornet defense put up unreal numbers against Sapulpa, holding them to negative yards rushing, six yards passing, a single first down, and nine punts, including one that was blocked in the endzone for a D.J. Jones touchdown. Carrick Jackson added another defensive score on a 34-yard interception return. Offensively the Hornets racked up 339 yards on 40 carries and were 9-12-162-0 passing.

Muskogee (2-3, 1-1) is coming off a 39-23 loss to Bixby (2-3, 1-0). The Roughers played a solid game behind Jacob Medrano's 29-43-428-1 passing performance, but gave up two fumbles, thirteen penalties for 89 yards, and failed to secure any turnovers of their own. They were also held to field goals on three drives, scoring on kicks of 27, 21, and 37 yards from Manuel Espinosa. 

The pick: BTW 42 Muskogee 26

No. 2 Midwest City Bombers (2) vs. No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9)* District 1

Midwest City (4-1, 2-0) won their highest-scoring game of the season, hammering Deer Creek (2-3, 0-2) 63-14. Preston Colbert passed for five touchdowns, Astin Anderson scored three on the ground and backup quarterback Semaj Donner added another running score.

Choctaw (4-1, 1-1) bounced back from their loss to Putnam City (4-1, 1-1) with a 37-0 shutout of Enid (3-2, 1-1). The defense played lights out with four sacks, two interceptions, and one pick six from Angel Ackerman. 

The pick: MWC 42 Choctaw 26. 

No. 3 Bixby Spartans (3) vs. No. 15 Sapulpa (14)* District 2

The three-time defending State Champions (2-3, 1-0) got their season back on track in the district opener, solidly defeating Muskogee (2-3, 1-1) 38-23. They may have a losing record overall, but they're undefeated in the part of the season that actually matters. The Spartans had two fumble recoveries and an interception, without giving up any turnovers of their own. They also contained themselves to only 52 yards in penalties, a notable improvement over their 95-yard average over the prior three games. Braden Roller was 29-258 rushing while Staton King passed 14-23-306-0. 

Sapulpa (0-5, 0-2) is still looking for their first win of the season and they aren't likely to find it in Bixby. Last week the Chieftains were shut out 63-0 by Booker T. and were held to a cumulative 5 offensive yards with three pass completions, nine punts, and two turnovers. 

The pick: Bixby 68 Sapulpa 8.

No. 7 Putnam City Pirates (5) vs. No. 12 Putnam City West Patriots (13)* District 1

Putnam City (4-1, 1-1) saw their undefeated season come to an end 27-21 at Lawton (3-2, 1-1). A.J. Newsome was 17-36-244-2 passing, and those two interceptions combined with a fumble gave the Wolverines the edge they needed. Damon Jemison carried 22 times for 97 yards and a score while Newsome connected with Jawaun Bell and Eric Butler for touchdown passes. 

Putnam West (1-4, 0-2) suffered a blowout against undefeated Stillwater (5-0, 2-0) falling 49-7. The Patriots attempted only three passes and didn't complete any. They were 44-246 on the ground, but gave up three fumbles and 159 yards in penalties. 

The pick: Putnam 51 PCW 21.

No. 5 Lawton Wolverines (6) vs. No. 6 Stillwater (8)* District 1

Lawton (3-2, 1-1) got back in the win column with a 27-21 victory over Putnam City (4-1, 1-1) thanks to a consistent run game and three turnovers. Miles Davis ran 40 times for 215 yards and scored all four Wolverine touchdowns. The passing game was lackluster at 9-19-86-1, but the Wolverines caught two interceptions and recovered a fumble to help offset their 155 yards in penalties.

The Pioneers (5-0, 2-0) are now the only undefeated team left in Class 6A-II after hammering Putnam West 49-7. Gunnar Gundy was 6-8-120-0 passing with two touchdowns while freshman Qwontrell Walker carried 28 times for 250 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Defensively they recovered three fumbles 

Scott's pick: Stillwater 38 Lawton 35.
Virgil's pick: Lawton 28 Stillwater 27.

No. 8 Sand Springs Sandites (7) vs. No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (15)* District 2

Sand Springs (3-2, 1-0) won their third game straight Friday in Yukon (2-3) 26-21 over the 6A-I Millers. The Sandites held a 20-7 halftime lead but lost the second quarter 14-6 and barely held on with a pair of goal-line stands in the final seconds to secure the victory. Caden Pennington was 6-7-58-0 passing while Payton Scott was 33-185 on the ground. The special teams struggled, allowing two point-after kicks and one field goal to be blocked, but the defense excelled with a sack, a forced and recovered fumble, and the game-winning heroics in the final moments. 

Ponca City (1-4, 1-1) notched their first win of the season 14-12 over Bartlesville (0-5, 0-2). Justin Andrews was 8-18-138-0 passing and 25-125 rushing with both touchdowns for the Wildcats. Defensively, Ponca came up with two fumble recoveries and an interception. 

The pick: CPHS 35 Ponca 15.

No. 10 Enid Plainsmen (10) vs. No. 11 Deer Creek Antlers (11)* District 1

Enid (3-2, 1-1) was throttled on Homecoming, falling 37-0 to Choctaw after being held to only 26 yards passing and 140 total. Marlo Hughes led the ground game with 22 carries for 99 yards. Mason Skrimager completed only three passes, was intercepted twice, and was sacked three times. 

Deer Creek (2-3, 0-2) fell 63-14 to Midwest City (4-1, 2-0) Dylan Diaz scored a 54-yard touchdown run in the second quarter and the Antlers didn't score again till the fourth. 

Scott's pick: Deer Creek 27 Enid 21.
Virgil's pick: Enid 24 Deer Creek 21.

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (12)* District 2

Bartlesville (0-5, 0-2) started the season with a 30-25 victory over McAlester (1-4) then lost their next four games. To add insult to injury, they had to forfeit their lone win after playing an ineligible player. Last week the Bruins went down 14-12 to Ponca City (1-4, 1-1) on Homecoming night. They fell in a 14-0 deficit and scored all of their points in the fourth quarter. Two touchdown passes, one with a missed PAT and one with a failed two-point conversion. Those two combined with a missed field goal in the first quarter left the Bruins just short of the win. Bartlesville will get a bye week before hosting Sapulpa. 

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 35-14 (.714)
Last Week: 5-3 (.625)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 24-13* (.649)
Last Week: 6-2 (.750)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Four 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Booker T. Washington Hornets (2) vs. No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (15) *District 2

Booker T. (3-1) snapped back from their prior week's loss to West Monroe, Louisiana (4-0) with a devastating 63-0 shutout of Shawnee (2-1). The Hornets held their foes to a mere 109 offensive yards, while racking up 488 of their own. Phillip Wheatley was 9-13-166-1 and the Hornets were 32-322 on the ground. They secured two interceptions and one fumble recovery, but gave up 137 yards in penalties. 

Read the full story from Mark Foster with the Tulsa World.

Ponca (0-3) is coming off a much needed bye week after being brutalized 48-0 by Guthrie (1-2), 61-34 by Enid (2-0), and 28-7 by Edmond Memorial (1-2). 

The pick: BTW 59 Ponca 6.

No. 2 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs. Westmoore Jaguars

The defending Division II State Champions (1-2) suffered a major blow Thursday, falling 37-35 to Putnam City (3-0) in a sloppy offensive mess. The Pirates started 16-0 and the Spartans ended 13-0, but failed a two-point pass that would have tied things up. Bixby gave up a full field's length in penalties, fumbled five times, and threw four interceptions. 

Read the full story from Jacob Unruh with The Oklahoman.

Westmoore (3-0) is still undefeated this season, winning their first three games in dominating fashion. The Class 6A-I Jaguars won their hometown rivalry series 50-18 over Moore (1-2) and 53-6 over Southmoore (0-3) before rolling over Edmond North (1-2) 42-17. Braxton George ran for 148 yards and two touchdowns on only six carries. Braxton Bohrofen passed 24-38-323-1 for three touchdowns. The Jaguars outpaced their fores 540 yards to 229.

Read the full story from Peter Agnitsch with the Edmond Sun.

The pick: Bixby 45 Westmoore 38.0

No. 3 Midwest City Bombers (3) vs. No. 4 Lawton Wolverines (5) *District 1

The Bombers (2-1) bounced back from an overtime loss to Booker T. with a 41-6 blowout of 5A Del City (1-2). Preston Colbert ran in two scores and passed 13-18-255-1 for three touchdowns to three different receivers. The run game was practically nonexistent, however with 27 carries for 43 yards. Defensively they held Del City to 213 yards while picking off two passes and snagging one fumble recovery. In a recurring trend among the top teams in 6A-II, the Bombers gave up a field's worth of penalties.

Read the full story from Adam Kemp with The Oklahoman.

Lawton (2-1) rolled over their 5A in-town rivals in Eisenhower (0-3) 67-13 with five touchdowns from Miles Davis who carried nine times for 226 yards. Alihas Hopper was equally lethal, passing 5 of 9 for 157 yards and a score.

Read the full story from Glen Brockenbush with The Lawton Constitution.

The pick: MWC 31 Lawton 27.

No. 5 Muskogee Roughers (4) vs. No. 9 Bartlesville Bruins (8) *District 2

Muskogee (1-2) lost their season opener 26-20 to Midwest City despite ending with 20 unanswered points, then shutout McAlester 54-0, then started Friday's game 10-0 for a streak of 84 unanswered points before Bentonville West (3-0) put an end to the onslaught and ultimately prevailed 43-35. The Roughers gave up 116 yards in penalties, fumbled twice and lost one. Jacob Medrano passed 23-40-328-0 with three scores, while Kristian Hillmon led the ground game with 10 carries for 57 yards and a score. Head Coach Rafe Watkins credited thirteen dropped passes, one that could have been a score, as a top contributing factor in the loss. 

Read the full story from Mike Kays with the Muskogee Phoenix.

Bartlesville (1-2) kicked off the season with a 30-25 victory over 5A McAlester (0-3), but dropped their past two games 56-14 to 6A-I Owasso (3-0) and 48-29 to 4A Cascia Hall (1-2). Noah Sunday threw 15 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns against the Commandos. The Bruins lost their Head Coach two weeks ago, putting the reigns in the hands of interim coach Kyle Ppool. They had a bye week to adapt to the changes.

Read the full story from Nathan Thompson with the Bartlesville Examiner.

The Pick: Muskogee 47 Bartlesville 21.

No. 6 Putnam City Pirates (10) vs. No. 7 Choctaw Yellowjackets (6) *District 1

Putnam City (3-0) pulled off a massive 37-35 upset against the defending State Champions from Bixby (1-2) thanks to a powerful passing game, solid defense, and a whole lot of Spartan miscues. A.J. Newsome was 23-38-418-2 with all five Pirate touchdowns. The Pirates won the turnover battle with one fumble recovery and four interceptions, and blocked a punt for a safety in the first quarter, jumping out to a 16-0 lead. 

Choctaw (3-0) is on their first 3-0 start since 1982 after dominating Putnam City North (1-2) 42-14. Hudson Woods was 19-27-158 passing with two touchdowns and added another 95 yards on the ground. The Yellowjackets amassed 220 rushing yards in the murderous campaign.

Read the full story from Ryan Horton with the Chcotaw Times.

The pick: Putnam 34 Choctaw 24.

No. 8 Sand Springs Sandtes (7) vs. No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (14) *District 2

Charles Page High School (1-2) notched their first win of the season 28-14 against Putnam City West (1-2), finally getting the monkey off their back in regards to the passing game. The bulk of their offense came from Payton Scott's 34 carries for 231 yards and three touchdowns, but Caden Pennington had his breakout game passing 6-12-145-1 for a touchdown. Scott was also the leading receiver with 3 catches for 91 yards and a score. Defensively the Sandites recorded two forced fumbles, one recovery, and one interception.

Read the full story from Scott Emigh with Sandite Pride News.

Sapulpa (0-3) is off to a rough start this year, falling 28-12 to Duncan (1-2), 27-20 to Choctaw (3-0), and 38-3 to Bishop Kelley (2-1). 

The pick: CPHS 35 Sapulpa 12.

No. 10 Enid Plainsmen (9) vs. No. 13 Putnam City West Patriots (13) *District 2

Enid (2-1) suffered their first loss of the year 60-34 at the hands of 5A powerhouse Bishop McGuinness (3-0), putting up 454 yards to the Irish's 640. Mason Skrimager passed 25-44-228-0 with one touchdown in the loss, and picked up another score on a 66-yard run. The Plainsmen finished with 226 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, three of which came from outside the red zone. The Plainsmen were well disciplined with no fumbles, no interceptions, and only five penalties for 26 yards. 

Read the full story from Dave Ruthenberg with Enid News.

Putnam West (1-2) had a hard-fought 28-14 loss to Sand Springs. The Patriots had zero passing game, making only one completion for eight yards, and throwing one interception to accompany their six fumbles. On the ground they were 48-276.

The pick: Enid 42 PCW 21.

No. 11 Deer Creek Antlers (11) vs. No. 12 Stillwater Pioneers (12) *District 1

Deer Creek (2-1) snapped back from a 38-21 loss to Edmond Santa Fe (2-2) with a 27-14 win over Edmond Memorial (2-2). Hunter Freese passed 14-25-252 with two touchdowns and ran the ball nine times for 66 yards. 

