Sandites upset No. 10 Muskogee 70-60; Savage scores 26, Keener and Garbey post 15

CPHS senior Kyle Keener posted his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. (Photo: Morgan Miller).

CPHS senior Kyle Keener posted his third double-double of the season with 15 points and 11 rebounds. (Photo: Morgan Miller).

CPHS 70 MHS 60

1Q Sand Springs 15-11
2Q All 10-10
3Q Sand Springs 19-18
4Q Sand Springs 26-21

Free Throws: CPHS 21-of-32. MHS 7-of-11.
Field Goals: CPHS 22-of-41. MHS 24-of-52.
Fouls: CPHS 14, MHS 22.

Scoring: (CPHS) Colt Savage 26, Keener 15, Garbey 15, Taber 8, Price 5, Wash 1. (MHS) Haddock 30, Davis 9, Mims 8, Parks 5, Berry 4, Cherry 4.

(Sand Springs only)
Offensive Rebounds: Keener 3, Colt Savage 1, Garbey 1.
Defensive Rebounds: Keener 8, Colt Savage 8, Taber 3, Price 2, Garbey 1, Cale Savage 1, Wash 1, Krehbiel 1. 
Steals: Colt Savage 3.
Assists: Taber 5, Keener 2, Colt Savage 1.
Blocks: Keener 3.
Fouls: Keener 4, Taber 4, Colt Savage 3, Cale Savage 1, Price 1, Wash 1.

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Muskogee isn't typically a rival for Sand Springs, but after junior standout Brooks Haddock transferred there right before the season began, the No. 10 ranked Roughers (15-6 overall, 8-5 conference) became public enemy number one. The Roughers defeated the Sandites (11-11, 5-8) 47-42 earlier this season, but the Charles Page boys got payback on senior night at the Ed Dubie Field House with a controlling 70-60 performance. The Sandites took the lead midway through the first quarter and never gave it up. 

Haddock led all scorers with thirty points, but junior Colt Savage was right behind him with 26. No other Roughers broke double digits, but Kyle Keener and Jacob Garbey scored fifteen apiece for the Sandites. Keener, a senior signed to the University of Central Oklahoma, pulled in eleven rebounds for his third double-double of the season. 

Haddock entered the court to much bedlam from the student section and dropped a three on the Roughers' second possession, but Josh Taber followed up with a two for the Sandites, then Garbey hit a free throw and Savage sank a three for the 6-3 lead. Haddock and TyReece Berry hit a pair of twos to reclaim the advantage, but it would be the last time the visitors would lead. Matthew Price hit a three for the lead and the Sandites never looked back. By the end of the first quarter the home team had a 15-11 advantage.

The two teams were perfectly matched in the second quarter. Sand Springs led by as much as 25-17 towards the end of the period thanks to baskets from Savage and Taber, but Haddock and Keondre' Davis cut it to 25-21 at halftime.

The third period started out as a three-way shootout between Haddock, Savage, and Keener, who pushed the score to 32-28. Keener scored nine in the third period and the Sandites finished 44-39.

Davis scored the first point of the final stanza on a free throw, but Garbey hit a three pointer, then Keener rebounded and scored two on the next possession to complete his double-double. Haddock scored fourteen points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn't enough to save his team. The Roughers entered the double with 3:21 left and the Sandites scored ten points from the charity stripe after that point, with Savage hitting two to end the game with a double-digit victory.

The Sandites will conclude the regular season Friday at Bixby (10-12, 5-8), who they already defeated 76-71 earlier this season. The Roughers will host Jenks (3-16, 1-12) Friday for senior night. Muskogee already handled the Trojans 85-59 earlier this season. 

No. 3 CPHS girls defeat Muskogee 73-40, five Sandites score double digits

CPHS junior Gloria Mutiri led all scorers with 17 points and 13 rebounds against the Muskogee Lady Roughers. (Photo: Morgan Miller).

CPHS junior Gloria Mutiri led all scorers with 17 points and 13 rebounds against the Muskogee Lady Roughers. (Photo: Morgan Miller).

CPHS 73 MHS 40

1Q Sand Springs 18-8
2Q Sand Springs 24-14
3Q Sand Springs 20-8
4Q Sand Springs 11-10

Free Throws: CPHS 13-of-19. MHS 7-of-20.
Field Goals: CPHS 27-of-52. MHS 16-of-52.
Fouls: CPHS 14, MHS 11.

Scoring: (CPHS) Mutiri 17, Pennington 11, Regalado 11, Kersgieter 10, McGee 10, Johnson 7, Bunch 3, Boaz 2, Taber 2. (MHS) Mims 15, Nash 9, Patterson 7, Brown 5, Wilkerson 4.

(Sand Springs only)
Offensive Rebounds: Mutiri 7, Boaz 2, Kersgieter 1, Taber 1, Grant 1, Wilson 1.
Defensive Rebounds: Regalado 5, Mutiri 4, Pennington 4, Kersgieter 3, Taber 3, Johnson 2, Collins 2, Boaz 2, McGee 1.
Steals: Pennington 3, Mutiri 2, Kersgieter 1, Johnson 1, Bunch 1.
Assists: Pennington 4, Johnson 2, Taber 2, McGee 1, Collins 1, Boaz 1.
Blocks: Mutiri 1, Johnson 1.
Fouls: Taber 3, Wilson 2, Collins 2, Regalado 2, Pennington 1, Mutiri 1, Kersgieter 1, McGee 1, Boaz 1.

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Tuesday night was senior night at the Ed Dubie Field House and the No. 3 Charles Page High School girls basketball team (19-1 overall, 12-1 conference) steamrolled the unranked Muskogee Lady Roughers (9-12, 4-9) 73-40. Five different Lady Sandites posted double digits and Ohio State University volleyball-commit Gloria Mutiri led all scorers with 17 points and 13 rebounds.

Holly Kersgieter, Sydney Pennington, Mutiri, and Destiny Johnson worked up a 13-0 lead before Camrynn Wilkerson got the visitors on the board with a two-point layup. The home team eased up from there, but led 18-8 after the first quarter. 

The Lady Sandites had their biggest output in the second quarter, starting with six-straight points and taking a 42-22 halftime lead behind eight points from Mutiri. 

The third quarter was the most devastating. Trena Mims hit a layup to start the half, Mutiri scored back-to-back, Mims hit another, then the Sandites went on a twelve-point run capped by back-to-back baskets from sophomore Isabella Regalado: one from three point range and one from two. Dia-Nitta Brown broke the streak, but Kersgieter and Jacie Taber scored four more before Mims ended the quarter at 62-30.

Mutiri started off the final stanza with a two, Kierra McGee sank a deep three, then Gloria hit a free throw before leaving the game. Brown and Mims combined on a five-point run from there before senior Bailey Boaz got on the board. Chris'alee Patterson shot a two for the Roughers, then Ashlee Bunch hit the first three of her career. Patterson sank a long three at the buzzer to finish the game 73-40.

The Lady Sandites will return to action this Friday at Bixby (7-15, 2-11) in their regular season finale. They previously defeated the Lady Spartans 67-51 in January. The Lady Roughers will host Jenks (6-15, 4-9) for senior night this Friday. They previously fell 60-54 to the Lady Trojans in January.

