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.

Playoff roundup and Week 12 rankings

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

If there was any doubt that District 1 teams were the only real contenders for the title, it's been laid to rest after solid beatdowns in the first round of the playoffs this weekend. 

#1 Booker T Washington (10-0, 7-0) District 1 Champions

#9 Choctaw (5-6, 2-5) District 2

No surprise here, OSU-commit Justice Hill exploded for 189 yards and five touchdowns in a home quarterfinal performance. The yellowjackets never really had much of a chance against the #1 rungame in the state. 

The pick: BTW 52, Choctaw 17.

Results: BTW 47, Choctaw 17. 

#3 Charles Page (6-4, 5-2) District 1

#8 Stillwater (5-6, 3-3) District 2

It was more-or-less granted that Sand Springs would win, but the real surprise here is just how badly they beat the Pioneers. It wasn't so much the Pioneer's faults--they actually completed more passes than in their last game and had a standard night. It was the Sandites who showed up better than ever and completely out-athleted the home team. The Sandite secondary held the Pioneers to zero first downs in the first quarter and only five per-quarter to follow, not to mention 10 tackles-for-loss and a blocked kick that resulted in a safety. Hunter Greathouse had his first perfect night passing, completing all 11 of his throws for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Lane Lettich and Payton Scott combined for 234 yards and 4 touchdowns on the ground.

The pick: CPHS 27, Stillwater 3

Results: CPHS 49, Stillwater 14. 


#4 Bixby (7-4, 4-3) District 1

#5 Lawton (8-2, 6-0) District 2 Champions

The only game that was expected to be close this week was anything but close. The Spartans have had a rough time these last few weeks, getting hammered by Booker T, barely squeezing past Muskogee in overtime, and being shut out by Sand Springs. They put a stop to that streak Saturday at Lawton, handing the wolverines their first loss of the season by a large margin. Bixby completed 20 first downs and held Lawton to a staggering low 4 while doubling the wolverines' total yardage.

The pick: Bixby 35, Lawton 28

Results: Bixby 36, Lawton 6.

#2 Bartlesville (10-1, 6-1) District 1

#6 Midwest City (6-4, 4-2) District 2

Midwest City made probably the biggest effort at upsetting it's District 1 opponent, and were it not for a 1-yard line fumble to end a 79 yard drive, it may have been a lot closer. As it were, the Bombers failed to stop Colton Penrod's aerial assault that ended up tallying 279 yards and 4 touchdowns.

The pick: Bartlesville 42, MWC 35

Results: Bville 35, MWC 14.

The rest of the rankings

  • #7 Muskogee
  • #10 Ponca City
  • #11 Sapulpa
  • #12 Eisenhower
  • #13 Putnam City West
  • #14 Enid
  • #15 Claremore

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 10: 6-1 (.857)
  • Week 11: 4-0 (1.00) 
  • Overall: 78-16 (.829)

Week 10 Roundup

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The last week of regular-season football was no less exciting than the rest of the season, and the rankings haven't changed much going into the playoffs.

#1 Booker T Washington (9-0, 7-0) District 1

#7 Muskogee (3-7, 3-4) District 1

The Roughers never really had much of a chance to stop the Hornets from a perfect season--not after Bixby, Bartlesville, and Sand Springs failed to. But they certainly played with heart. Without lead running back Molijah Gilbert, the Roughers resorted to an aerial offense and senior quarterback Quintahj Cherry managed to surpass the 2000 yard mark for the season. It was nowhere near enough to overcome OSU-commit Justice Hill, however. The soon-to-be Cowboy ran up 135 yards and 3 touchdowns on just 9 carries before retiring to the bench after the first half. 

The pick: BTW 56, Muskogee 14

Results: BTW 46, Muskogee 21

#2 Bartlesville (9-1, 6-1) District 1

#15 Claremore (2-8, 0-7) District 1

The Zebras actually managed to lead the Bruins, briefly. Then Colton Penrod dropped touchdown bombs of 65, 65, and 55 on his way to a 237 yard finish. The run game was strong as well as Jarron Hilger picked up 124 rushing yards and scored on the first Bruin drive. 

The pick: Bville 48, Claremore 13

Results: Bville 56, Claremore 22

#3 Charles Page (5-4, 5-2) District 1

#4 Bixby (6-4, 4-3) District 1

Sand Springs got their payback against the Spartans for last season. Bixby was dealt their first shutout in seven years and was held to negative rushing yards by the top defense in the state which ran up 5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss. 