Read the full story from Aaron Albertson with the Edmond Sun.

Stillwater (3-0) had a huge 31-14 upset win over Mustang (2-1), utilizing six turnovers to stun a team that had dominated its first two opponents. Gunnar Gundy passed 12-22-105-0 for one touchdown, while Qwontrel Walker lit up the ground with 27 carries for 159 yards and one touchdown. Tyler Disidore added another 7 carries for 77 yards and two scores. 

Read the full story from Jimmy Gillispie with the Stillwater News Press.

The pick: Stillwater 28 Deer Creek 17. 
 

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 23-10 (.697)
Last Week: 8-3 (.727)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 11-10* (.523)
Last Week: 7-4 (.636)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Three 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs. No. 10 Putnam City Pirates (11)

The defending Division II State Champions (1-1) suffered a 47-28 loss against Arkansas 7A Bentonville (1-1). The Spartans jumped out to 21-0 lead in the second quarter, but the Tigers closed out with five unanswered touchdowns and held the home team scoreless in the second half. Staton King was 18-31-191-2 passing and 17-82 on the ground. The Spartans gave up a full field worth of penalties, but performed well defensively with three fumble recoveries and an interception.

Putnam City (2-0) pulled off a massive victory against 5A El Reno (1-1), utterly dominating the Indians 63-6. AJ Newsome was 15-22-222 passing and scored six touchdowns, three by air and three by land. The Pirates picked up three fumbles, including a 35-yard touchdown return. 

The pick: Bixby 57 Putnam 29.

No. 2 Booker T. Washington Hornets (2) vs. Shawnee Wolves

Booker T. (2-1) dropped their first loss of the season 30-21 to Louisiana 5A State Runners-Up West Monroe (3-0) at the Battle on the Border. Phillip Wheatley was 19-40-310-0 with all three Hornet touchdowns. The ground game was nonexistent with 19 carries for 28 yards. 

5A Shawnee (2-0) is undefeated, but their wins were low-scoring against average teams. They topped Duncan 7-6 with a fourth-quarter 69-yard pass to take the lead. Hunter Heath was 11-21-135-2. The Wolves will be without their head coach, who was ejected in the game against Duncan (1-2).

The pick: BTW 39 Shawnee 10.

No. 3 Midwest City Bombers (3) vs. Del City Eagles

The Bombers (1-1) lost a 27-24 overtime heart-breaker to Booker T. two weeks ago and had a bye week to recover. 5A Del City (1-1) picked up their first win of the season 40-14 over Eisenhower (0-2).

The pick: MWC 32 Del 14.

No. 4 Muskogee Roughers (5) vs. Bentonville West Wolverines

Muskogee (1-1) lost a close 26-20 season opener to Midwest City (1-1), but ended on a high-note. They fell in a 26-0 deficit before getting on the scoreboard, then shut out McAlester 54-0 leaving them with a streak of 74 unanswered points over the last two games. Against McAlester, QB Jacob Medrano recorded 481 yards, finding Diante Crutchfield for 292 and three touchdowns. Defensively they held the Buffalo to less than 100 yards with five sacks. The Roughers are coming off a bye week and are all rested up and ready for action.

Arkansas 7A Bentonville West (2-0) easily handled 5A Pryor (0-2) 49-13 and Central Little Rock (1-1) 48-14. The Wolverines were 10-20-241-0 passing and 35-229 on the ground with zero fumbles and only four penalties. 

Virgil says: Bentonville 42 Muskogee 28.
Scott says: Muskogee 48 Benvontille 35.

No. 5 Lawton Wolverines (6) vs. Eisenhower Eagles

Lawton (1-1) steamrolled their 5A rivals from MacArthur (1-1) 50-20, thanks in part to junior running back Miles Davis who carried 18 times for 192 yards and three touchdowns. This week is another in-town rivalry game against Eisenhower (0-2) who fell 40-14 to Del City (1-1) last week.

The pick: Lawton 58 Ike 17.

No. 6 Choctaw Yellowjackets (7) vs Putnam City North Panthers

For the second-straight week the Yellowjackets (2-0) trailed at the half and came back for the win. This time they were down 13-7 to Sand Springs (0-2) before surging to the 21-20 victory. Hudson Woods was 17-27-222-1 passing and led the ground game with 21 carries for 65 yards. 

Putnam North (2-0) won their in-town rivalry game against Putnam West (1-1) with a hearty 30-7 beat down.

Virgil says: PCN 28 Choctaw 21.
cott says: Choctaw 35 PCN 21.

No. 7 Sand Springs Sandtes (4) vs. No. 13 Putnam City West Patriots (13)

Charles Page High School (0-2) took a 13-0 lead on Choctaw (2-0) last week before the Yellowjackets surged back in the second half for a 21-20 victory. The Sandite passing game improved from the week prior, but was still shoddy at 6-18-39-1. Payton Scott led the ground with 40 carries for 214 yards and two touchdowns. Defensively the Sandites were solid with an interception and nine tackles for loss. 

Putnam West (1-1) was hammered 30-7 in a rivalry game against Putnam North (1-1). The Patriots also relied primarily on the ground game, carrying 48 times for 231 yards.

The pick: CPHS 31 CPW 14.

No. 8 Bartlesville Bruins (8) - Bye Week

Bartlesville (1-1) kicked off the season with a 30-25 victory over 5A McAlester (0-2), but dropped their past two games 56-14 to 6A-I Owasso (3-0) and 48-29 to 4A Cascia Hall (1-1). Noah Sunday threw 15 passes for 241 yards and three touchdowns. The Bruins fired their Head Coach last week, putting the reigns in the hands of interim coach Kyle Ppool. They will have some down time to adapt to the changes before returning to action against Muskogee next week. 

No. 9 Enid Plainsmen (9) vs. Bishop McGuinness

Enid (2-0) is off to a hot start with their best record since 2012, topping Guthrie (0-2) 34-23 and Ponca City (0-2) 61-34. Junior QB Mason Skrimager passed for 191 yards and three touchdowns against the Bluejays, then recorded 290 yards and two strikes against the Wildcats. 271 yards came in the first half alone. Marlo Hughes ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns, while Seth Ellis set a single-game record for the Plainsmen with four interceptions, including a 99-yard return. Enid jumped to a 21-0 first quarter lead and was up 34-14 at halftime. The Plainsmen are all rested up after a bye week.

5A Bishop McGuinness (2-0) is also on a strong start to the year, handling Del City (1-1) 32-23 and Bishop Kelley (1-1) 42-21. Sophomore running back Dominic Richardson carried 26 times for 273 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Brennan Mullins scored twice on the ground. 

Virgil says: Enid 32 McG 31.
Scott says: McG 42 Enid 35.

No. 11 Deer Creek Antlers (10) vs. Edmond Memorial Bulldogs

Deer Creek (1-1) started the season with a 21-13 win over Southmoore (0-1), but fell 38-21 to Edmond Santa Fe (2-1). Dylan Diaz had a marvelous 97-yard kick return, while quarterback Hunter Freese found Logan Huslig for a pair of scores through the air. Freese was 18-28-170-1, but the ground game went negative at 21 carries for negative seven yards. 

Edmond Memorial (1-2) dropped a 25-17 decision to Edmond North (1-1). Memorial was 11-22-94-0 passing and the dogs combined for 91 yards on 30 carries. 

The pick: DC 35 EDM 30.

No. 12 Stillwater Pioneers (12) vs. Mustang Broncos

Stillwater (2-0) easily handled Edmond Memorial (1-2) 23-7 in their season opener then topped Moore (0-2) 14-7. Gunnar Gundy was 7-8-188-0 passing for both touchdowns. The game was sloppy on both sides. Moore had three fumbles but recovered each, while Stillwater lost three of their four fumbles, but picked off two passes from the Lions. Stillwater won the first half 14-0 while Moore scored the lone points of the second half with a fourth quarter run. 

6A-I Mustang (2-0) is off to a dominating start with a 31-14 victory over Yukon (1-1) and a 48-14 win against Norman (0-2). Brayden Garrett was 9-18-171-0 through the air and the Bronchos combined for 241 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. 

The pick: Mustang 43 Stillwater 18.

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (14) vs. Bishop Kelley Comets

Sapulpa (0-2) got off to a rough start this year, falling 28-12 to Duncan (1-2) and 27-20 to Choctaw (2-0). The Chieftains took a bye week to recover and will return to action against 5A Bishop Kelley (1-1). The Comets fell 42-21 to Bishop McGuinness (2-0) but rolled over Edison (1-1) 48-14 in week one.

The pick: Kelley 30 Sapulpa 18.

No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (15) - Bye Week

Ponca (0-3) will get a much needed bye week after being brutalized 48-0 by Guthrie (1-2), 61-34 by Enid (2-0), and 28-7 by Edmond Memorial (1-2). Justin Andrews was 14-28-116 against the Bluejays, but the ground game was practically nonexistent with 26 carries for a mere 44 yards. 

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Scott Emigh
Editor-in-Chief
Overall: 15-7 (.681)
Last Week: 5-5 (.500)
Last Year: 48-21 (.695)

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Virgil Noah
Staff Writer
Overall: 4-6* (.400)
Last Week: 4-6 (.400)
Last Year: 43-26 (.623)

*Virgil missed the first week of picks.

Week Two 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs Bentonville Tigers

The defending Division II State Champions from Bixby (1-0) started off the season with a bang, hammering 6A-I powerhouse Jenks (0-2) 35-18 with 21 points in the fourth quarter. RB Tucker Pawley rushed for 175 yards and three touchdowns while Staton King passed for 191 and two scores. The Spartans will be taking on Bentonville, Arkansas (0-1). The Tigers went 10-3 last season and lost their season opener 35-8 to Rockhurst, Missouri (2-1). 

The pick: Bixby 47 Bentonville 17.

No. 2 Booker T. Washington Hornets (2) vs. West Monroe Rebels

Booker T. (2-0) is off to a great start this year, topping 6A-I powerhouse Edmond Santa Fe (1-1) 35-21 and Midwest City (1-1) 27-24 in overtime. Hornet QB Phillip Wheatley recorded 197 passing yards and a touchdown. This weekend they'll travel to Shreveport, Louisiana for the Battle on the Border Football Showcase in Independence Stadium. The Hornets will take on West Monroe, Louisiana (2-0), last year's 5A State Runners-Up.

Virgil picks: BTW 33 Monroe 28.
Scott picks: Monroe 35, BTW  24.

No. 3 Midwest City Bombers (4) - Bye Week

The Bombers (1-1) lost an overtime heart-breaker to Head Coach Darrell Hall's former school, Booker T. Washington. QB Preston Colbert scored a 40-yard touchdown with a pass to Declaudio Irvin. Elliot Janish sent the game into overtime with a last-second field goal, but the Hornets came out on top 27-24.

No. 4 Sand Springs Sandtes (3) vs. No. 7 Choctaw Yellowjackets (6)

Charles Page High School (0-1) started the season with a 59-21 loss to Pulaski Academy, an Arkansas team with three-straight State Championships who always goes for fourth downs and almost always onside kicks. Caden Pennington was only 3-4-11-1 passing and nearly the entirety of the Sandite offense came from Ben Nortey and Payton Scott on the ground. Sand Springs stymied the Bruins well on the ground, but gave up 433 yards by air. 

Choctaw (1-0) trailed Sapulpa 7-6 at halftime last week but came back in the second half for a 27-21 road win. Hudson Woods was 18-28-227 passing with one touchdown and ran for 115 yards and three touchdowns. Jaryn Curry racked up 162 yards on 13 carries. 

The pick: CPHS 39 Choctaw 25.

No. 6 Lawton Wolverines (5) vs MacArthur Highlanders

It's rivalry week in Lawton as the 6A-II Wolverines (0-1) look to get in the win column against 5A MacArthur (1-0). The Wolverines lost their season debut 33-32 to the defending 5A State Champions from Carl Albert (1-0) and will have another tough match against the State Semi-finalists who trounced Eisenhower (0-1) 56-29 last weekend. 

Carl Albert held a 14-point lead midway through the fourth before Lawton staged a comeback attempt. Fortunately for the Titans, Lawton's last extra-point attempt failed on a bad snap, preventing a tie game. Miles Davis led the Wolverines on the ground with 297 yards.

MacAthur steamrolled Eisenhower with 531 offensive yards, 138 of which came from sophomore QB Race Felter who scored five running touchdowns. Nick Mahan led the ground game with 212 yards on 37 carries with one touchdown.

Virgil's pick: Lawton 31 MacArthur 28.
Scott's pick: MacArthur 31 Lawton 28.

No. 5 Muskogee Roughers (7) - Bye Week

Muskogee (1-1) had a solid start to the season, despite losing their first game. The Roughers finished last season with their first winning record since 2008 under former Guthrie Head Coach Rafe Watkins, going 9-2 and making the State Semifinals after a brief appearance at the No. 1 ranking. Now they have to prove themselves all over again after graduating nearly their entire starting offense. 

