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. 

Greathouse scores three touchdowns in 30-14 defeat of Yukon

Hunter Greathouse looks to find Payton Scott on a screen pass. Photo: Erik Sedwick

Hunter Greathouse looks to find Payton Scott on a screen pass. Photo: Erik Sedwick

By: Virgil Noah, Staff Writer

Just seventeen seconds into Friday night's showdown between the Charles Page High School football team (3-2, 1-0) and  Yukon High School (0-5, 0-1) the Millers had the lead.

Tyrese Antwine fielded the game's opening kickoff at around the 10 yard line and took it to the house, virtually untouched. Ryan Lucas added the extra point and just like that, before either offense had set foot on the field the Sandites trailed 7-0. Once the Sandite offense did make it onto the field, the game turned around quickly. Senior quarterback Hunter Greathouse drove the offense straight down the field, and ended the drive with a 25 yard touchdown strike to Kasey Bales. Greathouse and Bales were on the same page the whole night, hooking up eight times for 123 yards and a pair of scores. 

The Yukon offense then got their turn to touch the football, and looked good doing so picking up four first downs and moving the ball to the Sand Springs 28 yard line. The Sandite defense got things going though when Cody Motes intercepted Senior quarterback Trevor Smith to get the ball back. Sand Springs drove the ball 88 yards in 12 plays, capped of by a 26 yard field goal from Alejandro Hernandez.

The Sandite defense forced another turnover on the ensuing Miller drive, when sophomore Hayden Cramer hit the ball carrier on a rush and the ball squirted loose. Gage Fain jumped on the fumble, and the offense capitalized with Greathouse and Bales connecting on their second score of the evening. 

The defense continued their stout play by forcing a quick three-and-out, and Greathouse continued the onslaught of scoring with a sensational 14 yard keeper, breaking a tackle and spinning his way into the end zone for a 24-7 lead to head into the half. 

The second half saw far less offense for the Sandites, but the defensive unit kept the pressure on. Payton Scott finished the scoring for the Sandites with a 12 yard touchdown run early in the third stanza. 

Yukon executed a long drive capped off with a 2 yard run by Ethan Scott, but those would be the only points the Millers saw for the rest of the game. Sand Springs racked up two sacks, six tackles for loss, and three forced turnovers on the game. Delvin Jordan led the Sandite defense with five tackles. Treyce Tolbert, Hayden Cramer, and Nathan Simonton each had four tackles. Tolbert also forced a fumble and intercepted a pass in the fourth quarter.

The Charles Page offensive line led by senior Lincoln Adams played great all evening, giving up no sacks and paving the way for 233 yards rushing. Payton Scott led the way with 147 yards and the team averaged over 6 yards-per-carry. Greathouse went 12-23-0-192 for two touchdowns and went 8-58 and a touchdown on the ground. 

The Sandites will resume district play next Thursday, when they play Ponca City High School (1-3, 0-2) for homecoming. Yukon will face Norman High School (0-5, 0-2).

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