The pick: CPHS 41, Bixby 35

Results: CPHS 20, Bixby 0

#5 Lawton (8-1, 6-0) District 2

#9 Choctaw (5-5, 2-4) District 2

The Wolverines were without their leading defensive player, and it showed, but they were still able to hold off the Yellowjackets for their third consecutive undefeated district championship. 

The pick: Lawton 48, Choctaw 24

Results: Lawton 33, Choctaw 25

#6 Midwest City (6-3, 4-2) District 2

Midwest City elected not to play a fourth non-district game and took a week off before the playoffs.

#8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) District 2

#12 Eisenhower (1-9, 1-5) District 2

The Eagles didn't fail to impress, but they did fail to bump the Pioneers down from the #2 seed. It was a battle royale at Pioneer Stadium as Ike tied things up 21-21 late in the fourth quarter, but quarterback Jace Brownlee ran in a 61 yard touchdown on the ensuing drive to take the final lead. 

The pick: Stilly 35, Ike 21.

Results: Stilly 33, Ike 27.

#10 Ponca City (3-6, 2-5) District 1

#11 Sapulpa (2-7, 1-6) District 1

The Chieftains had a rough start this year, but managed to work their way up a few spots due to some solid late-season performances. This loss came down to the first ever field goal miss of Sapulpa kicker Paige McCracken, but considering what Sapulpa had to overcome from last year, they should all be proud.

The pick: Ponca 35, Sapulpa 21

Results: Ponca 30, Sapulpa 28.

#13 Putnam City West (4-6, 2-4) District 2

#14 Enid (2-8, 2-4) District 2

The Patriots' post-season dreams came to an end, but they still won three more games than anyone thought they would. It looks like the losing-streak for PCW may finally be reaching its end, so District 2 better keep a wary eye going into next season. Enid narrowly pulled off the upset to avoid the bottom ranking in the division.

The pick: PCW 47, Enid 35

Results: Enid 49, PCW 42

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 10: 6-1 (.857)
  • Overall: 74-16 (.822)

Week 9 Roundup and Week 10 Rankings

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 Booker T Washington (8-0, 6-0) District 1

#3 Charles Page (4-4, 4-2) District 1

The Hornets held off Sand Springs with a last minute field goal to further their series lead to 12-6, but it was the Sandites who were the stars of the show. Not only was SS the only team this season to lead the Hornets, but they thoroughly dominated offensively, beating the home team by 112 yards. The loss came down to two plays. First, Sand Springs had a 31 yard field goal nullified due to having only 10 players on the field, and the retry was fumbled due to the rain-slicked ball. Then, the visitors tried for a fourth and goal touchdown pass from the four instead of kicking a field goal.

The pick: BTW 43, CPHS 24.

Results: BTW 17, CPHS 14. 

#2 Bartlesville (8-1, 5-1) District 1

#10 Ponca City (2-6, 1-5) District 1

The Wildcats managed to draw first blood with a first quarter field goal but four minutes later Bartlesville took the lead once and for all. Colton Penrod, the #3 quarterback in the state, passed for 228 yards and Jarron Hilger picked up 147 yards rushing. Ponca went down with all pistons firing, however, and Darrell Arita put up a valiant effort with 133 rush yards. 

The pick: Bartlesville 56, Ponca 28.

Results: Bartlesville 42, Ponca 23. 

#4 Bixby (6-3, 4-2) District 1

#7 Muskogee (3-6, 3-3) District 1

The Spartans edged out Muskogee by a hair as Cade Cabbiness blocked what would have been a game-winning PAT to force overtime. Nic Roller scored on a 1-yard run for Bixby, and Connor Walker had an endzone-interception to seal the victory and secure a Spartan playoff berth.  

The pick: Bixby 42, Muskogee 27

Results: Bixby 48, Muskogee 41.

#5 Lawton (7-1, 5-0) District 2

#6 Midwest City (6-3, 4-2) District 2

The top team in District 2 emerged to an 18-0 half time lead before Jacob Reed got the Bombers on the board with a 1-yard carry. Brendon Brown front flipped into the endzone to even things out to 18-13, before the Wolverines pulled ahead for the win.

The pick: Lawton 35, MWC 27.

Results: Lawton 24, MWC 13. 