Muskogee lost a close 26-20 season opener to Midwest City (1-1), but ended on a high-note. They fell in a 26-0 deficit before getting on the scoreboard, then shut out McAlester 54-0 leaving them with a streak of 74 unanswered points over the last two games. Against McAlester, QB Jacob Medrano recorded 481 yards, finding Diante Crutchfield for 292 and three touchdowns. Defensively they held the Buffalo to less than 100 yards with five sacks.

No. 8 Bartlesville Bruins (8) vs. Cascia Hall Commandos

Bartlesville (1-1) kicked off the season with a 30-25 victory over 5A McAlester (0-2), but they had a far tougher opponent in the 6A-I Owasso Rams (2-0), who prevailed 56-14 on the Bruins' home turf. Bartlesville didn't get on the board till the second half after trailing 42-0 at intermission. Noah Sunday was 14-30-103-0 passing and the Bruins were held to only 51 yards on the ground. 4A Cascia Hall (0-1) started the year with a 21-7 rivalry loss to 2A Holland Hall (2-0). The Commandos fell in a 13-0 hole before scoring their lone touchdown. Lewis Guillory rushed for 103 yards on 14 carries, accounting for the bulk of Cascia's 199 total yardage. 

Virgil's pick: Bartlesville 41 Cascia 3.
Scott's pick: Cascia 27 Bartlesville 14.

No. 9 Enid Plainsmen (9) - Bye Week

Enid (2-0) is off to a hot start with their best record since 2012, topping Guthrie (0-2) 34-23 and Ponca City (0-2) 61-34. Junior QB Mason Skrimager passed for 191 yards and three touchdowns against the Bluejays, then recorded 290 yards and two strikes against the Wildcats. 271 yards came in the first half alone. Marlo Hughes ran for 155 yards and three touchdowns, while Seth Ellis set a single-game record for the Plainsmen with four interceptions, including a 99-yard return. Enid jumped to a 21-0 first quarter lead and was up 34-14 at halftime. 

No. 10 Deer Creek Antlers (10) vs Edmond Santa Fe Wolves

Deer Creek (1-0) started the season with a 21-13 win over Southmoore (0-1), but will likely have a tougher time with Edmond Santa Fe (1-1) who just steamrolled Edmond North (0-1) 43-7 last week. The Antler defense shined in their win with a pair of goal-line stands, while QB Hunter Freese recorded 236 passing yards with two touchdowns. It's a new era at Deer Creek under first-year Head Coach Wade Standley, who previously coached 4A Ada to an 11-10 record in two seasons.

The pick: ESF 39 DC 21.

No. 11 Putnam City Pirates (11) vs El Reno Indians

Putnam City (1-0) will host 5A El Reno (1-0) in week two after topping in-city rivals 6A-I Putnam City North (0-1) 16-10 last week. AJ Newsome was 18-31-235-0 with one touchdown in the affair and also carried ten times for 52 yards. Julian DeLoera scored a field goal and Kevonte Lloyd scored an interception return. El Reno defeated Piedmont (0-1) 27-14 in their debut. 

The pick: PC 26 El Reno 11.

No. 12 Stillwater Pioneers (13) vs Moore Lions

Stillwater (1-0) easily handled Edmond Memorial (1-1) 23-7 in their season opener thanks in part to a 10-17-170 performance from sophomore Gunnar Gundy who scored two touchdowns. Freshman running back Qwontrel Walker carried 28 times for 135 and a touchdown, completing a lethal duo of young talent that will make Stillwater a solid contender for the years to come.

Moore (0-1) had a rough start to the year, taking a 50-18 beating in their rivalry game against Westmoore (1-0). The Lions were only 14-27-151-1 passing and 48-76 rushing with four fumbles and 95 yards in penalties.

The pick: Stillwater 36 Moore 20.

No. 13 Putnam West Patriots (12) vs Putnam North Panthers

Putnam West (1-0) barely edged out Duncan (1-1) 16-15 in week one thanks to the kicking prowess of Dylan Smith. Duncan scored first, then Putnam responded with a touchdown and three field goals ranging from 23 to 30 yards for a 16-7 advantage before a Demon touchdown and two-point pass made it a one-point game. Putnam North (0-1) went down 16-10 to Putnam City (1-0) in their season debut.

The pick: PCW 17 PCN 14.

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (15) - Bye Week

Sapulpa (0-2) got off to a rough start this year, falling 28-12 to Duncan (1-1) and 27-20 to Choctaw (1-0). The Chieftains were held to a pair of field goals in the second and third quarters against Duncan before Garrett Williams connected with Gerquan Sanders in the fourth from 66 yards out. Sapulpa took a 7-6 lead into halftime against Choctaw but gave up more than 500 yards to the Yellowjackets and were outscored 21-13 in the second half. 

No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (14) vs Guthrie Bluejays

Ponca (0-2) will travel to Guthrie (0-2) this Friday and at least one of them will notch their first win of the season. The Wildcats lost their first game 28-7 to Edmond Memorial (1-1) and were hammered 61-34 by Enid (2-0) last week. Justin Andrews was 18-30-244-0 passing against Edmond, but the Wildcats were held to a mere 187 total yards against Enid. Guthrie also suffered at the hands of Enid, going down 34-23 in week one, then falling 27-13 to Shawnee. 

The pick: Ponca 21 Guthrie 10.

Week Nine 6A-II Rankings and Predictions; a look at this weekend's games

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By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

The 2016 season has seen more parity than any year in recent memory. There is no longer a single team in Class 6A-II without a district loss. To make matters more difficult, there are teams with multiple losses to low-ranking teams and multiple wins over high-ranking teams. Looking at you, Choctaw. The number one team has fallen for the second week in a row, and now we'll try to sort out the mess.

No. 1 Muskogee Roughers (Last week No. 2) vs No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (15)

Muskogee (6-1, 3-1) has the worst of their schedule behind them now and, after taking a bye week to recover from their 26-25 loss to Sand Springs, they'll close out the regular season with the bottom two teams. 

Sapulpa (1-7, 1-4) picked up their first win of the season with a 31-27 upset over Ponca City (1-7, 0-5). The Chieftains dominated the Wildcats offensively, doubling them on total yardage, but gave up a pick six to keep the score close. 

The pick: Muskogee 56, Sapulpa 10.

No. 2 Sand Springs Sandites (1) vs No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13)

Charles Page High School (5-3, 3-1) may have lost to Booker T. Washington on the field, but on paper they destroyed the Hornets 267 yards to 124 and 15 first downs to 9, forcing 7 punts. The Hornets got lucky with 9:32 in the fourth quarter when Sandite QB Hunter Greathouse was unable to haul in a bad hike and the Hornets got the recovery at the 3 yard line. From there the Booker T. defense was able to stop three Sandite possessions for the win. Were it not for that one mistake, Sand Springs would still be undefeated in the district. 

The Bartlesville Bruins (4-4, 3-2) had a tough road match at Bixby (5-3, 3-1) and were throttled 63-14. They tried to keep up offensively and posted 342 yards on 79 plays, but the Spartans were explosive for 504 yards on 53 plays. 

The pick: Sandites 43, Bartlesville 32.

No. 3 Booker T. Washington Hornets (4) vs No. 4 Bixby Spartans (3)

The Hornets won their battle with Sand Springs on a fumble, and lost their game with Muskogee on turnovers after matching them offensively. The Spartans actually outperformed Muskogee offensively, but gave up two interceptions and a fumble. Against mutual opponents, the Hornets have the better defense and the Spartans have the better offense. Theoretically, this game should be fairly equally matched with the winner being decided on turnovers. 

The pick: Bixby 37, BTW 35.

No. 5 Midwest City Bombers  (5) vs No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (8)

The Bombers (5-3, 4-1) won an important district game Friday against Putnam City (3-5, 1-4) to continue to their quest for the district title in the district with the most parity. It was a low-scoring 7-0 affair made possible by the incredible Bomber defense.

The Plainsmen (3-5, 2-3) are coming off a 35-10 loss to Stillwater (4-4, 2-3). They gave up five turnovers, but forced three of their own. 

The pick: MWC 28, Enid 7.

No. 6 Putnam City West Patriots (7) vs No. 7 Lawton Wolverines (6)

The Patriots (6-2, 4-1) may not be the indisputable head of the district any more, but they're still in contention for the Title after a 27-17 win over Edmond Deer Creek (2-6, 2-3). The Pats have given up only two losses this season, 29-24 to the Sandites, and 21-16 to Midwest City. They have another big test at Lawton.

The Wolverines (4-4, 3-2) rode three straight wins with three close losses to quality teams. That changed Thursday with a 52-26 beat down from Choctaw (4-4, 2-3) to seriously damage their shot at a district title. With the incredible amount of upsets in the district, they're not out of contention yet, but they can't afford a loss. A win over Putnam will put them second only to Midwest City. 

The pick: PCW 26, Lawton 24.

No. 8 Choctaw Yellowjackets (12) vs No. 12 Deer Creek Antlers (10)

It's beginning to look like Choctaw (4-4, 2-3) can only win games they're picked to lose. The Yellowjackets have three wins against top-tier teams in Sand Springs, Midwest City, and Lawton, and upset losses to Enid, Putnam, and Stillwater.  

After their most recent 52-26 stunner over Lawton, they'll be looking to bring down Deer Creek and Putnam West to clinch a playoff berth. The Yellowjacket's high-powered offense averages 34 points per game while Deer Creek averages only 19 and gives up 35. The Antlers (2-6, 2-3) most recently went down 27-17 to Putnam City West.

The pick: Choctaw 42, Deer Creek 20.

No. 9 Putnam City Pirates (9) vs No. 10 Stillwater Pioneers (11)

The Putnam City Pirates (3-5, 1-4) put up a valiant effort against Midwest City before falling 7-0 while the Pioneers (4-4, 2-3) picked up a 35-10 win over Enid. Stillwater holds two-straight wins and all four of their losses were by a touchdown or less. A potential playoff berth is on the line and they're unlikely to leave their A game at home.

The pick: Stillwater 33, Putnam 23.

No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (14) vs 6A-I Norman Tigers

Barring a miracle, the Ponca City Wildcats (1-7, 0-5) are unlikely to get a win against Muskogee (6-1, 3-1) in week ten, so their last real shot at padding their record comes in their home-finale against 6A-I Norman (1-7, 1-4). The same can be said for the Tigers.

Ponca gave up a 31-27 upset to Sapulpa (1-7, 1-4) last week, while Norman went down 35-7 to Broken Arrow (4-4, 3-2). The Wildcats have been competitive all season, averaging 17 points per game, while the Tigers have scored 15. Norman gives up an average of 44 points and Ponca gives up 40, but Norman plays in a far tougher division and district. 

The pick: Norman 28, Ponca 26. 

Editorial: Why OSU should NOT claim the 1945 National Championship

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Oklahoma State University, or rather, Oklahoma A&M, was retroactively awarded the 1945 football National Championship by the American Football Coaches Association last week. The problem is, there already is a National Champion for 1945--the Army. Apparently the AFCA established a panel to rewrite history. 

The AFCA has recognized a National Champion annually since 1950 when the University of Oklahoma won its first National Title under Bud Wilkinson. The organization recently decided to retroactively award Titles for the 1922-1949 seasons and will arbitrarily select Champions based on pleas from those schools, rather than based on the polls that already existed during that time period. 

The AP poll has been universally recognized as the awarding association for the 1936-1949 National Championships, and in that poll the Aggies weren't even ranked in the top four. By today's standards, they just barely missed the playoffs. 

There were several undefeated teams that season, but the undefeated Army team was unanimously selected by all 116 voters of the AP writers' poll as the top team in the country. Next up was the undefeated Alabama Crimson Tide, followed by the undefeated Navy. 

No. 1 Army (9-0-0)

9/29 Army defeats Louisville Fields 32-0
10/6 Army defeats Wake Forest 54-0
10/13 Army defeats No. 9 Michigan 28-7
10/20 Army defeats Melville PT Boats 55-13
10/27 Army defeats No. 19 Duke 48-13
11/3 Army defeats Villanova 54-0
11/10 Army defeats No. 2 Notre Dame 48-0
10/17 Army defeats No. 6 Penn 61-0
12/1 Arms defeats No. 2 Navy 32-13

No. 5 Oklahoma A&M (9-0-0)

9/29 OSU defeats Arkansas 19-14
10/6 OSU defeats Denver 31-7
10/12 OSU defeats SMU 26-12
10/20 OSU defeats Utah 46-6
10/27 OSU defeats TCU 25-12
11/10 OSU defeats No. 19 Tulsa 12-6
11/17 OSU defeats Texas Tech 46-6
11/24 OSU defeats Oklahoma 47-0
1/1 OSU defeats No. 9 Saint Mary's 33-13

Comparing the two teams isn't that hard. OSU clearly had a good team. There's no contesting that. But they posted only one shutout to Army's five shutouts. OSU won their games by an average score of 31-8 whereas Army won their games by an average score of 45-5. Army had the number one offense in the country, and the number one defense. Army posted five ranked wins with an average score of 43-6, while OSU's two ranked wins came at an average of 22-9. And don't forget that Army had Heisman Trophy winner Doc Blanchard. 

But somehow, OSU was the better team?