Final Season rankings and State Championship analysis/prediction

Bixby's Tucker Pawley ran for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Semi-Finals. Photo: Morgan Miller

Bixby's Tucker Pawley ran for 202 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Semi-Finals. Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 2, preseason No. 1) vs No. 2 Lawton Wolverines (Last week No. 5, preseason No. 8)

The State Championship Semi-final games came to a close Friday with a big upset for Lawton, setting the Wolverines up for a rematch of their 2014 State Finals game. The two-time defending State Champions from Bixby defeated the Sandites for the third-straight year in a nail-bitter and will now take on their toughest offensive opponent since losing to Muskogee in week five. 

Bixby has the more explosive record against mutual opponents, winning by an average score of 44-18, compared to Lawton's 29-22, however, Lawton is 4-0 against mutual opponents while the Spartans are 3-1. Muskogee topped Bixby 45-42 in a week-five shootout after winning the turnover battle, while the Wolverines topped the Roughers 35-28 by winning the turnover battle. 

This season has seen an unprecedented amount of parity and circular losses as the Division-II teams that never had a shot in 6A-I are revitalizing their programs in a highly competitive year with numerous newcomers to contention. Choctaw upset Midwest City and Lawton; Lawton upset Muskogee; Putnam West upset Sand Springs; Stillwater upset Edmond Memorial and Mustang; Deer Creek upset Stillwater; Muskogee upset Bixby; Sand Springs upset Muskogee; Booker T. upset Sand Springs. In a season this wild, anything could happen.

That being said, Bixby is still the clear favorite to win--for many reasons. Bixby doesn't lose without major mistakes and miracle plays. They have three losses this season, and two were to annual powerhouse teams. 6A-I No. 1 Jenks was ranked as high as 23rd in the nation by MaxPreps before they lost in a 45-21 upset to No. 3 Union. The Trojans topped the Spartans in a close 38-34 come-from-behind battle in week two in their closest match of the season. The next Spartan loss was 44-34 to Arkansas 7A No. 4 Bentonville (10-2). Bixby's loss to Muskogee came on the heels of three turnovers in a game that the Spartans dominated offensively. 

Lawton has battled through a slightly weaker schedule with bigger losses and closer wins. They lost 56-41 to 5A No. 3 Carl Albert (11-1), 35-28 to 5A No. 1 MacArthur (12-0), and 20-17 to Midwest City (7-4). Though those were all respectable losses to quality teams, they have several other blights on their schedule. They gave up 37 points to Eisenhower (2-8), only beat Putnam City (4-6) by a close 26-14, and Stillwater (5-6) 21-14. They then gave up a massive 52-26 loss to Choctaw (5-5). Though their four-straight wins since then have been of solid quality, they simply don't match up to Bixby.

Bixby owns the number-two scoring defense, while Lawton comes in at fifth. Bixby is sixth in offensive points allowed, Lawton is seventh. Lawton has a slight edge on Bixby defensively when it comes to yards per play, both rushing and passing, but the Spartans have the most dominant scoring offense in the State, by a significant margin. While the Wolverines are fourth in scoring, the Spartans are first with 41.5 points per game. Lawton has the edge in the air, but Bixby has the top run game in the State.

Their overall records indicate a close game, but when you limit it to their four mutual opponents, Bixby emerges as the clear favorite. Lawton has actually under-performed their foes offensively, while winning on turnovers. Bixby out performs their opponents by nearly 200 yards, while also winning the turnover battle every time.

The Spartans are back-to-back defending State Champions with an 8-0 post-season record over the last three years. Lawton is 0-2 against the Spartans over the last two seasons, falling 35-21 in the 2014 State Title game to end the season 11-2. Last year the Wolverines lost to Bixby in the quarterfinals 36-6 to finish the year 8-2.

Wolverines (8-4, 5-2)

defeated Putnam City 26-14
defeated Booker T. 21-20
defeated Putnam West 35-28
defeated Muskogee 35-28

Average score: 29-23
First downs: 15
Allowed: 17
Fumbles-lost: 7-2 (total)
Recoveries: 3 (total)
Interceptions thrown: 3 (total)
Interceptions caught: 8 (total)
Penalties-Yards: 7-62

C-A-Y: 9-17-146
Average: 8.58
Allowed: 16-28-200
Average: 7.14

Rushes-Yards: 37-166
Average: 4.48
Allowed: 37-115
Average: 3.1

Plays-Yards: 54-312
Average: 5.77
Allowed: 65-315
Average: 4.84

Spartans (9-3, 5-1)

defeated Putnam City 56-20
defeated Booker T. 28-0
defeated Putnam West 49-7
lost 45-42 to Muskogee

Average score: 44-18
First downs: 23
Allowed: 10
Fumbles-lost: 6-3 (total)
Recoveries: 4 (total)
Interceptions thrown: 2 (total)
Interceptions caught: 9 (total)
Penalties-Yards: 10-92

C-A-Y: 24-38-256
Average: 6.73
Allowed: 14-30-220-2
Average: 7.33

Rushes-Yards: 44-196
Average: 4.45
Allowed: 21-40
Average: 1.9

Plays-Yards: 82-452
Average: 5.51
Allowed: 51-260
Average: 5.09

The Pick: Bixby 30, Lawton 24.

No. 3 Sand Springs Sandites (Last week No. 3, preseason No. 2)

The Charles Page High School Sandites (7-5, 4-2) don't have the record or the stats to indicate a top-four team, but they have the kind of Sandite magic that ends up on ESPN Sportscenter and upsets number-one ranked teams. The Sandite Defense is tenth in points allowed and ninth in yards per play allowed, but second in scoring. Offensively they were only eighth in yards per play, but fifth in scoring. The Sandites had several big wins, including a 35-7 rout of Highway 97 rival Sapulpa, a 56-35 shootout with Ponca City, a 26-25 upset of top-ranked Muskogee, and a 23-14 win at Midwest City.

No. 4 Muskogee Roughers (Last week No. 1, preseason No. 4)

Muskogee may not have won their first State Championship in thirty years, but they did finish with a District Title and their first winning record since 2008 at 9-2, 5-1. The Roughers boast the number one yards-per-play offense in the state and won several notable games. They bested District One Champion Midwest City 16-12, upset Bixby 45-42, dominated Booker T. Washington 23-7, and shut out Ponca City 48-0. Their offense was second in scoring, fifth rushing, and first passing. Their defense also played lights-out all season and are first in scoring and second in offensive points allowed with the second-best pass coverage. 

No. 5 Midwest City Bombers (Last week No. 4, preseason No. 5)

Midwest City finished an impressive season with a 7-4, 6-1 record and the District One Title, after being knocked out of playoff contention by the Sandites. High points included a 20-17 win over Lawton, and a 35-0 shutout of Deer Creek. The Bombers can boast one of the most talented defenses in the state with first place in points allowed and yards per play allowed against both passing and running offenses. They also hold the fifth-best passing offense in the division.

No. 6 Booker T. Washington Hornets (Last week No. 6, preseason No. 3)

The Hornets finished the season with a 6-5, 4-2 record that could likely have been much better with a healthy quarterback in the end of the season. High points included a 21-14 win over District One Champion Midwest City, a 47-0 shutout of Ponca City, a 45-0 shutout of Sapulpa, and a 17-12 upset over then-No.1 Sand Springs. Their season came to a close with a close 21-20 loss at Lawton. The Hornets hold the number four scoring defense and were fourth in points allowed. Their run-coverage was second only to Midwest City.