#8 Putnam City West (4-5, 2-3) District 2

#15 Eisenhower (1-8, 1-4) District 2

The Eagles pulled off a major upset to avoid a win-less season, but in a district where everybody has losses to teams they should have beaten hands-down, I'm unable to bump Ike up from the bottom position unless they manage to do it again against Stillwater. They managed to hold the Patriots back from their first winning record in 15 years, which is unfortunate for PCW, but it doesn't eliminate them from playoff contention. So long as Lawton beats Choctaw and PCW defeats Enid, they'll still get their first post-season appearance since 1996. 

The pick: PCW 42, Ike 14.

Results: Ike 50, PCW 28. 

#9 Stillwater (4-5, 3-2) District 2

#14 Enid (2-7, 1-4) District 2

Enid took the lead as Stillwater struggled defensively in a shootout that both teams needed to reach the post season. The Pioneers didn't take the lead till midway through the fourth, but managed to haul in the win and clinch a playoff berth. 

The pick: Stillwater 38, Enid 20.

Results: Stillwater 48, Enid 37.

#11 Choctaw (5-4, 2-3) District 2

US Grant (2-6)

The Yellowjackets took an easy 20-0 lead on Grant in a dominating bye-week from district play.

The pick: Choctaw 47, Grant 12

Results: Choctaw 58, Grant 8

#12 Sapulpa (2-6, 1-5) District 1

#13 Claremore (2-7, 0-6) District 1

The Chieftains finally found a district win thanks to SMU-commit Dae Williams's 211 rushing yards and sole Chieftain touchdown. 

The pick: Claremore 35, Sapulpa 27

Results: Sapulpa 7, Claremore 6.

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Week 9: 6-2 (.750)
  • Overall: 68-15 (.819)

Week 8 Roundup and Week 9 Rankings

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 Booker T Washington (7-0, 5-0) District 1

#4 Bixby (5-3, 3-2) District 1

The Hornets continue to be the indisputable top team in 6A-II, slaughtering last year's State Champions to beat the spread by an astounding 40 points. Turnovers were the name of the game, as the Spartans gave up two fumbles and threw two interceptions. Despite 270 yards of total offense, Bixby only entered the endzone once on a 3 yard rush by Nic Roller. Washington relied on a predominately rushing offense for 375 yards against only 79 from the air, but don't count out their passing game against future opponents as QB Dakari Wilson was 8 for 11 with no interceptions. Sparta falls to fourth in the rankings, but despite a massive beatdown this week, Bixby's still a big favorite to make the playoffs where anything can happen.

The pick: BTW 35, Bixby 30

Results: BTW 52, Bixby 7

#2 Bartlesville (7-1, 4-1) District 1

#13 Sapulpa (1-6, 0-5) District 1

No surprises here, the Bruins rebounded excellently after a field-goal-loss to BTW to bring down the hammer on Sapulpa. A devastating air raid by QB Colton Penrod amounted to 430 passing yards and seven passing touchdowns against the Chieftains.

The pick: Bville 47, Sapulpa 20.

Results: Bville 56, Sapulpa 21.

#3 Charles Page (4-3, 4-1) District 1

#7 Muskogee (3-5, 3-2) District 1

The Sand Springs Sandites swap places with the Spartans after a dominating defensive performance that outdid all expectations against the previously 6th-ranked Roughers. Muskogee has definitely improved as a team since last year, but the legendary Sandite secondary is better than ever and continues to develop as the season progresses. The O-line put up some massive blocks creating holes for Payton Scott and Lane Lettich to both cross the 500 rush-yard mark for the season and Hunter Greathouse easily surpassed 1000 passing yards. Jason Cooper picked off three Muskogee passes, one for a touchdown that was called back due to holding. 

The pick: CPHS 35, Muskogee 21.

Results: CPHS 34, Muskogee 10.

#5 Lawton (6-1, 4-0) District 2

TX #754 Triple A Academy (4-5)

The pick: Lawton 61, Triple A 7

Results: Lawton 51, Triple A 7.

#6 Midwest City (6-2, 4-1) District 2

#12 Choctaw (4-4, 2-3) District 2

The Bombers took a rough upset to Stillwater a few weeks ago, but it's looking like the Pioneers may have simply pulled a fluke because since then they barely edged out Choctaw and lost to PCW, both of whom were clearly defeated by MWC. District 2 seems to be having a hard time deciding who their best teams are besides Lawton, but I think we can count on the Bombers to put up a solid post-season performance. It wasn't the cleanest win of the season, but it sets up MWC for a district championship battle with Lawton next week. MWC jumps two spots.

The pick: MWC 27, Choctaw 13

Results: MWC 28, Choctaw 21.