By whatever wildly errant logic that the AFCA is using, Sand Springs should have several State Championships. The Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association (OSSAA) didn't begin holding playoffs or recognizing a State Champion until 1944, leaving individual schools to claim to State Titles as they saw fit. In 1931 the Sandites went 6-0-1 with four shutout wins and a 0-0 tie with an equally impressive Skiatook team. At the time, high schools didn't play to overtime. Though they didn't have the toughest schedule, they did go undefeated. That's good enough, right? Again, in 1937, the Sandites went undefeated at 8-0-2 with six shutout wins and two 0-0 ties, both to winning teams. Once again, it wasn't the toughest schedule in Oklahoma, but neither was OSU's. 

In 1951, the Sandites went 11-1 with their only true loss being 27-6 to Sapulpa in week three. From there they won nine straight games, including five shutouts. They defeated Poteau 54-0 in the State quarterfinals before "losing" 20-20 to Ada. At the time the OSSAA didn't allow overtime and Ada was awarded the win on red zone penetrations. Apparently having a stout defense able to put up red zone stops doesn't matter to the OSSAA. Sapulpa was Class AA at the time while Sand Springs was A, so that loss doesn't affect their claim to a State title. They essentially went undefeated in their division, and had they been allowed to play overtime against Ada, who knows what might have happened? Ada went on to defeat Ponca City 20-13 for their first Championship. They now hold nineteen State Titles.

In 1962 the Sandites went 7-0-3 with three shutouts and three ties. They even beat Broken Arrow 32-0. At the time the Sandites weren't in an eligible conference and weren't allowed to compete for the State Title. 

That makes two State Titles that the Sandites could claim on wins, due to there being no playoffs, and two Titles they can claim on being unfairly excluded from the playoffs. But Sand Springs doesn't claim those Titles. We didn't claim them then, because we followed the rules and respected that there were better teams, and we don't claim them now, because it would be unfair to the schools that have already held them for decades. We are content to settle for our 1966 State Title and work towards earning new titles in the future rather than living in the past. 

If the University of Oklahoma were to claim National Titles outside of AP rankings, they would have ten more than the seven they claim. In 1915, Oklahoma went 10-0 under Bennie Owen. The official NCAA Division I Football Records Book even lists Cornell, Oklahoma, and Pittsburgh as having equal claim to the Title, but only Cornell and Pittsburgh claim it. 

Cornell (9-0)
9/25 defeated Gettysburg 13-0
10/2 defeated Oberlin 34-7
10/9 defeated Williams 46-6
10/16 defeated Bucknell 41-0
10/23 defeated Harvard 10-0
10/30 defeated VPI 45-0
11/6 defeated Michigan 34-7
11/13 defeated Washington & Lee 40-21
11/25 defeated Penn 40-21

Oklahoma (10-0)
9/25 defeated Kingfisher 67-0
10/2 defeated SW Oklahoma 55-0
10/9 defeated NW OK State 102-0
10/16 defeated Missouri 24-0
10/23 defeated Texas 14-13
10/30 defeated Kansas 23-14
11/6 defeated Kendall 14-13
11/14 defeated Arkansas 24-0
11/19 defeated Kansas State 21-7
11/25 defeated Oklahoma A&M 26-7

Shutouts: Pittsburgh 6
Average Score: Oklahoma 37-5

Pittsburgh (8-0)
10/2 defeated Westminster 32-0
10/9 defeated Navy 47-12
10/16 defeated Carlisle 45-0
10/23 defeated Penn 14-7
10/30 defeated Allegheny 42-0
11/6 defeated Washington & Jefferson 19-0
11/13 defeated Carnegie Tech 28-0
11/25 defeated Penn State 20-0

Oklahoma was retroactively selected as National Champions by the Billingsley Report. Cornell was retroactively selected by the Helms Athletic Foundation, the Houlgate System, and the National Championship Foundation, while being selected as co-champions by Parke H. Davis. Pittsburgh was selected as co-champions by Parke H. Davis. 

Oklahoma had yet another undefeated season in 1949 under Bud Wilkinson and was retroactively awarded the National Title by the College Football Research Association, despite the AP giving it to Notre Dame. 

No. 1 Notre Dame (10-0)
9/24 defeated Indiana 49-6
10/1 defeated Washington 27-7
10/8 defeated Purdue 35-12
10/15 defeated No. 4 Tulane 46-7
10/29 defeated Navy 40-0
11/5 defeated No. 10 Michigan State 34-21
11/12 defeated North Carolina 42-6
11/19 defeated Iowa 28-7
11/26 defeated No. 17 USC 32-0
12/3 defeated SMU 27-20

No. 2 Oklahoma 11-0
9/23 defeated Boston College 46-0
10/1 defeated Texas A&M 33-13
10/8 defeated No. 12 Texas 20-14
10/15 defeated Kansas 48-26
10/22 defeated Nebraska 48-0
10/29 defeated Iowa State 34-7
11/5 defeated Kansas State 39-0
11/12 defeated Missouri 27-7
11/19 defeated No. 19 Santa Clara 28-21
11/26 defeated Oklahoma A&M 41-0
1/1 defeated No. 9 LSU  41-0

1949 saw four undefeated teams, including California and Army. However, Notre Dame received 172 of 208 first place votes in the final AP Poll. OU actually came in second on first place votes with 18, whereas the 1945 OSU team received 0. OU defeated three ranked opponents by an average score of 30-12, while Notre Dame defeated three ranked opponents by an average score of 37-9. Notre Dame also had a Heisman award winner, six players who went on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and four All-Americans. Oklahoma had one future Hall of Famer and five All-Americans. Just like in 1945, it was clear to the people alive at the time that Notre Dame was the better team, despite Oklahoma having far more claim to the Title than OSU did in 1945. 

The Oklahoma conversation can continue with 1953 (9-1-1, named by Berryman and CFRA) when Maryland (10-1) was recognized by the AP. The 1957  team (10-1, named by Berryman) when Auburn was recognized by the AP, despite having paid two high school players $5000 to play. In 1967 (10-1, named by Poling System) when USC was recognized by the AP. In 1973 (10-0-1, named by CFRA, DeVold, Dunkel, Sagarin) when Notre Dame was recognized by the AP. In 1978 (11-1, named by DeVold, Dunkel, FACT, Helms, Litkenhous, Matthews, Poling, Sagarin) when Alabama was recognized by the AP. In 1980 (10-2, named by Dunkel and Matthews) when Georgia was recognized by the AP. In 1986 (11-1, named by CFRA, Berryman, DeVold, Dunkel, NY Times, Sagarin) when Penn State was recognized by AP. Finally, in 2003 (12-2, named by Berryman) when USC was recognized by AP. 

OSU fans can call themselves National Champions all they want, but the fact is all 116 AP voters, who were alive at the time and actually watched the season, thought that Army was the better team. OSU has a handful of panel members who weren't even alive at the time. 

Oklahoma only claims 7 of our 17 awarded titles. Notre Dame only claims 11 of 22. USC claims 11 of 17. Michigan claims 11 of 16. Ohio State claims 8 of 16. Harvard claims 7 of 12. 

As a proud Oklahoman, I want OSU to win a National Title one day. I would love to see a day and age when OU and OSU are in the playoffs every year as the No. 1 and 2 ranked teams. It's unlikely, but wouldn't it be nice? Heck, throw Tulsa in there as well, so long as we're imaging a perfect world. 

I would much rather see OSU make a case for the 2011 season, when they won ten-straight to earn the No. 2 rank before dropping a double overtime upset to Iowa State. They bested OU 44-10, won their first and only Big 12 title, and beat No. 4 Stanford 41-38 in overtime at the Fiesta Bowl. That year there wasn't a single ranked team without a loss, and National Champion Alabama avenged their regular season loss to No. 1 LSU with a 21-0 victory in the Championship game. While I personally think Alabama and LSU were both far better teams than OSU, at least OSU got 4 of 60 votes in the AP poll that year, as opposed to 1945 when they got 0 of 116. 

Oklahoma State has come a long way as a program and I think one day they will likely win a Championship. But that day won't be this year, it wasn't in 2011, and it wasn't in 1945 either. In 2011 they were named the National Champion by the Colley-Matrix, and the Cowboys did the right thing by not recognizing it. They shouldn't recognize this one either.

I'm not being one sided in this. The AFCA still has 27 more National Titles to give out, of which OU could make legitimate claim to the 1949 title. We were undefeated and we posted one more win than Notre Dame, who was recognized by the AP. While many OU fans may be excited to win the '49 title, I won't be. You can hold me to it, if the AFCA calls Oklahoma the 1949 National Champion, I'll still be claiming seven national titles, not eight. National Titles should be decided at the time, not decades later by people who weren't around when the games were played. Notre Dame was the better team in '49 and Army was the better team in '45.

When Oklahoma State wins its first National Title, I will be as excited as anybody, and more excited than anybody who recognizes the 1945 Championship. Winning a real Title will be much sweeter without being watered down by revisionist history.

Week Six 6A-II Rankings and Predictions; a look at this weekend's games

Photo: Morgan Miller

Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

No. 1 Muskogee Roughers (Last week No. 3) vs No. 2 Booker T Washington Hornets (2)

Rafe Watkins's Muskogee Roughers (5-0, 2-0) came into the season highly ranked, but it wasn't high enough for them. Friday night on their home turf, the Roughers upset the top-ranked two-time defending State Champions from Bixby (2-3, 0-1) 45-42 in a wild aerial shootout. Muskogee quarterback Jacob Medrano finished 20-33-377-1 for four touchdowns, and running back Molijah Gilbert carried 20 times for 99 yards.

The Hornets (4-2, 2-0) completed their second-straight shutout of the season with a powerful 45-0 victory over Sapulpa (0-5, 0-2). QB Phillip Wheatley has accounts for the bulk of the Hornet offense and surpassed 1000 yards for the season Friday night. The run game is stacked with Rylan McQuarters, Tyler Holmes, and Garrick Jackson all in triple digits for the year.

The Pick: Muskogee 43, Booker T 35

No. 3 Bixby Spartans (1) vs No. 15 Sapulpa Chieftains (15) 

The Spartans (2-3, 0-1) may have lost their battle with the Roughers, but it wasn't due to poor performance. QB Tanner Griffin was 33-49-318-1 for four touchdowns and Tucker Pawley ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns. The Spartans have had a tough schedule thus far in the season, but should have an easy time getting their first district win Friday night in Sapulpa (0-5, 0-2).

Sapulpa posted a mere 54 yards passing and 67 yards rushing in their sixth-straight loss Friday against Booker T.

The Pick: Bixby 60, Sapulpa 3

No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (4) vs No. 11 Choctaw Yellowjackets (10)

The Midwest City Bombers' (3-2, 2-0) first four games this season were decided by a touchdown or less, but they broke that streak Friday night at Deer Creek, scoring their first shutout since mid-2014. Astin Anderson finished with 130 yards on 23 carries, but it was the defense that starred, giving up an incredible 3 first downs and 78 yards of total offense in the 35-0 rout.

Choctaw (2-3, 0-2) led the Enid Plainsmen with a minute and a half left last week before giving up an interception deep in Enid territory and allowed their opponents to score a touchdown with 17 seconds left for the 43-39 win.

The Pick: Midwest City 31, Choctaw 14

No. 5 Sand Springs Sandites (5) vs No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (14)

The Sandites (3-2, 1-0) secured their third-straight win Friday night at home in a non-conference matchup with Yukon (0-5) and dominated the entirety. The visiting Millers scored before either offense ever stepped foot on the field, returning the opening kickoff 95 yard for a touchdown. That would be their last score till the fourth quarter as the Sand Springs defense drilled the Millers with seven tackles for loss totaling 35 yards, as well as two sacks, two interceptions, and two forced fumbles. While the run-game has dominated the Sand Springs offense this year, QB Hunter Greathouse had his time to shine, throwing 13-24-192-0 for two touchdowns, and secured his career-best run game with eight carries for 58 yards and a touchdown. Payton Scott netted his fifth-straight triple digit run game with 22 carries for 144 yards and a touchdown.

Ponca City (1-4, 0-2) lost their second-straight game to Bartlesville (2-3, 1-1) Friday night, despite a solid passing performance from Brice McDougal. The Wildcat QB finished 19-37-176-1 with two touchdowns, but the run game amounted to a mere 29 yards as a team with no touchdowns. Kicker Mitchell Wilson sank a pair of field goals. The return game was strong, averaging about 14 yards per punt return and 16 yards per kickoff return. The Sand Springs special teams have had a hard time stopping returns this season, so the Wildcats will likely look to capitalize on that.

The Pick: CPHS 40, Ponca 17

No. 6 Lawton Wolverines (7) vs No. 12 Stillwater Pioneers (11)

Lawton (2-3, 1-1) got back in the win column with a big district battle against Putnam City (3-2, 1-1) last week, racking up a 20-0 lead in the first half. Sophomore backup QB Kyler Jenderseck replaced Zack Hanna who tore his MCL in practice this week. He completed 5 of 12 passes for 48 yards and scored on touchdown on the ground. The defense was the MVP of the game, making several big plays including a tipped pass in the endzone by Kejuan Neal to prevent a touchdown. Miles Davis recovered a muffed punt at the Putnam 22, leading to a touchdown run on the next play by Tre Curry. Curry carried the offense with 29 runs for 168 yards and two touchdowns. 