No. 7 Putnam City West Patriots (Last week No. 7, preseason No. 14)

The Patriots may not have made it past the first round of the playoffs, but they had their best season in decades and were unfortunately paired with the top-scoring team in the State. The Pats finished 7-4, 5-2, with the number five defense in the state in points allowed, and second in yards-per-play allowed. Offensively they were seventh in scoring, and sixth in yards-per-play. High points included winning the Putnam rivalry with a 16-5 win over North and a 42-10 win over Putnam City. 

No. 8 Stillwater Pioneers (Last week No. 8, preseason No. 10)

Stillwater finished the season 5-6, 3-4, but were a much better team than their record indicates. Starting QB Jace Brownlee has struggled all season with a shoulder injury and has missed several games. Even when he could play, the team was rarely able to pass. High points included a 24-7 upset of Edmond Memorial and 34-26 upset of Mustang. The defense was third in the division in offensive points allowed, and their offense was second in rushing.

No. 9 Choctaw Yellowjackets (Last week No. 9, preseason No. 9)

The Yellowjackets finished a hit-or-miss season with a 5-5, 3-4 record and just barely missed the playoffs. High points included a 45-41 upset over Sand Springs, a 14-7 upset over Midwest City, and most impressively, a 52-26 upset over Lawton. Choctaw holds the number three offense in the State in scoring, and is fifth in yards-per-play. They struggled defensively, however, and finished ninth in points-allowed with almost every game being a shootout.

No. 10 Putnam City Pirates (Last week No. 10, preseason No. 7)

Putnam finished 4-6, 2-5. High points included a 16-7 win over in-town rival Putnam North and a 52-6 blowout of El Reno. They also upset Choctaw 36-32 and finished the season on a strong note with a 42-21 victory over Enid. They finished eleventh in offensive scoring and ninth in total offense and were sixth in the air. Their defense was solid at eighth in points allowed and fifth in yards-per-play allowed.

No. 11 Enid Plainsmen (Last week No. 11, preseason No. 12)

Enid managed only three wins, but two were quite impressive, upsetting Choctaw 43-39 and dominating Deer Creek 45-17. They finished the season 3-7, 2-5 with a 42-21 loss to Putnam. They finished with the number ten offense and number twelve defense and were sixth in yards per rush.

No. 12 Bartlesville Bruins (Last week No. 12, preseason No. 6)

The Bruins struggled off and on throughout the year, but finished strong despite three-straight losses. They gave it their all against Sand Springs and Booker T. and legitimately challenged both. They finished 3-6, 2-4 with wins of 42-20 over Ponca City and 51-28 over Sapulpa. They held the number six offense in points scored, but were actually fourth in yards-per-play with the number three passing record in the division. Defense was their struggle and they finished fourteenth in points allowed, eleventh in yards per play, but an impressive fifth in yards per pass.

No. 13 Deer Creek Antlers (Last week No. 13, preseason No. 11)

The Antlers had a rough start to their 6A debut season, finishing 2-8, 2-5 with wins of 21-14 over Stillwater and 20-14 over Putnam. They were shutout 49-0 in the finale at Lawton and finish with the number fourteen offense and number thirteen defense.

No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (Last week No. 14, preseason No. 13)

Sapulpa has been in a rebuilding year under new head coach Robert Borgstadt, but the Chieftains (1-9, 1-5) have shown promise. They only won a single game, 31-27 over Ponca City, but lost close ones of 24-21 to Duncan, and 52-42 to Choctaw. They finished thirteenth in running, scoring, and total offense, and tenth in the air. Defensively they were fifteenth in points allowed, run coverage, and total defense, and thirteenth in pass coverage.

No. 15 Ponca City Wildcats (Last week No. 15, preseason No. 15)

The Wildcats finished 2-8, 0-6, but had several solid performances. They lost 42-31 to Enid, defeated Guthrie 9-0, and posted 35 points against Sand Springs. They barely lost 31-27 to Sapulpa and defeated Norman 10-6. Ponca finished the season fifteenth in total offense and tenth in offensive scoring. They were eleventh in points allowed, fourteenth in yards per play allowed, fifteenth in pass coverage, and eleventh in ground coverage.

No. 3 Sand Springs Sandites challenge No. 4 Midwest City tonight at 7:00

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The third ranked Charles Page High School varsity football team (6-4, 4-2) will travel to Midwest City High School Friday evening for the first round of the Class 6A-II playoffs and aim to keep their season alive against the District One Champions.

While the Sandites gave up a hard loss to the No. 2 Bixby Spartans (7-3, 5-1) last week, the No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (7-3, 6-1) won a surprisingly close battle with No. 8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-4) to close the regular season with the District Once Championship. 

This game will likely be a major defensive battle as Midwest City holds the best defense in the State when it comes to points allowed, by a significant margin. They allow only 3.413 yards per play, 2.165 yards per run, and 5.278 yards per pass. Sand Springs's offense is sixth on yards per carry, and managed an impressive 4.71 yards per carry against Bixby, who normally only allows 3.94. They also ran for 3.914 against Muskogee who normally allows only 3.023. Sand Springs is eighth in passing yards per play, so if they're to overcome the two-pronged Bomber defense, they'll definitely need to get creative.

The Bombers will have an equally difficult time against Sand Springs, as they have relied almost entirely on their defense this season. Midwest City is eleventh in offensive scoring and only eighth in yards-per-play. Sand Springs is tenth in points allowed, but third in defensive points scored and wins the turnover battle more often than not. While they give up more yards-per-play than a lot of teams, they're 71% on third-down stops this season. 

The winner of this game will take on the winner of Bixby vs Putnam West. Veterans will get free entry into tonight's game.

The pick: CPHS 24, MWC 23.

Players to watch

Sandite Offense

Junior tight end Dash Fleischman has been solid both blocking and receiving this season, often opening up paths for Payton Scott along the outside. He has also hauled in 9 passes for 143 yards, though he hasn't scored a touchdown yet. 

Junior running back Payton Scott is the work horse for the Sandite offense with 267 carries for 1574 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. His career total is 2705 yards, but this is his first year as the starter. He's also a target for screen passes with 8 receptions for 142 yards this season.

Senior Kasey Bales is the all-purpose player for the Sandites. He holds 55 receptions for 792 yards and 9 touchdowns this season and sits at 1439 yards for his career. He's ran 6 times for 44 yards, mostly on laterals. He frequently handles kicking duties for the Sandites, and is 17 of 22 on extra points this season. He averages 42 yards per punt, and 21 yards per kick return.

Second-year senior quarterback Hunter Greathouse is 122 of 243 passing this season with 1833 yards and 16 touchdowns against 8 interceptions. He has already surpassed his record last season, and he's played three less games. His career total is 3668 and could easily pass the 4000 mark tonight if Midwest City shuts down the run game. He hasn't thrown a 300+ game yet, but certainly is capable of it if necessary. He's a break-even runner due to sacks, and technically has only 3 yards on 54 carries this season. But he has seven touchdowns on the ground and can be counted on to gain a few on a designed run. He also holds two punts this season for an average of 43 yards in case fourth-down conversion attempts fall apart. 

Senior Alejandro "Alex" Hernandez is the primary kicker with 13 extra points on 15 attempts and 2 field goals on 5 attempts. He averages 45 yards per kickoff, but that's deceptive. He can easily drill it inside the ten-yard line, but the Sandites haven't done too well at return coverage this season and often have him send it high and short so they have more time to reach the ball. 