#8 Putnam City West (4-4, 2-2) District 2

#9 Stillwater (3-5, 2-2) District 2

The Patriots have done an excellent job this season, already outdoing their previous season record by three wins with two winable games left. While they may not be in legitimate state title contention, they've got a lot to be proud of, climbing more since the preseason rankings than any other team to potentially make it to the playoffs for the first time since 1996.  PCW moves up one spot while Stillwater drops two.

The pick: Stillwater 38, PCW 36

Results: PCW 35, Stillwater 26

#10 Ponca City (2-5, 1-4) District 1

#11 Claremore (2-6 0-5) District 1

One of the closest games of the night, Ponca City pulled out the edge on Clarmore. Ponca trailed 347-333 in total offensive yardage and gained less yards-per-play, but completed more first downs. Ponca threw an interception, but Claremore recovered a Wildcat fumble. Both teams had about 70 yards in penalties. Claremore held a 24-16 lead deep in the third but Ponca rallied from behind and recovered a pooch kick to run the clock out.

The pick: Ponca 44, Claremore 33

Results: Ponca 29, Claremore 24.

#14 Enid (2-6, 1-3) District 2

#15 Eisenhower (0-8, 0-4) District 2

The Plainsmen picked up their first true win of the season, edging out the Eagles in a massive offensive shootout. Brian Banks caught for 109 of Enid's 262 passing yardage and Devin Pratt picked up a career-high 260 rushing yards for four touchdowns. Ike's Rico Bussey finished with 222 yards of total offense.

The pick: Enid 27, Ike 16.

Results: Enid 44, Ike 41.

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 8: 7-1 (.875)
  • Overall: 62-13 (.826)

Week 8 Predictions

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 Booker T Washington (6-0, 4-0) District 1

#3 Bixby (5-2, 3-1) District 1

Bixby may have fallen down the rankings a little bit after being upset by Bartlesville, but only a fool would count them out of the race for the state title. BTW barely held off Bville for a 3-point win last week to remain perfect, but this late in the season all eyes are focused in on the gold and anything can happen. Booker T wins by an average of 36 points this season, but knock out the pushovers from that lineup and things have been a lot closer. The only real challenges they've had have been #8 Midwest City whom they beat 28-16 in week one and #2 Bartlesville last week. Bixby, meanwhile, opened the season by running up 24 points against the top team in the state, the number 12 team in the nation. The only team to score more points against Jenks this season was Union who only outdid the Spartans by a field goal. This is the game to watch this week and while I'm picking BTW, if I had to pick an upset, this would be it.

I say Bixby scores first, BTW gets the run of things, Bixby surges late in the fourth for the last two TDs of the game with conversions on each but ultimately falls short.

The pick: BTW 35, Bixby 30

#2 Bartlesville (6-1, 3-1) District 1

#13 Sapulpa (1-5, 0-4) District 1

Get ready for another beat-down, Sapulpa, the Bruins are leaving ruins in their wake. The Chieftains are putting up decent points on everyone, but they're allowing far too many to stand a chance against this double headed offense. Expect Colton Penrod to clear 2000 season-passing yards this game while running-back Jarron Hilger should easily drum up another 100 yards rushing. Sapulpa is not without its stars, however. Keep your eyes on Dae Williams who just passed 1000 yards rushing for the season in last week's loss to Bixby. 

After last week's loss to BTW, Bartlesville will be looking to prove themselves before the playoffs. They should have no problem riding a 3-0 streak into the post season, but how they get those wins will be the true judge of their playoff-potential.

The pick: Bartlesville 47, Sapulpa 20.

#4 Charles Page (3-3, 3-1) District 1

#6 Muskogee (3-4, 3-1) District 1

The second-biggest game of the week will be in Sand Springs, and while the Bixby vs BTW game will be the most exciting, this game will have the most playoff implications. Unless something crazy happens, it looks like BTW, Bville, and Bixby have the top three spots locked up, so the Sandites and Roughers will be battling it out for the bottom-seed. The Sandites have one of the top ranked defenses in the state and get the home-field advantage. While Sand Springs has won 47% of games under Dustin Kinard, they've won 57% of home games.

Both teams tend to keep a pretty even pass-rush split. Sandite QB Hunter Greathouse should surpass 1000 season-passing yards this game while runningbacks Payton Scott and Lane Lettich will both likely pass 500 rushing yards.

The pick: CPHS 35, Muskogee 21

#5 Lawton (5-1, 4-0) District 2

TX #754 Triple A Academy (4-4)

The Wolverines get a bye week not just from district play, but from challenging play, as they travel to Texas to take on Triple A Academy.