Stillwater (2-3, 0-2) made a big case for themselves early in the season, going 2-1 against ranked 6A-I opponents. Since then, they've given up two-straight district losses, 21-14 to Deer Creek (1-4, 1-1) and 10-7 to Putnam City West (4-1, 2-0). The Pioneers traveled to Putnam Friday and trailed 10-7 with 3:34 left and a fourth and goal conundrum. They went for the touchdown instead of the field goal and were stuffed. The Stillwater defense was stout through the game, giving up only ten rushing yards till the final minutes when the PC QB scrambled 81 yards and nearly scored. The Pioneers rallied for turnover on downs deep in their red, but QB Garrett Leming threw an interception three plays later. Leming only completed 2 of 12 passes for 10 yards with 3 interceptions. The run game was strong with the Pioneers, however, with a little over 200 yards between three carriers. 

The Pick: Lawton 23, Stillwater 10

No. 7 Putnam City West Patriots (8) vs No. 8 Putnam City Pirates (6) 

A rivalry game with major district implications; Putnam City (3-2, 1-1) and Putnam West (4-1, 2-0) are both top dogs in their district and both have a lot to play for. The Patriots look to continue their undefeated district winning streak and hold themselves to a one-loss season. The Pirates need to reassert themselves after going down 26-14 against Lawton.

The Patriots won a close one over Stillwater (2-3, 0-2), only coming up with a 10-7 victory, but it was a victory nonetheless. They're one of only two teams left without a district loss and are shaping up to possibly make their first playoff appearance of the twenty-first century. They have already matched their record from last season, their best since 2000, and can only go up from here. QB Trey Gooch and Memphis commit WR Nick Robinson have brought heavy offense all season until they encountered Stillwater, and hope to build momentum before their crucial match up against Midwest City next week.

The Pirates have only two losses this season, both to solid opponents in Bixby (2-3, 0-1) and Lawton (2-3, 1-1). QB A.J. Newsome was 12-28-168-0 passing against Lawton and led on the ground with 20 carries for 84 yards and two touchdowns. The special teams were impressive, averaging fifteen yards per kick return and 29 yards per punt return. 

The Pick: Putnam West 23, Putnam City 21.

No. 9 Deer Creek Antlers (9) vs No. 10 Enid Plainsmen (12)

Deer Creek (1-4, 1-1) has had a hell of a schedule this year, starting the season with three straight losses to top-ten 6A-I opponents before finally finding a win against Stillwater. In week two of districts they went up against Midwest City and were shutout 35-0, their first shutout loss since 2011. The Antlers were held to a mere 78 yards of total offense and three first downs. QB Hunter Freese completed only 6 of 18 passes for 45 yards and was sacked three times. With the exception of the last game, the Antlers have actually played fairly well this season, averaging 24 points per game in their first four encounters, before being smothered by the powerful Bomber defense.

Enid (2-3, 1-1) secured a big upset over Choctaw (2-3, 0-2) last week, coming from behind for a 43-39 win. The Plainsmen averaged 5 yards per carry for 236 total, and first-time starting QB Mason Skrimager was 31 of 41 for 233 passing with no interceptions.

The Pick: No consensus. Scott Emigh says 28-14 Deer Creek, Virgil Noah says 28-14 Enid.

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13) 

The Bartlesville Bruins (2-3, 1-1) will take a bye week after winning a district match against Ponca City (1-4, 0-2) Friday night. QB Garrett Meidl was 16-26-294-1 with three touchdowns; two by air and one on the ground. 


District Two Standings

2-0 Booker T Washington
2-0 Muskogee
1-0 Sand Springs
1-1 Bartlesville

0-1 Bixby
0-2 Ponca City
0-2 Sapulpa

District One Standings

2-0 Putnam West
2-0 Midwest City
1-1 Lawton
1-1 Putnam City

1-1 Deer Creek
1-1 Enid
0-2 Choctaw
0-2 Stillwater


Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief Record: 18-8, 69.2%   

Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
Record: 18-8, 69.2%

 

Virgil Noah, Staff Writer Record: 14-12, 54%

Virgil Noah, Staff Writer
Record: 14-12, 54%

Week Four 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

Photo: Morgan Miller

Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs. 6A No. 4 Westmoore Jaguars

The 6A-II back-to-back defending State Champions (1-2) bit off the second-toughest pre-conference schedule in the division and paid the price, starting with an 0-2 record. They also reaped the reward of experience and dolled out that experience on the Putnam City Pirates (2-1) Friday night. The Pirates stood little chance and what few scores they managed were the result of opportunistic slips in the Spartan defense. The whole of their offense was ineffective against the Spartans and the Bixby tide rolled to a 56-20 victory. Bixby held Putnam to a mere six first-downs and 187 yards against twenty-nine first downs and 473 yards of total offense. QB Tanner Griffin connected on 31 of 44 passes for 303 yards and four touchdowns and the run game was alive and well with Tucker Pawley who needed only two quarters to run 28 times for 167 yards and four touchdowns.

Westmoore (3-0) received a nice bump in the 6A-I rankings after upsetting in-town rival No. 3 Southmoore 34-28 in overtime in week two for their second ranked win after beating rival No. 10 Moore (2-1) 51-41 in week one. This past Friday they handled unranked Edmond North (0-3) 21-7. Their offense was slow and only scored one touchdown with five drives ending on downs. The defense saved the game with a pick six and a forced fumble, and the third touchdown came on a punt return.

The Pick: Bixby 38, Westmoore 34

No. 2 Booker T. Washington Hornets (2) vs No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (15)

Booker T Washington (2-2) has had two close ones and two blow outs this season. They lost a close one to 6A-I No. 8 Edmond Santa Fe (2-1) when the Wolves were still ranked No. 3, and followed it up with a close 21-14 win over Midwest City (1-2) in week two. The next week they played the number two team in the country and it might as well have been a college team. IMG Academy (4-0) features 29 NCAA Division One-commits and the Ascenders topped the Hornets 49-7. This past weekend it was time for the Hornets to bring the rain, powering through 5A Shawnee (1-2) 43-6.

Ponca City (1-2) took a bye week after netting their first win 9-0 over 5A Guthrie. The first two weeks weren't nearly as pretty as Edmond Memorial and Enid both hung 42 points on the Wildcats. Enid was somewhat close at 42-31, but Edmond was a 42-6 blowout.

The pick: BTW 54, Ponca 9

No. 3 Muskogee Roughers (3) vs No. 11 Bartlesville Bruins (9)

The Muskogee Roughers (3-0) are the only undefeated team remaining in the division and look to continue that streak into district play. They've only notched one win against a ranked opponent, 16-12 over Midwest City, but scored blowouts in the following games. After topping McAlester (1-2) 51-13, they did even worse to Bentonville West (0-3). The Wolverines are the bottom-ranked team in Arkansas Class 7A, and the Roughers had little difficulty in a 62-13 victory. 

The Bruins (1-2) are in a rebuilding year after graduating most of their top performers in last year's powerful season. They won a close one 27-24 over McAlester in week one and were blown out 59-14 and 27-7 by 6A-I No. 7 Owasso (1-2) and 4A No. 4 Cascia Hall (2-1), respectively. 

The Pick: Muskogee 43, Bartlesville 18

No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (4) vs No. 5 Lawton Wolverines (7)

The marquee matchup of the week in 6A-II, the Bombers (1-2) and Wolverines (1-2) will kick off district play with much to prove. The Bombers have held their top-five ranking thanks to strength of schedule after falling 16-12 to Muskogee and 21-14 to Booker T. Last week they notched their first win 28-21 over 5A No. 6 Del City (2-1) while the Wolverines got in the win column with a 1000+ yard total offensive beat down on 5A Eisenhower (0-3). Lawton has also had a tough season thus far with some of the top dogs in 5A. They dropped a 56-41 shootout with 5A No. 3 Carl Albert (3-0) and 5A No. 1 Lawton MacArthur (3-0).

Lawton's pass game has been average at best, but Tre Curry is already at 589 yards rushing with only 79 carries for 6 touchdowns. The Bombers, however, are well prepared for the run game after holding Booker T to under 100 yards on the ground. 

The Pick: No consensus. Scott Emigh calls it 24-21 to MWC, Virgil Noah calls it 27-21 to Lawton.

No. 6 Sand Springs Sandites (6) vs No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (14)

One of the greatest rivalries in Oklahoma football is renewed this Friday in Sand Springs. The Chieftains (0-3) lead the Highway 97 Rivalry 44-42-3, but the Sandites have won the past two years by substantial margins, including a brutal 44-10 beat-down last season. The series is tied at 8-8 since 2000.

The Sandites are coming into the game with a lot to prove after dropping their first two games and barely winning the third. Last years' State Runners-Up scheduled a big dog in 5A Arkansas State Champions Pulaski Academy and were handily defeated 56-21. In week two they were unable to shut down the Choctaw air raid and gave up a 45-41 come-from-behind upset. They struggled offensively against Putnam West, but key defensive and special teams plays gave them the close 29-24 win.

The Pick: Sand Springs 46, Sapulpa 22

No. 7 Putnam City Pirates (8) vs No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (5) 

After scoring a surprising upset over the Sandites (1-2) in week two, the Yellowjackets were in-turn upset in week three. 6A-I Putnam City North (1-2) lost both in-town rivalry games 16-7 to Putnam City and 16-5 to Putnam City West, but got in the win column with a huge upset 17-14 over Choctaw. 

Choctaw relied on its powerful air-raid offense to win close 90+ point shootouts with Sapulpa and Sand Springs, but when it met Ryan Laverty's newly established Panther defense, they were useless without a substantial ground game. The Panthers forced seven turnovers, including six interceptions for the win.

Putnam City (2-1) already proved themselves against the Putnam North defense, then steamrolled El Reno 52-6 in week two. They suffered their first loss last week to the top-ranked Spartans, but still managed to score 20 points on big home-run plays. The Pirates have a versatile offense, transitioning smoothly to the ground after the Putnam North pass-defense held them to 90 yards, but managed to throw well against both El Reno and Bixby. 

The Pick: Choctaw 33, Putnam 32. 

No. 8 Putnam City West Patriots (11) vs No. 13 Enid Plainsmen (10)

The Patriots (2-1) gave the Sandites a run for their money last weekend, falling 29-24, but still hold solid wins over 5A Duncan 43-14 and 16-5 over in-town rival Putnam North (1-2). QB Trey Gooch was 16-25-1-172 passing against the Sandites and also carried 14 times for 72 yards and was in on every touchdown. 

The Plainsmen (1-2) won a 42-31 shootout with Ponca City in week two, but were edged out by Guthrie 22-19 in week one and were utterly floored 44-14 by 5A No. 7 Bishop McGuinness (2-1) last week. 

The Pick: PCW 26, Enid 17.

No. 10 Stillwater Pioneers (13) vs No. 12 Deer Creek Antlers (12)

The Pioneers (2-1) made a big statement last week with a 34-26 upset of 6A-I No. 9 Mustang (2-1). The Broncos had previously won 42-20 over Yukon and 44-3 over Norman, so if Stillwater's victory is any indicator of their season to come, they could be a serious contender for at least the district title, if not the State Championship. 

The Antlers (0-3) had strength of schedule boosting their ranking the first two weeks, but after losing 48-31 to unranked Edmond Memorial, they're going to have to put in work against Stillwater to prove themselves at the 6A level. That Memorial is a rival and rivalry games are often unpredictable lends the Antlers some credibility still, but going into districts 0-3 doesn't look good for the team's first year out of 5A. 

The Pick: Stillwater 37, Deer Creek 19

New 6A-II rankings and predictions; a look at this weekend's games

Photo: MORGAN MILLER

Photo: MORGAN MILLER

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs No. 8 Putnam City Pirates (7)

The back-to-back defending State Champions (0-2) haven't won a game yet, but only due to their strength of schedule. The Spartans gave 6A-I No. 1 Jenks (3-0) a closer run for their money than 6A-I No. 2 Union (2-1), leading 34-31 with forty seconds left before giving up a touchdown. In week two they traveled to Arkansas to take on Class 7A State Semi-finalist Bentonville (1-1) and lost 44-34. QB Tanner Griffin is 50-82-549-2 with 7 touchdowns.

The Spartans play their home-opener Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Putnam City (2-0).

Putnam makes the drop from 6A-I after a 5-6 season with a 58-28 playoff loss to Union. The Pirates won their in-town rivalry game against 6A-I Putnam North (0-2) 16-7 and trounced 5A El Reno (0-2) 24-6. 

The Pick: Bixby 53-12

No. 2 Booker T Washington Hornets (3) vs Shawnee

The Hornets are 1-2 after starting with the toughest pre-conference schedule in the class. In week one they lost to 6A-I No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe (3-0) by a close 26-23, then followed it up with a 21-14 win over No. 5 Midwest City (0-2). This weekend they traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana to take on the number two team in the nation. Florida's IMG Academy (3-0) features 29 NCAA Division One committed players and had little difficulty in shutting down the Hornets 49-7 in the Battle of the Border high school showcase. 

Booker T travels to 5A Shawnee (1-1) Friday at 7:00 p.m.