Senior Dalton Morgan is in his first season on offense and has 42 runs for 247 yards and a touchdown. He also has one pass for 29 yards and a touchdown, and 9 receptions for 65 yards and two touchdowns. His native spot is on defense where he has seventeen tackles over only two games this season. He also has a fumble recovery.

Senior Mack Thompson is in his first year of Sandite football and holds 19 receptions for 285 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Senior Caleb Wash is also a first year receiver and has 17 receptions for 226 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Offensive linemen Danny Ropp, Lincoln Adams, Michael Carper, Ethan Hooper, Austin Rutledge, Caleb Mallory, and a few others don't have any stats to track, but they are crucial players and are always impressive to watch.

Sandite Defense

Sophomore Luke Bratcher has been a playmaker on the Sandite defense this year with two fumble recoveries and an interception to complement his 26 tackles.

Hayden Cramer has made an impressive debut his sophomore season with 41 tackles, five for losses, and a forced fumble. 

Junior Gage Fain is one of the leading players on defensive line with 31 tackles, including an incredible thirteen for losses totaling 59 yards. Most impressive is his 6 sacks for 32 yards. He also holds a fumble recovery.

Tre Finch holds 28 tackles this season, mostly unassisted, with four for losses totaling 24 yards, including three sacks for losses of 19 yards. He holds one forced fumble. 

Senior Tyler Delozier sits at 25 tackles this season with 2 for loss. He has hauled in two interceptions, one of which he returned for 40 yards. He also has a fumble recovery.

Senior Brett Freeman holds 27 tackles this season with 1 interception and 1 fumble recovery. 

Senior Delvin Jordan, Jr. is Mr. Sandite Defense with 59 tackles this season, including 48 unassisted, 12 for losses totaling 64 yards, and 5 sacks totaling 37 yards. He has two forced fumbles this year and one recovery, which he returned for 32 yards to score. He also very nearly had a scoring fumble recovery in the last game on what appeared to be an incomplete lateral, but was ruled a forward pass after the play.

Senior Cody Motes holds 29 tackles, mostly unassisted, with 2 interceptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. He has one fumble recovery for 58 yards and a score.

Senior lineman Nathan Simonton sits at 33 tackles with 6 tackles for losses totaling 18 yards and 3 sacks for 7 yards. He also has two fumble recoveries. 

Senior Josh Taber splits time between wide receiver and defense and holds 35 tackles this season, mostly unassisted. He has four receptions for 28 yards this season, but mostly plays defense.

Senior Treyce Tolbert has 30 tackles, 2 interceptions, 5 pass breakups.

Sand Springs at Bixby pre-game analysis

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No. 2 ranked Charles Page High School varsity football team (6-3, 4-1) will travel to the No. 3 Bixby Spartans (6-3, 4-1) this Friday in the regular-season finale as they fight for their first District Title in nearly two decades. The two teams each have playoff berths clinched at this point, and are each vying for the right to host. If Sand Springs loses, they take fourth in the district and will play the District One Champion. If Bixby loses, they take third in the district. 

SEE RELATED: Spartan rivalry continues Friday in the District Title game

Here's how the two teams played against mutual opponents:

No. 3 Spartans (6-3, 4-1)

lost 45-42 to Muskogee
defeated Sapulpa 62-17
defeated Ponca City 60-6
defeated Bartlesville 63-14
defeated Booker T 28-0

Average score: 51-16
First downs: 23
First downs allowed: 13
Fumbles-lost: 8-5 (total)
Fumble recoveries: 6 (total)
Penalties-Yards: 7-68

C-A-Y-I: 18-28-260-0
Average: 9.28
Allowed: 18-32-224-1
Average: 7.00

Rushes-Yards: 42-241
Average: 5.73
Allowed: 25-46
Average: 1.84

Plays-Yards: 70-500
Average: 7.14
Allowed: 57-270
Average: 4.73

No. 2 Sandites (6-3, 4-1)

defeated Muskogee 26-25
defeated Sapulpa 35-7
defeated Ponca City 56-35
defeated Bartlesville 47-28
lost 17-12 to Booker T

Average score: 35-22
First downs: 18
First downs allowed: 14
Fumbles-lost: 6-3 (total)
Fumble recoveries: 6 (total)
Penalties-Yards: 4-36

C-A-Y-I: 12-22-162-1
Average: 7.36
Allowed: 14-23-154-1
Average: 6.69

Rushes-Yards: 40-211
Average: 5.27
Allowed: 34-131
Average: 3.85

Plays-Yards: 62-373
Average: 6.01
Allowed: 57-285
Average: 5.00

The one district loss for Bixby came at the hands of No. 1 Muskogee (8-1, 4-1) in a shootout at the Indian Bowl. The lead changed eleven times in the game that saw a combined 911 yards of total offense. Offensively the Spartans outperformed with six touchdowns, more yards, more first downs, and a higher pass-completion rate. Muskogee's defense won it, however with two interceptions, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and four punts. Muskogee utilized a high-powered fast-paced offense that averaged 7.26 yards per play, 11.08 yards per pass, and 2.26 yards per carry. As low as that 2.26 is, it's the highest average allowed by Bixby in district play this season. The Spartans were more methodical, averaging only 5.3 yards per play, 4.02 yard per carry, and 6.36 yards per pass.

Sand Springs traveled to Muskogee two weeks after Bixby and stunned the home crowd with a wild last-minute play that attained national coverage. Sand Springs, like Bixby, outperformed in total yardage and first downs, but had to come from behind with a 65-yard drive in only 38 seconds. They scored on an incredible two-point run to take the lead and the victory. Sand Springs averaged 3.97 yards per carry and 6.91 yards per pass, while giving up 5.63 yards per carry and 5.71 yards per pass.

No. 4 Booker T. Washington (6-4, 4-2) played the spoiler for Sand Springs, despite being outmatched offensively by a considerable margin. The Sandite run game was utterly shut down by the Hornets, being held to 0.93 yards per carry, but the Sandites more than adapted with 9.11 yards per pass. The Hornets were without their starting QB, Phillip Wheatley, and managed only 2.48 yards per pass and 0.4 yards per carry. The Sandites should have won 12-10, but midway through the fourth quarter, QB Hunter Greathouse was unable to haul in a high snap, and Booker T. recovered the fumble at the Sandite two-yard line. Till then, the Sandite defense had been practically impenetrable, forcing seven punts and holding one drive to a field goal, but were unable to stave off the Hornets this time. The Hornet defense pulled out all the stops and forced a turnover on downs in their own redzone, then hauled in a Hail Mary interception to seal the victory.

Booker T. hosted Bixby last week and were soundly defeated in their first shutout since 2012, despite putting up the best defense the Spartans have experienced all season. The Hornets held them to 4.65 yards per run and 5.04 yards per pass, while racking up 2.08 yards per run and 3.81 yards per pass. The Spartans scored twice by air in the first half and twice on the ground in the second half. The Hornets split time between two backup QBs, but neither was able to break even passing.

The Prediction?

Firstly, when you look at a box of the two teams' averages based on mutual opponents, Bixby should win hands down. That's misleading, however, because the Sandites always play to their opponents, while the Spartans play balls-to-the-wall no matter what. To get a true comparison of the two teams, you have to limit your focus to just Booker T. and Muskogee. When you compare those stats, the teams are a whole lot closer.