The pick: Lawton 61, Triple A 7.

#7 Stillwater (3-4, 2-1) District 2

#9 Putnam City West (3-4, 1-2) District 2

This is another either-or game with the potential to throw things around in District 2. The West side of the state is a lot less settled than the Tulsa Metro and Lawton is the only clear top dog. Three weeks ago I would have picked PCW hands down. Now I'm not so sure either way. PCW had the more decisive victory over Choctaw, but Stillwater pulled off an upset over Midwest City, while PCW was floored. PCW lost by more points to Lawton, but Stillwater was shut out. 

I'm calling this game a shootout with Stillwater pulling it off by a late-fourth field goal for the win, but I'm prepared to be wrong.

The pick: Stillwater 38, PCW 36

#8 Midwest City (5-2, 3-1) District 2

#12 Choctaw (4-3, 2-2) District 2

MWC pretty much has playoffs locked in, despite an upset by Stillwater. But if they let a game go to the Pioneers then I wouldn't be surprised at all if whatever went wrong there continues to go wrong this week. Stillwater barely held off a last minute surge by Choctaw last week and I think after this game we'll see that the Bombers loss to the Pioneers was just a fluke. Or we could see Choctaw rallying for a late-season attempt at the playoffs.

The pick: MWC 27, Choctaw 13.

#10 Ponca City (1-5, 0-4) District 1

#11 Claremore (2-5, 0-4) District 1

Its the battle for the bottom spot in District 1. The only reason I have Ponca ahead of Claremore is because so many of Claremore's starters are injured, including their starting quarterback. While Noah Grimett has been a great fill-in for the Zebras, ultimately I see this one going to the Wildcats.

The pick: Ponca 44, Claremore 30

#14 Enid (1-6, 0-3) District 2

#15 Eisenhower (0-7, 0-3) District 2

These two teams will be battling it out to see who gets stuck with the title of "worst team in 6A." It may sound harsh, but it's a position somebody has to occupy. Not everybody gets a trophy in this sport--not yet anyway. 

The pick: Enid 27, Ike 16. 

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Week 6: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Week 7: 8-0 (1.00)
  • Overall: 55-12 (.820)

 

Week 5 Roundup

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 BOOKER T WASHINGTON (5-0, 2-0) DISTRICT 1

#13 SAPULPA (1-3, 0-2) DISTRICT 1

Booker T is off to a great start this year, putting up more than 60 points in each of their last three games and totally dominating both sides of the ball. Still undefeated two weeks into districts, their next big challenge will come in week 7 against Bartlesville. 

Sapulpa looks to be better than last year, but is still rebuilding from the ground up. We may see a solid state contender in years to come, but this year I'll be impressed if they win a single game in district play.

The pick: BTW 54, Sapulpa 12

Results: BTW 63, Sapulpa 24

#2 BIXBY (3-2, 1-1) DISTRICT 1

#3 BARTLESVILLE (5-0, 2-0) DISTRICT 1

Bartlesville pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season thus far with a  come-from-behind victory over the defending State Champions. The Bruins and the Hornets are the only undefeated teams left in 6A-II and will likely remain so until they meet each other in week 7. Nic Roller, the difference maker in most Bixby games, rushed for two touchdowns before Bartlesville got on the board and eventually tied it up 21-21 in the third period and led from there onward. Bixby relied on a pass-heavy offense with QB Tanner Griffin throwing 51% for 315 yards. Usually the Spartans are the ones dominating the ground game due to Roller, but this week it was the Bruins with 200 yards rushing in addition to their 226 passing yards.

The pick: Bixby 47, Bartlesville 35.

Results: Bartlesville 55, Bixby 33.

#4 SAND SPRINGS (1-3, 1-1) DISTRICT 1

#9 CLAREMORE (2-3, 0-2) DISTRICT 1

Sand Springs had a rough week, forfeiting both of their wins due to the discovery of an ineligible transfer student, but they didn't let it get them down. The Sandites dominated the ground and the air at their homecoming and reminded the Zebras that their 0-3 record was merely technical. The Sandites had a  slight edge on the Zebras offensively, but the defense is where Sand Springs always shows off their talent, snagging two fumbles and leading in tackles for loss. 

A lot can be said for Claremore for even showing up after the beating Bixby put on them. Not only did they put up 27 points against the State Champions last week, but they were right behind Sand Springs this week in total offense despite being without their starting quarterback, their leading rusher, their star defensive tackle, and several other key players. While they are still looking for a district win and probably won't get one next week (against BTW) either, they shouldn't be discounted as an all around solid-team, especially once they get their main players back next week. 