The Pick: Booker T 36-13

No. 3 Muskogee Roughers (4) vs Bentonville

Former 5A State Championship-winning coach from Guthrie, Rafe Watkins, has spent the last season rebuilding Muskogee's program, and it looks like the move has paid off. The Roughers are 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2007 and did so against solid teams. They defeated Midwest City 16-12 in week one and McAlester 51-13 in week two. 

This week they'll travel to Bentonville for a 7:00 p.m. game.

The Pick: Bentonville 41-18

No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (5) vs Del City

Midwest City is two in the hole, but both losses were to top-five teams, and both were by a touchdown or less. 16-12 to Muskogee and 21-14 to Booker T. The Bombers will take on 5A No. 6 Del City (2-0) on the road Friday at 7:00 p.m.

The Pick: Midwest City 33-15

No. 5 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) vs Putnam North

Choctaw (2-0) has relied entirely on its offense this season, winning its first two games by an average score of 49-42. In week one they were the leading team in a 52-42 shootout with Sapulpa, and in week two they scored a major 45-41 upset over the Sandites, coming from behind with a minute left. The pass-heavy offense will help Choctaw to prevail against many teams in 6A-II, but they'll need to develop their defense before the playoffs if they want to take down Bixby or Booker T. 

The Pick: Choctaw 55-33

No. 6 Sand Springs Sandites (2) vs No. 11 Putnam West Patriots (14)

The Charles Page High School football team (0-2) bit off more than they could chew in week one with a 56-21 loss to Arkansas 5A back-to-back State Champions Pulaski Academy (1-1). Last week they led a shootout with No. 9 Choctaw for the entire game before giving up a last minute touchdown for a 45-41 loss. Sr. QB Hunter Greathouse holds a 27-55-389-2 passing record with 2 touchdowns, and Jr. RB Payton Scott has 57 carries for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Sandites are reloading on defense behind Sr. Delvin Jordan, but retain a powerful O-line lead by Nathan Simonton, Danny Ropp, Michael Carper, and Lincoln Adams. 

The Sandites look to get in the win column with their home-opener Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Putnam City West (2-0).

The Patriots are looking to compete this year after going 4-6 last season for their best record in over a decade. They got off to a great start with a 43-14 win over 5A Duncan (1-2), then defeated in-town rivals from 6A-I Putnam North (0-2) 16-5 in week two. 

The Pick: Sand Springs 46-19

No. 7 Lawton Wolverines (8) vs Lawton Eisenhower

The Wolverines (0-2) are off to a rough start, dropping a 56-41 shootout to No. 3 Carl Albert (2-0) and a 35-28 loss to in-town rivals 5A No. 1 Lawton MacArthur (2-0). They still have strength of schedule in their favor, and are likely to get in the win column against 5A rivals Lawton Ike (0-2).

The Pick: Lawton 37-10

No. 9 Bartlesville Bruins (6) 

The Bruins (1-2) lost a lot of talent in their starting QB, lead RB, and most of their starting defense and is unlikely to pose the threat they did last year. They won their season opener 27-24 over 5A McAlester, but dropped a 59-14 beatdown to 6A-I No. 9 Owasso (1-2) and 27-7 to 4A No. 4 Cascia Hall (2-0). Bartlesville has a bye week this week and will return to action September 23rd against Muskogee.

No. 10 Enid Plainsmen (12) vs Bishop McGuinness

The Plainsmen (2-0) are recovering from a 3-7 season with a pair of wins, 22-19 over 5A No. 10 Guthrie (1-2) and 42-31 over Ponca City (1-2). This week they'll have their toughest opponent yet in 5A No. 7 Bishop McGuinness (1-1). 

The Pick: Enid 20-19

No. 12 Deer Creek Antlers (11) vs Edmond Memorial

Edmond Deer Creek (0-2) went 8-4 last season in 5A before stepping up a division. They lost their season opener 52-13 to No. 6 Southmoore (1-1), then lost the first game of Edlam 47-31 to No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe (3-0). Despite being winless, they have scheduling strength in their favor. This week they'll finish out their in-town rivalry series against Edmond Memorial (2-1) Friday at 7:00 p.m.

The Pick: Deer Creek 24-19

No. 13 Stillwater Pioneers (10) vs Mustang

Stillwater (1-1) slated nothing but 6A-I teams for their pre-conference schedule and fared well against Edmond Memorial (2-1) for a 24-7 win in week one, but fell 16-7 to No. 10 Moore (1-1) last week. This week they'll have an even tougher opponent in No. 7 Mustang (2-0). Mustang will have the home field advantage this Friday at 7:00 p.m.

The Pick: Mustang 39-19

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (13) vs Bishop Kelley

Sapulpa (0-2) looks to new leadership in the former Sand Springs defensive coordinator Robert Borgstadt. Borgstadt is in his first year at the head coaching position, and the Chieftains are already competing. They lost their season opener 24-21 to 5A Duncan (1-2) and got in a shootout with Choctaw (2-0) but fell 52-42. The fast-paced offense benefits from double-threat QB Cameron Elder with a 49-72-522-3 passing record and 3 touchdowns in addition to his 33 carries for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. 

The Chieftains will play a home game Friday at 7:00 p.m. against 5A No.8 Bishop Kelley (1-1).

The Pick: Bishop Kelley 

Ponca City Wildcats (15)

The Wilcats (1-2) employ a solid QB in Brice McDougal who's 58-104-729-3 for 5 touchdowns already this season, but are hurting in the run game. Both of their first two opponents hung 42 points on them. Edmond Memorial (2-1) won 42-6 and Enid (2-0) won 42-31, but the Wildcats did manage a 9-0 win against 5A No. 10 Guthrie (1-2). The Wildcats got an early start on the season and will take a bye this week.

Editorial: How the 6A split saved 6A football

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Oklahoma high school football experienced a dramatic and controversial change in the fall of 2013 when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association (OSSAA) announced a split in Class 6A. The 16 highest-enrollment schools would be separated from the lower 16 and each division would play for their own State Title.

The reason for the decision was simple. Population. The current enrollment of Broken Arrow High School is 4,872. The enrollment of Booker T Washington? 1,317. The difference between the top of 6A and the bottom of 6A is greater than the top of 5A and the smallest schools in the State. Schools like BA, Union, Jenks, and Owasso have four times the talent pool to draw from. While the majority of the Hornet starters play both sides of the ball and never get a break, the Redskins have a roster larger than some colleges and have backups for their backups.

Class 6A was created in 1992 and the inaugural Championship was won by Norman. Jenks won it in ’93, Midwest City went back-to-back from ’94-95, and nobody but Jenks or Union has won it since. More often than not, the State Championship game has simply been a rematch between the Backyard Bowl rivals. Since the inception of 6A, Jenks leads the series with 14 titles to Union’s 7, and only 2 other teams have ever won.

Clearly population isn’t the only deciding factor, otherwise Broken Arrow would have won it every year. But there’s no denying the significance it plays. 6A teams were judged by their ability to turn a winning record, not by their ability to win State Titles. That was irrelevant. Nobody won State Titles but Jenks and Union.

In the 22 seasons that Sand Springs played the 6A division, they earned a total record of 98-131 and only managed 7 winning seasons with 7 playoff appearances. In five of those years they were eliminated by top-four-enrollment schools. The other years it was by top-ten schools. Since the 6A split, the Sandites have gone 15-11, made the playoffs both years, and actually won playoff games for the first time since 1997. In 2015, the Sandites made their first State Final appearance since 1966.

While the problems with the 6A split were clear—increased travel, “easier” brackets—the solution has proved to be a game-changer for the 16 schools who now feel like they actually have a legitimate chance. The culture around Sand Springs football has changed, and it’s not an isolated event.

The Class 6A-II conversation begins with two-time reigning State Champions, the Bixby Spartans. Bixby was an annual contender in Class 5A without fail. They weren’t part of the inaugural class of 6A. They didn’t move over until 2010. Prior to that, they had six-straight winning seasons with ten-straight playoff appearances. In their first year of 6A they finished the regular season 5-5, their worst record since 2003, and were eliminated in round one by Jenks. For the next two years they posted losing records and didn’t make the playoffs again till the 6A split. In a single year, the 6A powerhouses had killed the football culture at Bixby. They were lucky that they only had to live through it for four years before the split. In 2014, the Spartans were once again playing teams at their size, and they went 12-1 for their first ever State Title. Their only loss? A season-opening non-conference game against Jenks. Jenks won that one 66-20. The Spartans defended their title in 2015 and are currently ranked number one in 2016. After two straight winning seasons and State Titles, the Spartans challenged Jenks in their season opener and nearly won it, 38-34.

Booker T Washington has always had a culture of winning, with eight State Championships including two recently in 2008 and 2010 at the 5A level. The Hornets only had to play two seasons of 6A football, both ending in first round devastating playoff defeats at the hands of the Big Four. As soon as 6A split, they were back in it with a 7-game winning streak and a 10-2 season in 2014. Last year they went undefeated in the regular season and earned the number one rank before Sand Springs defeated them in the semi-finals. This year the Hornets are laying the foundation to take their program to the next level with College Hall of Fame member Brad Calip taking over as Head Coach and former University of Tulsa Head Coach Bill Blankenship volunteering with the quarterbacks and offensive coaching. The Hornets have stepped up their pre-conference scheduling with 6A No. 5 Edmond Santa Fe and Florida-based private school IMG Academy which is currently ranked No. 2 in the nation with an entire roster of division-I commits.

Bartlesville was part of the first class of 6A, and went 0-10 in the first two years. They didn’t post a winning record till 2002, when they were doubled down on by Union 54-27 in the first round of the playoffs. Their next winning record wouldn’t come till 2008, and that was only due to a forfeiture by Jenks due to OSSAA sanctions. In 2009 they gave it a real run and even defeated Owasso, but still couldn’t fend off Jenks, BA, and Southmoore. In 2010 they had another winning record at 7-4. Their losses were to the Big Four. Since the 6A split they’ve made the playoffs both years and finished last season with only two losses. They held the No. 1 rank briefly after defeating Bixby, before falling to BTW two weeks later.

The success stories continue from there. The evidence is undeniable, the 6A split has saved 6A football. While critics of the sixteen-team bracket call it a JV division, the reality is that the top teams in 6A-II never could compete with the Big Four when they were in 6A, but now they could. Bixby nearly defeated 6A No. 1 Jenks in a pre-conference battle. BTW almost defeated 6A No. 5 Edmond Santa Fe. Sand Springs has begun scheduling real opponents like Arkansas State Champion Pulaski Academy, instead of their past habit of lighting up Nathan Hale, who has lost 37-straight games. Muskogee has brought in 5A State Championship coach Rafe Watkins from Guthrie and is now a real contender for the first time in years. Putnam City West is confidently rebuilding their program after a decade of losing seasons. Sapulpa brought on former Sand Springs Defensive Coordinator Robert Borgstadt as head coach to rebuild their ailing program.

Success breeds success. Is the 16-team bracket the best way to go? Who knows? Maybe one day there will be a full 32 schools the size of BA and we can re-institute the 32-team standard. Maybe we should split all the other classes into 16-team divisions as well. Or maybe we should call Bixby and Jenks Division Champions instead of State Champions and have them play each other for the true 6A State Championship. There’s many things we could try; some could work, and some won’t. But the fact is, 6A football is more competitive than it has ever been, and almost every school in the Class is now vying to be the next big deal. The Big Four monopoly hasn’t been broken, but at least 16 teams now feel like they have a real shot.

Choctaw stuns Sandites in come-from-behind 45-41 shootout

Photo: Morgan Miller

Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Virgil Noah, Staff Writer

The No. 2 Charles Page High School Varsity Football team (0-2) came into their non-district contest with the No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (2-0) looking to get things going offensively after only managing to score 21 points in their season opening loss to Pulaski Academy. They succeeded, scoring 41 points in the game but it would not be enough as the team fell 45-41 to the Yellowjackets. 

The contest was a back and forth battle all game, with the Sandites threatening to pull away multiple times, but the Jackets kept clawing their way back into it.  

The teams traded possessions until near the end of the first period when Payton Scott, who was the game's workhorse for the visitors, capped an 8 play, 66 yard drive with a 6 yard touchdown run. Kasey Bales tacked on the extra point and the Sandites lead 7-0. On the ensuing Choctaw possession Senior quarterback Dylan Weaver threw a pass into the waiting arms of defensive back Cody Motes who scampered 36 yards up the sideline for the pick 6 and the lead was 14-0. 

Choctaw got on the board with a touchdown pass from Weaver, and the Sandites answered on the first play of the second quarter on a touchdown pass from Dalton Morgan to Bales.  

Another touchdown toss from Weaver, and a rushing touchdown by running back JD Kolb tied the game at 21. Second-year quarterback Hunter Greathouse scored on a quarterback sneak with 0:33 left in the first half but Bales's PAT was blocked. On the last play of the first half, Jacket kicker Liam Jones made a 32 yard field goal and the game went to intermission with the home team trailing 27-24.  