Sand Springs prefers to keep the ball on the ground when they can, but have adapted well to the air when necessary. The Sandite O-line is powerful, but Bixby's linemen will likely be their biggest test of the season. The Sandites averaged 2.5 yards per carry against Muskogee and Booker T., and won't be likely to fair any better against Bixby.

The Spartans as a whole have the number six defense in the division when it comes to points per game, but gave up an average 7.74 yards per pass against Muskogee and Booker T., meaning that will be the Sandites' best bet for moving the ball. The Sandites have only been held to double digits running once this season, against Booker T., and easily transitioned to a 13-26-237 aerial barrage. Greathouse is 51% for the year with 1,654 yards, fifteen touchdowns and only seven interceptions. He has no problem stepping up when his team needs him, and his 237 against Booker T. was a career-best. 

While the Spartans were more capable of running against Muskogee and Booker T. than the Sandites were, averaging 4.07 yards per carry, they were significantly hampered in the air, averaging only 5.48 yards per pass. 

Bixby will come out with all pistons firing and double the Sandites in the first quarter 14-6. Sand Springs will win the second quarter 14-9 and enter the half trailing by a field goal. Both teams will come out of the half fired up, but defense will hold tough and the Spartans will score the lone touchdown, while the Sandites give up a failed fourth-down conversion attempt inside the Spartan redzone on one posession and kick a field goal on another. The Sandites will win it in the fourth quarter, however, with big passes and trick plays for a come-from-behind stunner.

Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Spartan Stadium, located at the intersection of Riverview and Stadium Road. 

No. 1 Sandites fall 17-12 to No. 4 Booker T. Washington after late fumble

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The No. 1 ranked Charles Page High School varsity football team (5-3, 3-1) lost a heart-breaker Thursday night at Memorial Stadium, giving up a 12-10 lead in the fourth quarter to the No. 4 Booker T. Washington Hornets (5-3, 3-1). Sand Springs's stout defense had utterly shut down the Hornets all night, while the offense more than doubled their foes, but a fumble at the Sandites' three-yard line undid their hard work and allowed the Hornets to take the final lead.

The Hornets averaged more than 350 yards per game going into Thursday night's matchup, and the Sandites held them to 124. They gave up nine first downs and only two yards in the air, while racking up twenty yards on six tackles for loss.

It was a defensive showdown from both teams from the very beginning. Booker T. received the ball to start the game, but Sand Springs held them to fourth and twelve to take possession without giving up a first down. The Sandite offense drove a mere sixteen yards on seven plays before punting it back to their foes. The Hornets picked up a first down on a ten-yard run from Rylan McQuarters, but were then pushed back to fourth and sixteen and punted away their second possession. 

Sand Springs's second possession wasn't pretty, but it got the job done. Senior quarterback Hunter Greathouse took a reverse and was ran out for an eight-yard loss. After a handoff to Payton Scott gained only one yard and a deep pass attempt intended for Kasey Bales was broken up by Daxton Hill, the Sandites were forced to punt. The punt was called back for an unsportsmanlike penalty that gave the Sandites renewed hope on fourth and two. 

Payton Scott picked up the first down to keep the drive alive. After being pushed back to third and fifteen, Greathouse found Mack Thompson for nineteen yards, then hit Bales for 22. Bales finished off the drive with a nineteen-yard reception to draw first blood. A two-point pass attempt fell incomplete and the Sandites led 6-0 with 1:45 in the first half.

Booker T.'s next drive was methodical and effective, using more than seven minutes to drive 61 yards over seventeen plays for a one-yard run by quarterback DJ Jones. With 6:22 in the half, the visitors took a 7-6 lead.

Both teams' next possessions fell flat, but the Sandites got one last shot at a march downfield before halftime. Greathouse connected with tight-end Dash Fleischman for twelve yards, then hit Thompson for 44 to park the offense at the Hornet six-yard line. That's where the magic ran out. Scott took a handoff for no gain. An endzone pass attempt was nearly intercepted. Greathouse was flushed from the pocket and had to scramble to avoid negative yardage on third down. At fourth and six Alex Hernandez attempted a 24-yard field goal but bounced the kick off one of his teammates and Greathouse managed to fall on it and end the half. 

Bales started off the second half with a bang, returning the opening kickoff 56 yards to the Hornet 22, but the offense was unable to capitalize and turned over the ball on downs at the sixteen. 

Booker T. had an equally difficult time making a play happen and punted away possession to the Sandite 45. This time the home team hit pay dirt. 

Scott picked up twelve yards in two runs, then Greathouse hit Thompson for ten. Greathouse hooked up with Scott for a 28-yard pass to roll up to the Hornet two-yard line. On third and short, the Sandites stuffed Greathouse into the endzone for the score. Once again the two-point conversion failed, but the boys held a 12-7 lead with 4:53 in the third.

 The visitors' next drive was held to a 36-yard field goal to cut the Sandite lead to 12-10 barely into the fourth quarter. That's when things began to fall apart.

The Sandites returned the kickoff to their 35, then Dalton Morgan fumbled it away to Isaiah Johnson. The defense was able to prevent Booker T. from moving the ball, but for the second possession in a row, the Sandites' gave up another fumble on the first play. This time Greathouse was unable to haul in a high snap and the Hornets got the ball at the Sand Springs two-yard line. After a pair of five-yard penalties for twelve men on the field, the Hornets finally found the endzone on a ten-yard run from McQuarters to take the 17-12 advantage.

Both teams had short possessions from there, and Sand Springs got another crack at it with 5:18 left. Greathouse hit Bales for thirty yards, then found Scott for 18 to enter the redzone. The drive ran out of juice, however, and three incomplete passes and a tackle for loss gave Booker T. possession at their 10. 

The Sandites had one last shot with 1:07 left, but Greathouse was sacked, then called for intentional grounding. A third pass attempt fell incomplete and McQuarters picked off the fourth to end the game.

Greathouse finished the game 13-26-237-1 with one touchdown by air and one on the ground. Scott's streak of seven-straight games with hundred-plus-yard performances came to an end with 21 carries for 52 yards. Bales was the leading receiver with six receptions for 97 yards and a score. Delvin Jordan led the defense with eight unassisted tackles, including one for a loss of three yards. Nathan Simonton was next up with six unassisted and one assisted tackle for a loss of one yard. 

Despite the loss, the Sandites are still third in district standings with two games left in the regular season. They will return to action next Friday at No. 13 Bartlesville (4-4, 3-2), who just lost 63-14 to No. 3 Bixby (5-3, 3-1). Booker T. will host Bixby next week. 

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

Photo: Scott Emigh

Photo: Scott Emigh

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

No. 1 Sand Springs Sandites (Last week No. 4) vs No. 4 Booker T. Washington Hornets (3)

While last week's game was against the number one team, this week could arguably be even bigger for the Sandites (5-2, 3-0) as they set out to prove whether their upset over the Roughers (6-1, 3-1) was a fluke or a sign of the season to come. By now, just about everybody in the country has heard of the Sandites' SportsCenter #1 play on a two point conversion scramble to top the previously undefeated Roughers in the final seconds of a Thursday night game in the Indian Bowl. 