The Pick: Sand Springs 21, Claremore 13.

Results: Sand Springs 27, Claremore 7.

#5 MIDWEST CITY (3-2, 1-1) DISTRICT 2

#15 STILLWATER (2-3, 1-0) DISTRICT 2

Please excuse me for a moment while I extract the foot from my mouth and make room to eat my words. A completely unexpected tie game came down to the wire between these two teams and Stillwater snatched the victory as the clock hit 0:00 on a career-long 46-yard field goal by Zach Bryant. Midwest City ended the first half of their homecoming scoreless with only one first down and an impressive rally in the second half was not enough to overcome the upset. 

The Pick: MWC 41, Stillwater 10.

Results: Stillwater 25, MWC 22.

#6 LAWTON (3-1, 2-0) DISTRICT 2

#12 ENID (1-4, 0-2) DISTRICT 2

After those first two upsets, I'm glad Lawton scratched my back on this game. The Wolverines relied on a ground-heavy game, rushing for 460 yards of 577 total offense against Enid's 387 total yardage. Lawton lead with a 36-point first-half shut-out and the Plainsmen didn't get on the board till a kickoff fumble recovery lead to a 3-yard Devin Pratt run. 

The Pick: Lawton 52, Enid 12.

Results: Lawton 60, Enid 26.

#7 CHOCTAW (3-2, 1-1) DISTRICT 2

#10 PUTNAM CITY WEST (2-3, 1-1) DISTRICT 2

While I didn't actually pick PCW to win this game, I did say "if I had to pick an upset for this week, this would be it." Now I'm wishing I had gone with my instincts as the Patriots not only pulled ahead, but put distance on the Yellowjackets.

The Pick: Choctaw 28, PCW 21. 

Results: PCW 32, Choctaw 21.

#8 MUSKOGEE (2-3, 2-0) DISTRICT 1

#11 PONCA CITY (1-3, 0-2) DISTRICT 1

For the second week in a row, the Roughers were just shy of 500 yards-total-offense in their homecoming win over Ponca. 

The Pick: Muskogee 35, Ponca 14.

Results: Muskogee 42, Ponca 13.

#14 EISENHOWER (0-5, 0-1) DISTRICT 2

5A #69 CANYON, TEXAS (3-1)

The Eagles traveled 224 miles looking for a win, but all they found was 442 yards of total offense and a whole mess of touchdowns. 

The Pick: Canyon 35, Ike 6.

Results: Canyon 48, Ike 6.

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Week 5: 5-3 (.625)
  • Overall: 39-12 (.764)

Week 4 6A-II Roundup

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

#1 Charles Page (2-1, 0-1) District 1

#5 Bartlesville (4-0, 1-0) District 1

The Sandites were on fire in the first three games of the season, but were no match for their district-opening matchup against Bartlesville. In years past, the Sandites have lost games due to sloppy mistakes and inconsistency. This was not one of those games. CPHS gave a solid performance on all fronts that would have been a beat down on any other team. Bartlesville was reported to have the best offense in the state going into the game; the Sandites are known to have the best defense. The Bruin defense, however, was grossly underestimated, putting up major stops against the Sandites through the whole game and held them to only 7 first downs.

My pick was CPHS 46, BHS 35.

The final score was BHS 24, CPHS 7.

#2 Bixby (3-1, 1-0) District 1

#10 Claremore (2-2, 0-1) District 1

Bixby has been the team to beat this season, and it looked like Claremore might actually pull it off. The Spartans were without their star running back, Nic Roller, and leading receiver, Cade Cabbiness. The Red Zebras not only kept neck-and-neck with the defending state champions, but even lead 24-21 midway through the third, before the Spartans found their mojo and scored 23 unanswered points to end the game.

My pick was Bixby 52, Claremore 3.

The final score was Bixby 47, Claremore 27.

#3 Booker T Washington (3-0, 1-0) District 1

#9 Ponca City (1-2, 0-1) District 1

The BTW Hornets rained hellfire down on the Wildcats, ruining their homecoming and bringing a total slaughter. The home team managed only nine first downs for one touchdown, while their visitors accumulated nearly 500 yards of total offense for their best score of the season.

My pick was BTW 42, Ponca 13.

The final score was BTW 68, Ponca 7.