Scott found pay dirt again in the third, this time from 23 yards out to extend the Page lead to 10 points, but Kolb cut it back to 3 quickly with a run of his own. The Sandite offense faced a fourth and 15 deep in Choctaw territory, and elected to go for the conversion. It proved to be a smart decision as Greathouse connected with Caleb Wash for a 25 yard touchdown and increased the lead to 41-31. Kolb ran 21 yards for his fourth touchdown of the game just 30 seconds later and put the pressure back on Sand Springs. 

Choctaw snagged an interception on the ensuing Sandite drive, but Jerry Lyons forced a fumble and got the Sandites the ball back in Yellowjacket territory with under four minutes remaining.  

With 1:16 remaining Choctaw stuffed a fourth down run by Scott to give their offense one more attempt at scoring, and they made the most of it. On fourth and 5, Weaver completed a pass to Kolb who broke a tackle short of the first down marker, and turned on the jets up the sideline for a 78 yard touchdown, his fifth of the game.  

Down four points with just 0:49 seconds left, Greathouse lead the offense back on the field. With 0:10 left he completed a pass to Wash for 45 yards down to the Choctaw 13-yard-line. Greathouse attempted two throws to the end zone, the first broken up, and the second just past the fingertips of Bales and the game ended.

Scott lead the way for Sand Springs, carrying the ball 39 times for 239 yards and two scores. Greathouse passed 14-29-251-1 for one touchdown, and also scored a touchdown rushing. Bales lead the way receiving with 5 receptions for 72 yards and a touchdown. Delvin Jordan took a beating, going down twice, but rejoining each time to lead the Sandite defense in tackles.

Charles Page will host their first game of the season Friday at 7:00 p.m., in a non-district match-up with Putnam City West  (2-0). Choctaw will take on Putnam North (0-2) in a non-district battle Friday at 7:00 in Putnam City. 

Sandites of the Week for August through September

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Football season may have just started, but the high school sports season is well under way. We had initially planned on waiting till school started to begin naming a Sandite of the Week again, before realizing that some sports started several weeks before the school year. Out of fairness to the hardworking athletes who gave excellent performances over the last month, we have decided to retroactively name a Sandite of the Week back to August 13th when the first week of high school athletics ended.

August 7 through 13: Sydney Pennington

The athletic season began on Tuesday, August 9th for the Lady Sandite Softball team on a trip to the Claremore Festival where the girls split with a 13-0 shutout win over Mannford and a 5-0 loss to Coweta. Pennington scored two runs on three at-bats against the Lady Pirates, each from a single. Against Coweta she had a perfect batting performance with a single and a double on two at-bats.

On Friday the Sandites traveled to the Broken Arrow Tournament where they amassed a 4-2 record. In the opening game against Owasso, Pennington landed one of only three hits for the Lady Sandites in a 2-1 loss. In the next round the girls got payback on the defending State Champions from Choctaw. After being defeated 4-3 in the State Finals last year, the Sandites avenged themselves with a 4-1 victory in which Pennington scored two runs, one on a fielder’s choice and one on a home run. In the third game of the day the girls handled Putnam City North 3-1. Pennington scored a run and went to the mound for the first time this season. She didn’t give up a single earned run and allowed only four hits against seven strikeouts.

On Saturday the girls dropped a 6-2 loss to Durant and Pennington scored one RBI and hit two singles on three at-bats. Pennington went back to the mound for a 4-1 defeat of Edmond North and Pennington scored two runs on two walks. She allowed only one run, five hits, and zero walks against two strikeouts.

In the tournament finale against the host team, the Sandites prevailed 3-1 to take fifth place out of sixteen teams. Pennington scored one run and two RBI with a perfect batting performance. Two singles, one double, and a home run.

Pennington is a senior and is verbally committed to Oklahoma State University. She is the daughter of Amy and Brett Pennington. This is her third time being named Sandite of the week.

August 14 through 20: Jacie Taber

Charles Page High School sophomore Jacie Taber entered week two of softball with a 2-1 record from the mound, but a series of impressive games bumped her up to 5-1 by the end of the week.

In the first game of a Tuesday night double header against Norman, Taber didn’t give up a single run in the 4-0 shutout. She allowed only three hits and three walks against six strikeouts. In game two she got on base with a double and scored in the 10-0 run rule shutout.

On Thursday the Lady Sandites played a double header against their Highway 97 rivals from Sapulpa. They won the first game 6-0 and the second game with a 10-0 run-rule shutout. In game two Taber got it done on the mound and at the plate, scoring one run and two RBI on three hits for a perfect batting average with two singles and a double. In only five innings she pitched ten strikeouts and only gave up one hit and two walks.

On Friday they headed to the RSU Festival in Claremore and Taber scored a run with a single in an 11-0 shutout run-rule victory over Muskogee. In the next game they played last year’s 5A State Runners-Up and defeated Pryor 3-0 with Taber on the mound. In five innings, Taber gave up only two hits and five walks and struck out ten batters.

Taber is the daughter of Amy and Ronnie Taber. Her father and two older brothers are stars on the Sandite football team. Ronnie played on the State semifinal team in 1988. Jacob, a former SOTW, just graduated after leading the team to the State Finals as Defensive Captain and is currently a freshman at Fort Hays State, while Josh made a great season debut this past weekend as a receiver and defensive back. This is Jacie's first time as Sandite of the Week.

August 21 through 27: Gloria Mutiri

CPHS junior Gloria Mutiri is a 6’2” left-handed middle hitter who has only been playing since the eighth grade. But despite only discovering the sport a few years ago, you would think she was born on the court. Mutiri has been the leading scorer all three years at Charles Page and is one of the top competitors in the entire state.

This was a less than stellar week for the Sandite Volleyball team as a whole, going 2-4 for a seventh place finish at the Broken Arrow Tournament. But Mutiri excelled, averaging nearly 5 kills and 5 digs per set.

The Lady Sandites dropped a close one to 4A No.4 Victory Christian. They won two sets 26-24 and 25-22, but couldn’t pull it together for the whole match. Mutiri smacked down 22 kills and 5 blocks in the exciting match.

At the Broken Arrow Tournament the team struggled with communicating and gave up several close matches that could have gone either way. In the first match, Mutiri got into a shootout with Malia Leatherland of Tulsa NOAH Home School and both scored 31 points in the wild 3-2 loss. The Sandites won the first two games 25-16 and 29-27 before the Jags rallied for wins of 29-27, 25-20, and 15-13.

The next match was mostly a blowout by No. 3 Norman North, but the Sandites didn’t go down without a fight. They were the only team to win a set against Norman North in pool play and prevented the shutout with a 25-20 win. The other three games only scored a total 27 points for the Sandites, however.

Mutiri posted 23 points and 9 aces in a 3-1 win over Moore during pool play, then added 19 in a 3-0 victory against Moore in the placement match. In between matches against Moore, the girls played a tough one against Bartlesville, losing 3-0 in hotly contested sets. The Bruins didn’t win a single set by more than five points. Over the course of the tournament Mutiri scored 23 aces in only 19 games.

Mutiri is the daughter of the late Reverend Chantal Mutiri and has four sisters, three of whom also attended Charles Page. She is a two-year starter on the varsity basketball team and has been named Sandite of the Week once before for basketball.

August 28 through September 3: Cheyenne Walden

Sand Springs will be hard pressed to ever find a runner as gifted, hard-working, and sportsmanlike as senior Cheyenne Walden. The three-time Cross Country State Champion and three-time Track State Champion not only beats her competitors by impressive margins, but she then stops at the finish line to cheer them on and congratulate them when they finish.

Walden has broken her one-mile personal record two weeks in a row with first place finishes in both events. The Sandites rarely participate in one-mile runs and this was the first year she’s officially clocked one since the Sapulpa race in 2013. In the first race this year, two Saturdays ago, she beat her PR by eight seconds with a 5:23 mile at Kiefer. This past Saturday she shaved another two seconds off for 5:21 at Sapulpa, beating her closest competitor by fifteen seconds.

This is Walden’s fifth-straight Cross Country victory. She went undefeated in the state of Oklahoma her junior year, and only came in runner-up one time at the Fayetteville Chile Pepper Festival.

Walden is the daughter of Angela Rhodes and Alvin Walden. Her sister, Kaitlyn Walden is a freshman this year and has also been performing well in JV and finished her mile in 7:07 for sixth place. This is Cheyenne’s second time being named Sandite of the Week.


Sandite of the Week is a weekly recognition given to any one person with significant ties to the Sand Springs community who accomplishes remarkable achievements during the Sunday through Saturday week preceding the award. Prior achievements may be noted in the article, but do not bear direct influence on the selection committee which only considers prior week accomplishments. Candidates may be nominated by anyone by emailing SanditePrideNews@gmail.com. The award is not given to anyone in consecutive weeks, but any recipient may be nominated and awarded again in the future, so long as the weeks are not consecutive. Final selection is made by a majority vote of the Sandite Pride Editorial Board.

Businesses or organizations seeking to sponsor the Sandite of the Week award may contact the above email for inquiries.

Sandite Football drops season opener to Pulaski Academy

Photo by: Morgan Miller

Photo by: Morgan Miller

SCORING SUMMARY

1Q 11:08 Hatcher 88 yard pass to Johnson. 2pt conversion failed. 6-0 Pulaski.
1Q 9:25 Greathouse 29 yard pass to Bales. Bales PAT. 7-6 Sandites.
1Q 8:59 Hatcher 23 yard pass to Johnson. 2pt conversion failed. 12-7 Pulaski.
1Q 2:14 Hatcher 80 yard pass to Johnson. 2pt run by Adams. 20-7 Pulaski.
1Q 0:15 Edwards 55 yard interception return. Bales PAT. 20-14. Pulaski
2Q 8:28 Hatcher 14 yard pass to Watkins. 2pt run by Hatcher. 28-14 Pulaski.
2Q 4:37 Hatcher 44 yard pass to McMillan. 2pt pass from Hatcher to Johnson. 36-14 Pulaski.
2Q 1:34 Anderson 33 yard run. Hatcher PAT. 43-14 Pulaski.
3Q 5:48 Hatcher 3 yard pass to Johnson. Hatcher PAT. 50-14 Pulaski.
4Q 9:46 Scott 7 yard run. Bales PAT. 50-21 Pulaski.
4Q 4:14 Titus 11 yard run. PAT failed. 56-21 Pulaski.

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No. 4 ranked Charles Page High School varsity football team (0-1) bit off more than they could chew when they traveled to Little Rock, Arkansas Friday night. The 6A-II State Runners-Up played well against No.1 Pulaski Academy (1-0), but the Bruins rode a 27-game winning streak and back-to-back 5A State Championships. Their offense was machine-like, never punting, always going for fourth down, and racked up 614 offensive yards while holding the Sandites to 222.

Senior quarterback Hunter Greathouse was consistent with his performance last year, completing 12 of 25 passes for 110 yards and 1 interception. Junior running back Payton Scott led the Sandite ground game with 101 yards on 14 carries. Each scored a touchdown. Delvin Jordan led the defense with 11 tackles and a 7-yard sack. Josh Taber performed well in the secondary with 3 tackles and 3 pass break-ups, and sophomore Hayden Cramer impressed with 7 tackles.

The Sandites won the toss and elected to kick. The Bruins received the ball at their 27 and it looked like the Sandites would have little problem getting a turnover early-on. Gage Fain tackled Jaren Watkins for a loss of three, the Bruins had two passes fall incomplete, and a sideline interference call pushed Pulaski back to their 12. On fourth and 28 at their own 12 yard line, any normal team would have punted.

The Bruins aren’t any normal team.

Junior quarterback Layne Hatcher sent a screen pass to Tra Johnson and the receiver got the edge on the Sandite secondary for an 88 yard touchdown reception. Hatcher completed a pass to Johnson for a conversion attempt, but the receiver was laid out by Cramer.

Less than a minute into the game and the Sandites trailed 6-0.

The Bruins let off one of their notorious onside kicks, but Cody Motes downed it at the Sandite 49. Greathouse connected on his first pass attempt of the season to Kasey Bales for a gain of 4 and Scott picked up the first down with a 14-yard run. Scott only managed 1 yard on the next pitch, but on second down Greathouse let loose a 29-yard pass to Bales for a touchdown. Bales sent in the PAT to make it 7-6 in the Sandites’ favor and it looked like the game would be a shootout.

The Bruins scored on their next drive after picking up two first downs, each on a single play. Watkins ran for 30, Brett Lynch hauled in a pass for 16, and Johnson caught a 23-yard touchdown reception to regain the lead barely three minutes into the game. Once again the two-point conversion failed, but the home team led 12-7.

This time the Bruins’ onside kick was successful and they regained possession at the Sandite 48. Their drive fell flat, however, after Delvin Jordan picked up a 7-yard sack and three pass attempts fell incomplete.

Sand Springs picked up a pair of first downs, one on a fourth-and-short, before running out of steam. Isiah Woods tackled Scott for a loss of 4 and Blake Titus sacked Greathouse for a loss of 12. Bales punted and the Bruins took possession at their 20 after a touchback.

Hatcher’s first pass attempt was incomplete, but the second found its mark in Johnson for yet another massive touchdown. After receiving the screen, Johnson broke three tackles before clearing the Sandite secondary and running it 80 yards to score. This time the two-point conversion was good in the hands of Trey Adams and the Bruins took the 20-7 advantage with 2:14 remaining in the first quarter.