Sand Springs proved their aerial game was every bit as good as their ground game as they utilized Hunter Greathouse's arm for 221 yards and three touchdowns, marking the first time they've used the pass for more than 60% of their offense this season. That's not to say they were stopped at all on the rush as Payton Scott finished his seventh straight game in triple digits. Their defense put up their second-straight remarkable game, forcing multiple turnovers, racking up nearly thirty yards in tackles for loss, and registering half a dozen pass break-ups.

Booker T. (4-3, 3-1) is coming back from a bye-week after recovering from a 23-7 beatdown by Muskogee. That game couldn't have been any closer offensively if they had been playing themselves. Both teams completed 11 first downs, both teams were within three yards of each other in both passing and rushing. The difference-maker was turnovers, as the Roughers pulled out four fumbles and an interception.

The Hornets clearly have the high powered offense that should make for an interesting showdown against the stout Sand Springs defense, and the Sandites will need to force turnovers if they're to hold on to their undefeated district record. 

The Pick: Sand Springs 29, Booker T 24

No. 2 Muskogee Roughers (1) 

The formerly undefeated Muskogee Roughers (6-1, 3-1) will take a bye week after their upset loss to the Sandites to regroup before finishing out the season with what should be a pair of easy wins against Sapulpa and Ponca City, respectively.

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

The Spartans will no doubt be reinvigorated after a dominating 60-6 win over Ponca and the Sandites' upset over Muskogee has put a district title back within reach for the two-time back-to-back State Champions.

The Bruins (4-3, 2-1) are riding a three-game win streak after a 51-28 win at Sapulpa (0-7, 0-4). They split the game equally between air and ground with Garrett Meidl at QB throwing 16-32-222-1 for three touchdowns. Meidl added another score on the ground while Joe Lard led with 105 yards and two scores and Deandre Young tacked on another. 

Bixby had zero difficulty in limiting the Wildcats to a mere 11 first downs and 42% passing rate while picking off a pair of passes and a fumble recovery. Tanner Griffin was 17-22-317 with six touchdowns and no interceptions. Tucker Pawley and Braden Roller combined for a pair of scores and just under 200 yards on the ground. 

The Pick: Bixby 62, Bartlesville 12

No. 5 Midwest City Bombers (6) vs No. 9 Putnam City Pirates (9)

Midwest City (4-3, 3-1) won a crucial battle last week to remain in contention for the District One title, pulling off a 21-16 win over Putnam City West (5-2, 3-1) in come-from-behind fashion. The Bombers outscored Putnam West 21-6 in the second half for the win. 

Putnam City (3-4, 1-3) isn't out of playoff contention yet. With all the circular losses in District One, it's still anybody's bet on who will make the final four. However, after a 20-14 overtime loss to Deer Creek last week, the Pirates desperately need to find a win against the Bombers. They barely broke 200 yards as a team in their last game, completed only 42% of passes, and didn't register a single interception or fumble recovery.

The Pick: Midwest City 24, Putnam City 13

No. 6 Lawton Wolverines (7) vs No. 12 Choctaw Yellowjackets (10)

Lawton (4-3, 3-1) made a huge statement Friday against Enid (3-4, 2-2) with an incredible 51-3 victory, showing they not only have the infamous District One defense, but are able to perform at the Distict Two offensive level as well. 

QB Zach Hanna was 12-13-226-0 with four touchdowns while the ground game was split between Stephen Silas with 10 carries for 151 yards and Tre Curry with 9 carries for 113 yards and two touchdowns. 

Their defense will be far more pressed to stop Choctaw (3-4, 1-3), however, as the Yellowjacket air raid has picked apart some of the best teams in the State, including Sand Springs and Midwest City. 

Choctaw is coming off a 28-21 upset by Stillwater (3-4, 1-3) that saw two pick-sixes to shut down their onslaught. The Yellowjacket run game is practically nonexistent, leaving the offense held to their third lowest output this season. 

The Pick: Lawton 36, Choctaw 22

No. 7 Putnam City West Patriots (5) vs No. 10 Edmond Deer Creek (11)

The Patriots lost their seat at the top of the District One hierarchy after a 21-16 battle with Midwest City (4-3, 3-1), but it wasn't the kind of loss that makes their season any less impressive. Last season saw Sand Springs lose to Booker T in the regular season and beat them in the semifinals, while Bixby lost to Sand Springs in the regular season and beat them in for the State Title. The Patriots are still on their best season in decades and are still putting out impressive performances. 

Deer Creek (2-5, 2-2) continues to be hit or miss, and this week they were hit. The Antlers secured their second win of the season with a 20-14 overtime upset of Putnam City (3-4, 1-3). QB Hunter Freese continues to lead his team well through the air, completing about 60% of passes. 

The Pick: Putnam West 27, Deer Creek 16

No. 8 Enid Plainsmen (8) vs No. 11 Stillwater Pioneers (12)

These two teams were headed in opposite directions last week as Enid (3-4, 2-2) secured wins over Choctaw and Deer Creek, while Stillwater (3-4, 1-3) dropped three-straight to Deer Creek, Putnam West, and Lawton. After Friday though, it's either team's ball game as the Plainsmen were decimated 51-3 by Lawton and the Pioneers secured their first district win 28-21 over Choctaw. 

The Pick: Enid 27, Stillwater 20.

No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (14) vs No. 15 Sapulpa Chieftains (15)

At long last for both teams, one of them will walk away with their first district win of the season. For the Chieftains it would be their first win all-together. 

Ponca (1-6, 0-4) hasn't seen a win since a 9-0 victory over Guthrie (4-3, 2-2) in week three, while Sapulpa (0-7, 0-4) hasn't had a win since week nine of last year. Ponca is coming off a 60-6 beatdown by Bixby, while Sapulpa fell 51-28 to Bartlesville. 

Double threat QB Cameron Elder leads Sapulpa in the air and on the ground and completes 62% of passes, but holds as many interceptions as he does aerial touchdowns. He's been responsible for all fourteen offensive touchdowns of the season for Sapulpa. 

Ponca QB Brice McDougal is about 50% passing with twelve scores and ten interceptions from 1400 yards. The run game is nearly nonexistent in Ponca with four running backs combining for less than 300 yards and only one touchdown. 

The Pick: Ponca City 40, Sapulpa 37. 

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

Photo: Morgan Miller

Photo: Morgan Miller

By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board

The 6A-II rankings just got a whole lot weirder as District One continues to duke it out with no clear top-dog, save for Putnam City West. With the exception of the Patriots, every team in District One has a loss to someone they shouldn't have, causing a big confusing circle. Even District Two isn't immune to the mess. 

In week two, the Sand Springs Sandites were defeated by Choctaw, and that's their only in-state loss to date. In week three, the Sandites defeated Putnam City West, and that's the Patriots' only loss to date. While the Patriots are the only team out West without a district loss, Choctaw has sustained a pair of district losses to Putnam City and Enid. This Friday Choctaw upset Midwest City, who was previously undefeated in the district with wins over Lawton and Deer Creek. Lawton has wins over both Putnam City and Stillwater. Oh, what a tangled web they weave.

With every team out there having some claim over each other, there's bound to be some disagreement with the rankings, but nevertheless we shall try to make some sense out of it all.

No. 1 Muskogee Roughers (Last week No. 1) vs No. 4 Sand Springs Sandites (5)

It's the marquee matchup for the whole division as the only two undefeated teams in District Two go head-to-head. The Muskogee Roughers (6-0, 3-0) are a powerhouse team once again behind four-time State Championship winning coach Rafe Watkins, formerly of Guthrie. 