#4 Midwest City (3-1, 1-0) District 2

#14 Eisenhower (0-4, 0-1) District 2

The MWC Bombers easily dominated Lawton Ike, taking a 22-0 lead before the game was stalled for an hour due to lightening. It's unfortunate for the Eagles that the game wasn't cancelled all-together. 

My pick was MWC 28, Ike 6.

The final score was MWC 47, Ike 8.

#6 Choctaw (3-1, 1-0) District 2

#12 Enid (0-4, 0-0) District 2

Enid fared better than expected against the Chcotaw Yellowjackets than I expected them to, but were still unable to break their season-long losing streak. Darian Groins threw for three touchdowns and at one point closed the gap to 23-21 before the visitors pulled away for the win.

My pick was Choctaw 38, Enid 12.

The final score was Choctaw 37, Enid 28.

#7 Muskogee (1-3, 1-0) District 1

#13 Sapulpa (1-2, 0-1) District 1

The Rougers finally registered their first win of the season in a district opener at Sapulpa's homecoming. Sapulpan Senior Tom Schadel suffered a broken leg that will sideline him for the season, along with Trey Bilby who broke his in week 1. The Chieftains scored first on a 24 yard run by Dae Williams, but Muskogee returned 34 straight points before Williams found the endzone again. 

My pick was Muskogee 35, Sapulpa 12.

The final score was Muskogee 41, Sapulpa 29.

#8 Putnam City West (1-3, 0-1) District 2

#11 Lawton (2-1, 1-0) District 2

PCW has been on the rebound as a team from previous awful years, and managed to stay neck and neck with the Wolverines in a first quarter shootout, but after Lawton's Levi Cain picked off a pass from Trey Gooch, there was no stopping them from reasserting themselves as a dominant power in District 2 after a rocky start to the season.

My pick was PCW 31, Lawton 28.

The final score was Lawton 57, PCW 20. 

#15 Stillwater (1-3, 0-0) District 2

Stillwater was the only team not to start distrcit play this week, instead taking on U.S. Grant for Homecoming. Both teams entered the game win-less, but Stillwater asserted themselves as the dominant force early on and hopes to ride that momentum into district play next week.

My pick was Stillwater 29, Grant 14.

The final score was Stillwater 49, Grant 6.

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 (.833)
  • Week 2: 12-2 (.857)
  • Week 3: 6-3 (.666)
  • Week 4: 6-2 (.750)
  • Overall: 34-9 (.790)

 

 

Week 4 Sandite Pride Rankings and Predictions

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Photo by: Morgan Miller

Week 3 was heavily disrupted by severe weather systems across the state that lead to more cancellations than actual games.

#1 Charles Page (2-0, 0-0) District 1

The Sandites were one of few teams to actually start a game Friday night, but it was cancelled shortly before halftime and will thus not count towards their record or stats. However, their performance on the field still plays into my rankings. They lead 5A unranked Guthrie 18-7 with 6 minutes in the half, and QB Hunter Greathouse was 4-5-129 in that short amount of time. Guthrie may not be the team they've been in recent memory, but they're far from pushovers. 

#5 Bartlesville (3-0, 0-0) District 1

The Bruins were far enough North that they had plenty of time to put a 42-20 beat down on Enid before the weather reached them. Enid is an 0-3 pushover this year and the 20 points they scored on Bartlesville is the most they've mustered all season. I expect Bartlesville to come hot at the Sandites with their offense, but be unable to put up any stops of their own against double-threat Hunter Greathouse. I'm expecting a shootout with the Sandites coming on top by a pair of touchdowns, minus a few blocked/missed PATs.

The Pick: CPHS 46, Bartlesville 35.

#2 Bixby (2-1, 0-0) District 1

Despite nearly 700 yards of total offense, the Spartans didn't put up nearly the points I expected them to against Springdale, AR (0-3). It looks like the defending State Champions have their offense in good order between QB Tanner Griffin and RB Nic Roller but are going to need to whip their defense in shape quickly if they want to hold up against BTW and CPHS. The Spartans won 57-38, which is more points than they allowed anyone but Jenks to score last season.

#10 Claremore (2-1, 0-0) District 1

The Red Zebras held up to a 10 point loss to Siloam Springs, 22-12, only 3 points worse than I expected. Their passing game was abysmal and they won't stand much of a chance rushing against Bixby. If they manage to score at all it will be due more to Bixby's slacking defense than Claremore's capabilities. 

The Pick: Bixby 52, Claremore 3

#3 Booker T Washington (2-0, 0-0) District 1

The Hornets game against East Central was cancelled Friday, though it's safe to say it would have been a slaughter considering the 62-6 they put on Tulsa Central in week 2. 