The Sandites succeeded in downing the ensuing onside kick, but failed to convert a first down and gave up the ball at the Bruin 46.

Taber pulled down receiver Jacory McMillan who picked up 8 yards, and Tre Finch tripped up Watkins to hold the Bruins at third and 1. A pass attempt fell flat on third down, and a fourth down pass attempt found the open arms of Kris Edwards.

Edwards is a junior transfer from Okmulgee who had to sit out last season due to OSSAA eligibility rules. Edwards picked off the pass and returned it the full 55 for a touchdown with 15 seconds on the clock.

The Sandites began to plug the holes in their offense that allowed the long runs, but they couldn’t stop the Bruins from moving the ball all together. The next drive saw four first-downs for the Bruins before Hatcher connect on a 14-yard touchdown screen to Watkins. Hatcher punched in the two-point run and the Bruins doubled down on the Sandites, 28-14.

The Sandites’ next drive ended in a punt and once more the home team made quick work in driving 42 yards before connecting on a 44-yard pass to McMillan to score. Hatcher sent a two-point pass to Johnson for the 36-14 advantage.

Sand Springs punted once more on their next drive and the Bruins scored in six plays. RJ Anderson took a handoff and ran it 33 yards to score. Hatcher kicked the first point-after of the game for the Bruins and Sand Springs was down 43-14.

Sand Springs picked up 13 yards on a pass to Caleb Wash, then added another first down on a 12 yard reception by Mack Thompson. With 0:04 left Greathouse lobbed a deep ball downfield intended for Wash, but it was picked off by Hayden Henry and ran out of bounds to end the half.

The Sandites received the ball to start the second half and quickly picked up a pair of first downs before Henry broke up a pass attempt to Bales to force a turnover.

Pulaski went to work on a 91-yard touchdown drive that culminated in a 3 yard pass to Johnson. Hatcher’s kick was good and the lead furthered to 50-14.

The Arkansas High School Activities Association utilizes a mercy rule adopting a “running clock” anytime a team reaches a 35-point lead after the first half. The Sandites were quickly running out of time.

Sand Springs quickly went to work on a 71-yard drive and Scott broke three tackles on a run before being piled into the endzone for a 7-yard touchdown. Bales sent in the PAT, but the Sandites still trailed 50-21 with less than ten minutes remaining.

The Bruins fielded an onside kick attempt at their 33 and made quick work with another march downfield. Titus took a direct snap 11 yards for a touchdown, but the extra point attempt was a miss.

The remaining few minutes quickly passed and the Bruins had secured their 29th-straight victory.

The Sandites will return to action on Friday, September 9th, when they travel to Choctaw. The Yellowjackets won their first game Friday night in a 52-42 shootout with Sapulpa.

Sand Springs Football heads to Little Rock for season-opener against Pulaski Academy

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in- Chief

The Charles Page High School varsity football team is headed to Little Rock, Arkansas for their season opener against the Pulaski Academy Bruins.  

Both teams are 2015 State Finalists, but not much else is similar between the two teams.  

While the Sandites were the sleeper team in last year's playoffs, the Bruins were the top dog from the very beginning of the season. Pulaski has won back-to-back State Titles. 

The Sandites started last season hot, crushing Tulsa Hale 61-8 and breezing through Enid 33-7. Despite the dominating performances, they found themselves down 0-2 after forfeiting the games due to playing an ineligible transfer student. A third game, against Guthrie, was cancelled due to lightning with the Sandites leading 18-7 shortly before the half. 

From there they took on a highly touted Bartlesville team and lost 24-7. The boys didn't officially get in the win column till week four when they trounced Claremore 27-7 on homecoming. They then beat Highway 97 rival Sapulpa 44-10 and Ponca City 44-27. 

After picking up their fourth straight win 34-10 against Muskogee, they lost in a close 17-14 to the top-ranked Booker T Washington Hornets in a knock-down drag-out downpour. The game was a loss, but it showed that the Sandites could hold pace with anyone in the State. The next week they dominated the defending State Champions from Bixby in a 20-0 shutout.  

The first round of the playoffs went more like the game against Hale than anything, and nearly every eligible player got to see action in the 49-14 quarterfinal win. The semifinals saw a rematch with BTW and this time it was Sand Springs who got the 30-23 edge and prevailed to their first State Finals game since they won it all in 1966. A rematch with Bixby saw a much different opponent. While the Spartans' energy had pilfered out earlier in the season, they reignited their flame in the playoffs and massacred Lawton 36-6 and Bartlesville 67-21. Sand Springs had some big plays that at times made them look like they could win it, but ultimately the defending Champs reclaimed their title 38-28. 

Since Oklahoma split their top class into two sixteen-team divisions in 2014, the newly formed 6A-II has been in a power struggle with each school looking to establish itself as a regular contender. With the powerhouse programs of Jenks, Broken Arrow, Union, and Owasso removed from their schedules, the smaller 6A schools are still trying to find their place in the new hierarchy. 

Pulaski Academy is a whole different beast from anything the Sandites encountered last year, and is most comparable to the Guthrie team that Sand Springs faced in 2014. The Bruins are on a 27-game winning streak and haven't lost since their season opener in 2014. Pulaski isn't in the top bracket of Arkansas schools. They play a weaker 5A division in a state that goes all the way to 7A. The small private school has an enrollment of 1380 from preschool through high school and is dwarfed by Sand Springs which enrolled 1700 high school students this year. 

But what they lack in depth, they make up for in talent. The Bruins aren't just ranked top of their class, they come in at sixth in the whole state. MaxPreps, a computer-generated ranking site lists the Sandites at 701 in the nation against the Bruins' 326. Both the Tulsa World and the Oklahoman rank Sand Springs at fourth in 6A-II. 

Both teams boast impressive stats. The Sandites are known for having the best defense in the State, but Pulaski is described as machine-like in their offense. 

Both teams have impressive quarterbacks. Sand Springs senior Hunter Greathouse played his first season in the position last year and was 99 of 185 for 1767 yards and 18 touchdowns on a team that favored the run game. Meanwhile the Bruins are devastating from the air behind the arm of junior Layne Hatcher who finished last season with 4,667 and 55 touchdowns.

The Sandites took a big loss at running back in Southwestern College freshman Lane Lettich who led in almost every game for the last two years. Lettich was a powerhouse who would bulldoze through the lines and drag defenders four or five yards every time. Junior Payton Scott will take the starting position now, already well seasoned after seeing significant playing time since making varsity as a freshman. Scott finished with 900 yards and 9 touchdowns on 117 carries last season. The 5'6" 165 pound wrestler is like a mouse when it comes to finding holes in the defense, scurrying through any opening and exploding for first downs. Averaging eight yards per carry, he doesn't have an okay run. He either gets shut down immediately or goes the distance. Almost every game last season saw a 30-yard carry from Scott as the juggernaut will often break multiple tackles from defenders twice his size once he's allowed to build momentum.

Pulaski isn't hurting in the run department either in the elusive Jaren Watkins. Watkins and Scott are very similar physically and the senior finished last year with 2,067 yards and 24 touchdowns on 166 carries. 

Both teams are reloading at wide-receiver. Both of their starting backs are capable of catching, but neither did much of it last year. The Sandites lost Trace Fleischman to Northeastern Oklahoma and are looking to all-purpose Kasey Bales and Josh Taber. The Bruins will look to junior Tra Johnson who only received 23 passes last year. 

Senior defensive back Hayden Henry leads the Bruin defense and is the brother of San Diego Charger Hunter Henry. Henry led in tackles with 89 last season. Sand Springs lost a lot of talent, graduating seven of their top eleven tacklers. The Sandites will rebuild around senior linebacker Delvin Jordan who registered 87 tackles last season, including 15 for losses totaling 64 yards. He also recovered four fumbles and scored the first safety in years for the Sandites. Gage Fain, Nathan Simonton, Danny Ropp, and Kris Edwards will anchor the defensive line. DB Treyce Tolbert also brings some experience to the game with a pair of fumble recoveries and interceptions last season. 

The offensive line is a particularly strong point for the Sandites. The O-line committed less than two fouls per game last season and despite losing a few good players, also returns a lot of talent. Lincoln Adams spent most of the summer traveling to football camps across the country and was named to the Vype-Tulsa All-Metro First Team. Ropp will play both sides of the ball and is joined on the line by Michael Carper, Cameron Lierly, Kobe Chen, Michael Karper, Myron Krotzer, and Caleb Mallory.

Dustin Kinard enters his tenth year as the Sandites' head coach and has successfully taken the program from ten-straight years without a winning record to four-straight years of playoff berths and the program's first playoff wins since 1997. With a 48-49 record since assuming the position, Kinard looks to gain a winning record this season. 

Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. and the Sandites will begin their effort to achieve the dream that they so nearly reached in 2015. This is the fiftieth season since the Sandites won the Class 2A State Championship over Ada in 1966, and the perfect time to remind everybody that they wish they were a Sandite.

Sand Springs takes down Sapulpa 20-14 in Highway 97 Rivalry alumni game

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs Sandites have claimed the lead in the Highway 97 Rivalry Alumni series. The third annual alumni football game was held Saturday night at Charles Page High School Memorial Stadium in Sand Springs and the home team won it for the second year in a row.

Sandite quarterback Cody Hale returned to the turf for the first time since graduating in 2014. The Seminole State pitcher had a hard time connecting with his receivers, but managed a beautiful 21-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hilderbrandt to get Sand Springs on the board moments before the end of the first half.

The Hale-Hilderbrandt combo is a duo Sand Springs will remember for years to come as Hale holds the single-season passing touchdown record for Sand Springs and Hilderbrandt holds the single-season receiving touchdown record for Sand Springs.

Sapulpa was first to draw blood with an eighteen-yard touchdown pass by J.R. Romine. Romine had a huge impact on Sapulpa’s 2014 victory and was unable to participate in last year’s 35-0 shutout by the Sandites.

Sapulpa maintained their 7-0 lead right up until the final seconds of the first half when Hale found Hilderbrandt in the back corner of the endzone with 1.4 seconds remaining. A quick hand-off to Znick Ferrell for a two-point conversion gave Sand Springs the lead at half time.

It didn’t take long for the Sandites to find the end-zone again in the second half.

Sapulpa got the ball to start the half, but a tackle for loss by Travis Tanner pushed them back two yards, followed by a false start and an incomplete pass. At third and seventeen Tanner, Pedro Negron, and Austin Perry combined to sack Romine and force a punt.

Terrance Dixon, a three-year starter for Northeastern State University, picked up thirteen yards, Ferrell grabbed seventeen, and Hale sent a pass to Michael Brown to park the Sandite Offense at the five yard line. After two failed attempts, the Sandites finally scored on a hand-off to the Class of 2015’s Davey Thayer. A conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but the Sandites led 14-7.

Sapulpa didn’t take long to retaliate with a 1-yard run from Jason Broom to tie things up, but Sand Springs reclaimed the lead with 17 seconds left as Ferrell punched in a 1-yard touchdown. A conversion pass attempt to Negron fell flat, but it wouldn’t matter.

On the first play of Sapulpa’s corresponding drive, Romine threw an interception into the waiting arms of Ryan Freeman with 4.5 seconds left to put the game away for the Sandites.

Click here to see the full gallery.

 

Sand Springs:
Davey Thayer (2015)
Lane Freeman (2011)
Znick Ferrell (2009)
Travis Millikin (2014)
Ryan Umbarger (2009)
Cody Hale (2014)
Terrance Dixon (2010)
Keith Hooks (1999)
Ben Riggs (2007)
Justin Caywood
Matt Bettinger (2009)
Nathan Spencer (2009)
Mitchell Brown (2003)
Ryan Freeman (2008)
Michael Brown
Marc Brown (1999)
Keyandre Rose
Austin Ryan (2007)
Pedro Negron (1999)
Shay Kelley (2008)
Kyron Hill (2006)
Rodney Zickefoose
Deandre Smith
Luke Davis (2007)
Austin Perry (2009)
Matt Tucker (2006)
Kenny Tucker
Heath Sutherland (1998)
Levi Wilson (2012)
Kyle Riggs (2008)
Danae Wilson (2007)
Bryan Benton
Travis Tanner (1994)
Cody Hilderbrandt (2013)
Nick Millikin (2011)
Gabe Chronister

Sapulpa:
Paul Littlebear (2011)
Darien Inks (2013)
Michael Cashon (2006)
Cory Mondier (2014)
Tommy Murray (2012)
JR Romine (1998)
Caleb Meacham (2002)
Rob Gowdy (2012)
Lance Simmers (2011)
Jason Broom (1998)
Travis Munger (2011)
Josh Littlebear (2012)
Josh Hardee (2005)
Corbin Steeples (2013)
Sean Proctor (2005)
Julian Roland (2014)
Kiah Smith (1998)
John Tinsley (1999)
Brandon Hardee (2013)
Randall Hardee (2004)
Keiron Peacock (1988)
Zac Williams (1999)
Mike Taylor (2002)
Mark Wheaton (1999)
Chris Playford (1998)
Cliff Owens (2005)
Yancey Phillips (2007)
Casey Smith (2002) 
JT Rains (2014)
Trevor Toliver (2011)
John Blackburn (1998)