Muskogee and Sand Springs (3-2, 2-0) are fairly matched in the air, with both Hunter Greathouse and Jacob Medrano completing just over 50% of passes for right at 1,000 yards this season. Both teams employ a mess of solid multi-purpose players who can easily adapt to either the run or pass game as needed. Muskogee's stars include University of Tennessee commit Kamren Curl.

Sand Springs will need to rely heavily on their defense, who scored two touchdowns in their 56-35 win over Ponca City, to put up stops and force turnovers against the explosive Rougher offense. Muskogee has their own powerful defense though, with nine interceptions this season. They forced five turnovers against Booker T Washington Friday night. The two teams were perfectly matched on offense, but four fumbles and an interception paved the way for a 23-7 victory for Muskogee. 

The pick: Muskogee 45, Sand Springs 31.

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

The two-time defending State Champions (3-3, 1-1) had a rough start to district play, falling 45-42 to Muskogee, but got in the win column Friday in a 62-17 beat down against Sapulpa. The Spartans ran up 646 yards while holding the Chieftains to just over 200, and never once punted. QB Tanner Griffin is sitting around 1500 yards passing this season with 20 touchdowns by air. The Spartans also have a talented running back in Tucker Pawley who is just under 1000 yards this season. They also have a talented defense highlighted by Oklahoma State commit Brendon Evers. 

The Ponca City Wildcats (1-5, 0-3) proved Friday that they can hang with some of the best defenses in the State, passing for over 300 yards against the Sandites. They also struggled with turnovers, however, giving up two fumble returns for touchdowns and threw two interceptions. 

The pick: Bixby 66, Ponca 12.

No. 3 Booker T Washington Hornets (2) 

The powerful Booker T (4-3, 2-1) offense was stymied by Muskogee Friday night, and scored only once despite racking up nearly 300 yards of offense. They were plagued by penalties amounting to more than 100 yards. That, coupled with four fumbles and an interception were insurmountable. The Hornets will have a bye week before returning to action against Sand Springs.

No. 5 Putnam City West Patriots (7) vs No. 6 Midwest City Bombers (4)

This matchup would have been a lot bigger if the Bombers (3-3, 2-1) hadn't given up an upset to Choctaw last Friday, but regardless of district standings the two teams should still put on a quality show. The two teams boast the top two defensive squads in the district with each allowing less than 15 points per game. 

The Patriots (5-1, 3-0) are coming off a huge 42-10 rivalry win over Putnam City while Midwest City just dropped their first district game of the season to Choctaw. Putnam West has suffered only one loss this season, 29-24 to Sand Springs, and splits their offense pretty evenly between air and land. They hold one division one commit in Memphis-bound WR Nick Robinson. Midwest City has some impressive talent of their own in 6'2" safety Evan Fields, who's fielding offers from numerous Division One programs including several Big 12 schools. 

Midwest City's defense held tight against Choctaw, giving up only 14 points to a team that averaged 36 points per game going into the match. Unfortunately for the Bombers, they were plagued by penalties, miscues, and offensive inconsistency. They made three trips into the red zone and racked up 272 yards of offense while holding Choctaw to only 141, despite the loss. 

The pick: No consensus. Scott picks Midwest City 24-21, Virgil picks Putnam West 24-21.

No. 7 Lawton Wolverines (6) vs No. 8 Enid Plainsmen (10)

These two teams hold the same record both in and out of district, and their strength of schedule is still hard to determine. Enid's offense is coming in a lot hotter than in recent years, averaging 28 points per game.

Lawton (3-3, 2-1) isn't executing as well as they have in recent years, but they still boast some high powered athletes in QB Zach Hanna and RB Tre Curry. Friday saw the Wolverines gain the upper hand on Stillwater 21-14 in a low performance game that saw only 95 yards by air. The ground game was dominant for both teams and Curry racked up 121 yards on 13 carries.

Enid (3-3, 2-1) started off the season with a 22-19 loss to a Guthrie team that has long since ceased to be ranked. A 42-31 victory over Ponca City and a pair of losses after that pushed Enid towards the bottom of the rankings, but the Plainsmen have found their mojo for two straight district wins to prove they're not out playoff contention yet. After going down 35-10 to Putnam West, Enid got the edge on Choctaw in a 43-39 shootout and scored a major victory this week in a dominating 45-17 beat down of Deer Creek. The Plainmen picked off three passes and returned a fumble for a touchdown, presenting just the kind of defense that could give Lawton fits. 

The pick: Lawton 27, Enid 21.

No. 9 Putnam City Pirates (8) vs No. 11 Deer Creek Antlers (9)

A crucial match for both teams, Putnam (3-3, 1-2) started off the season with a series of big wins before giving up two straight to Lawton and Putnam West. Deer Creek (1-5, 1-2) started the season with a tough pre-conference schedule including three-straight losses to high-ranked 6A-I teams. They were expected to be a big contender for the district, but after a close 21-14 win over Stillwater they were blown out 35-0 by Midwest City and 45-17 by Enid. Both teams need a win this week to stay alive in playoff contention.

Putnam has struggled through the air this season, racking up over 1,000 yards but at a 38% completion rate. The defense has been effective, however, averaging 3 sacks, 1 interception, and 1 fumble recovery per game.

The Antlers employ a solid QB in Hunter Freese, who sits at 51% passing for over 1,200 yards. The run game is nearly nonexistent with the whole team accounting for less than 500 yards.  

The pick: Putnam West 23, Deer Creek 17.

No. 10 Choctaw Yellowjackets (11) vs No. 12 Stillwater Pioneers (12)

Stillwater (2-4, 0-3) has lost four games this season, all by a touchdown or less, and they have two quality wins over 6A-I talent. While the playoffs are looking more and more unlikely for the team, they're not out of reach yet. Clearly the Pioneers have talent, especially in RB Josiah Castleberry who holds over 700 yards this season on 7 yards per carry. But they have struggled in the air, doing the quarterback shuffle after their starting senior missed the first half of the season. 

Choctaw (3-3, 1-2) has been hit or miss all season, relying on a powerful air raid offense that has rarely been stymied. After netting a pair of close shootout wins over Sapulpa and Sand Springs to start the season, they lost three-straight, all by a touchdown or less, to Putnam City, Putnam North, and Enid, before getting in the win column with a 14-7 upset of Midwest City. QB Dylan Weaver is right at 50% for nearly 1400 yards this season, but was held to under 100 for the first time against Midwest City. The run game has always been a factor with Choctaw, but they really proved how good it could be when they took on Enid and ran up 321 yards on 38 carries. 

The pick: Choctaw 42, Stillwater 21.

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (13) vs No. 15 Sapulpa (15) 

This is a bigger game for Bartlesville (2-3, 1-1) than it is for Sapulpa (0-6, 0-3). While the Chieftains are technically still in playoff contention, they only have three district games left and don't stand much chance against undefeated Muskogee. Bartlesville, on the other hand, has the kind of aerial offense that could present an upset over Sand Springs. But first they need to get past Sapulpa. 

The Chieftains have a double-threat quarterback in Cameron Elder who is throwing 63% this season for right at 1,000 yards and also leads his team on the ground. They have six losses this season and only two could be described as close.