#9 Ponca City (1-1, 0-0) District 1

The Wildcats' game against Shawnee was also cancelled, but not before they were outscored 10-6 in the first quarter. It's hard to judge a team off less than a quarter so I didn't drop them in my rankings, but I had expected Ponca to easily defeat the unranked 5A team. 

The Pick: BTW 42, Ponca City 13.

#4 Midwest City (2-1, 0-0) District 2

The Bombers pulled off a big upset over the top ranked 5A Del City, 37-14, and are my favorite to win the District 2 title. They lost to BTW in the season opener, but when it comes to Eisenhower, they're going to bring the thunder.

#14 Eisenhower (0-3, 0-0) District 2

Lawton Ike scored a lot more against 5A #2 MacArthur than anybody expected them to, but were still handed a solid 57-34 beat down. 

The Pick: MWC 28, Ike 6

#6 Choctaw (2-1, 0-0) District 2

Choctaw suffered their first loss of the season in a close 25-23 to Putnam North. 

#12 Enid (0-3, 0-0) District 2

The Plainsmen have been getting their butts handed to them left and right this year, and I don't expect things to change in district play.

The Pick: Choctaw 38, Enid 12.

#7 Muskogee (0-3, 0-0) District 1

The Roughers have definitely not lived up to expectation these past two season under new Head Coach Rafe Watkins, but in their defense, they've only played really solid teams thus far. 33-22 to 5A #5 McAlester, 34-25 to 6A #5 Owasso, and 56-21 to undefeated #3 Fayetteville, AR. If they were in District 2 I could see them making a run at the district title, but in the talent-crowded Tulsa district I see them winning 3 games at most. 

#13 Sapulpa (1-1, 0-0) District 1

Lawton may not be the team they were last year, but the Chieftains got off lucky that their game was cancelled. Unfortunately for them, there's no rain in the forecast for this Friday.

The Pick: Muskogee 35, Sapulpa 12.

#8 Putnam City West (1-2, 0-0) District 2

I was so impressed with PCW after their 5 point loss to Del City and their 29-6 win over PCN, then they had to go and blow it, getting slaughtered 49-17 by PC. 

#11 Lawton (1-1, 0-0) District 2

I'm a lot less confident in PCW for this matchup than I was last week, and it's really anybody's game in my book. 

The Pick: PCW 31, Lawton 28

#15 Stillwater (0-3, 0-0) District 2

Stillwater lost 26-14 to Edmond North Friday, and is the only team not starting District play this upcoming weekend. As District 2 is only 7 teams, the Pioneers will be battling with U.S. Grant as both teams look for their first win of the season. 

The Pick: Stillwater 29, Grant 14.

 

My Record

  • Week 1: 10-2 83%
  • Week 2: 12-2 85%
  • Week 3: 6-3 66%
  • Overall: 28-7 80%

Week 3 Football Rankings

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Here's the Sandite Pride, Tulsa World, and Max Preps rankings for Class 6A-II.


Week 2 6A-II Football Match-ups and Predictions

#1 Bixby (0-1) vs 5A East Central (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: Bixby +54

#2 Booker T Washington (1-0) @ 4A Tulsa Central (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: BTW +35

#3 Charles Page (1-0) @ #12 Enid (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: CPHS +24

#4 Bartlesville vs 4A Cascia Hall (1-0) Sandite Pride pick: Bartlesville +35

#5 Lawton (1-0) @ 5A MacArthur (1-0) Sandite Pride pick: Lawton +13

#6 Midwest City (0-1) vs 5A Carl Albert (1-0) Sandite Pride pick: MWC +12

#7 Muskogee (0-1) @ 6A-I Owasso (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: Owasso +21

#8 Choctaw (2-0) defeated 6A-I Putnam City (1-1) Thursday night 24-13

#9 Ponca City (1-0) @ 5A Guthrie (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: Guthrie +14

#10 Lawton Eisenhower (0-2) lost to 5A Del City (2-0) 41-14 Thursday night

#11 Stillwater (0-1) vs 6A-I Mustang (1-0) Sandite Pride pick: Mustang +31

#13 Claremore (1-0) vs Arkansas 7A Rogers (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: Rogers +6

#14 Putnam City West (0-1) vs 6A-1 Putnam City North (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: PCW +6

#15 Sapulpa (0-1) @ 5A Tulsa Hale (0-1) Sandite Pride pick: Sapulpa +41