Bartlesville won a close one in their season opener then dropped three straight before getting back in the win column with a powerful 42-20 win over Ponca City two weeks ago. The Bruins are coming off a bye week and look to AJ Archambo, Garrett Meidl, and Deandre Young to lead them to victory.

The pick: Bartlesville 38, Sapulpa 17. 

Week Five 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. 3 Muskogee Roughers (3)

It's the marquee match-up for week six of High School football as two of the top teams in the State ride dominating performances into a district game of playoff-level intensity. 

The Spartans (2-2, 0-0) have yet to begin district play and just wrapped up the toughest pre-conference schedule of Class 6A-II. In week two they gave 6A-I No. 1 Jenks (5-0) their closest game of the year, losing 38-34. The next week they lost 44-34 to Arkansas 7A State Runners-Up Bentonville (3-1) and finally got in the win column with a dominating 56-20 performance over Putnam City (3-1, 1-0). This week they really proved just how powerful they are as they steamrolled 6A-I No. 4 Westmoore (3-1) 70-28 in an incredible performance that featured two 90+ yard kickoff returns for touchdown. Tanner Griffin's passing was off for the evening, completing only 9 of 22 for 96 yards and 1 touchdown against 2 interceptions. But the run game was dominant as Tucker Pawley carried 19 times for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns. Griffin had two touchdown runs and 46 yards on 5 carries, while Braden Roller added another touchdown and 66 yards on 5 carries.

The Roughers (4-0, 1-0) have had a fairly weak schedule thus far, with the exception of a close 16-12 win over Midwest City (2-2, 1-0), but when they go up against lesser competition, it's a blow-out. They've won their last three games by an average score of 59-11, and they notched their first district win Friday with a 63-6 shutdown of Bartlesville (1-3, 0-1). Running back Molijah Gilbert finished with 16 carries for 184 yards and two touchdowns. QB Jacob Medrano completed 11 of 20 passes for 197 yards and no interceptions.

The pick: Bixby 38 Muskogee 28

No. 2 Booker T Washington Hornets (2) vs No. 15 Sapulpa Chieftains (14)

The Hornets (3-2, 1-0) had an easy start to district play with the Ponca City Wildcats (1-3, 0-1) and rolled to a dominating 47-0 shutout victory. In the past two seasons, the Hornet offense regularly routed their opponents by massive margins, but this year it still remains to be seen just how powerful they'll be against quality opponents. They barely got the 21-14 edge on Midwest City (2-2, 1-0) and lost 26-23 to Edmond Santa Fe (4-1, 1-0). After going down 49-7 to the Nationally ranked No. 2 IMG Academy (5-0) they've since been unstoppable with a 43-6 win over Shawnee and the victory against Ponca. They won't get their first real test till they take on Muskogee next week, but first they have to get past Sapulpa. Rylan McQuarters led the run game against Ponca with 8 carries for 82 yards, followed by Tyler Holmes with 15 carries for 71 yards and a touchdown. Two other running backs scored touchdowns in the rout, and double-threat QB Phillip Wheatley was 15 of 22 in the air for 214 yards and a touchdown, with no interceptions.

Sapulpa (0-4, 0-1) still looks to get in the win column this season after dropping their rivalry game to Sand Springs 35-7. The Chieftains failed to make headway through the air as QB Cameron Elder was only 8 of 13 for 53 yards with no touchdowns and an interception, but the ground game was alive and well. Elder carried 12 times for 59 yards and a touchdown. Dayton Vann also had 59 yards from 11 carries, and Marcus Henderson carried 8 times for 67 yards. 

The pick: Booker T 56 Sapulpa 3

No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (4) vs No. 9 Deer Creek Antlers (12)

The Midwest City Bombers (2-2, 1-0) have won or lost every game this season by a touchdown or less and notched their first district win of the season 20-17 over Lawton (1-3, 0-1) Friday night at home. QB Preston Colbert was 8 of 12 for 139 yards and a touchdown. Astin Anderson was the workhorse for the Bombers and carried 38 times for 133 yards. Earlier this season they fell 16-12 to Muskogee (4-0) and 21-14 to Booker T Washington (3-2), two of the top three teams in the division. They got in the win column two weeks ago with a 28-21 victory over 5A Del City (2-2).

The Antlers (1-3, 1-0) got their first win of the season with a 21-14 upset over Stillwater (2-2, 0-1) Friday night at a game in which they were the 18-point underdogs. QB Hunter Freese passed for 190 yards and the bulk of the Antler offense. The run game only accounted for 87 yards. Deer Creek may only have one win, but their losses were to quality 6A-I programs. 52-13 to Southmoore (3-1), 47-31 to Edmond Santa Fe (4-1), and 48-31 to Edmond Memorial (3-2).

The pick: Midwest City 23 Deer Creek 14

No. 6 Putnam City Pirates (7) vs No. 7 Lawton Wolverines (5)

While Bixby at Muskogee is the biggest game of District 2, Lawton vs. Putnam City is equally huge for District 1. The Wolverines (1-3, 0-1) and Pirates (3-1, 1-0) both have a lot to prove going into week two of districts. While Lawton was edged out 20-17 by Midwest City (2-2, 1-0), the Pirates got the 36-32 edge on Choctaw (2-2, 0-1). Putnam's only loss this season was 56-20 to Bixby (2-2), while Lawton's only win this season was 62-37 over in-town rival Lawton Eisenhower (1-3).

Lawton demonstrated a powerful aerial assault against Midwest City as QB Zach Hannah completed 11 of 18 passes for 228 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. The running game was almost nonexistent, however, as Tre Curry carried 19 times for a mere 60 yards and one touchdown. Curry has proven his abilities in the past with a 201 yard performance against Eisenhower and a 311 yard performance in a 56-41 loss to 5A Carl Albert (4-0). The Wolverines are clearly a double threat team, meaning the Putnam defense will need to be sharp on their toes to keep the scoring in check. Lawton's offense averages 415 yards and 5 touchdowns per game this season. Putnam's defense is stout, however, and averages 3 sacks, 2 fumble recoveries, and 2 interceptions per game this season. 

The Putnam offense has ran up the yards this season, led by QB AJ Newsome in the air and RB Damon Jemison on the ground. Newsome is only 32 of 82 this season with 6 interceptions, exacerbated by a 6 of 24 performance against the killer Bixby defense which picked off four passes. But he holds 871 yards and 9 touchdowns to pad his resume. Jemison has rushed 78 times this year for only 259 yards. The Lawton defense isn't as tight on the run game as Putnam, but if the Pirates rely on the pass as they have for most of the season, they might find trouble in a team that averages 2 interceptions per game. 

The pick: Putnam City 28 Lawton 26

No. 5 Sand Springs Sandites (6) vs Yukon Millers

The Sandites (2-2, 1-0) won their first district game with a 35-7 rout of Highway 97 rival Sapulpa (0-4, 0-1), and will play their final non-district game this weekend against 6A-I Yukon (0-4). Sand Springs started off with a big 56-21 loss to Arkansas powerhouse Pulaski Academy (3-1) and were upset in week two 45-41 by Choctaw (2-2, 0-1), but got in the win column with a close 29-24 victory against Putnam West (3-1, 1-0). RB Payton Scott accounts for the majority of the Sandite offense with 183 carries for 687 yards and 7 touchdowns, while QB Hunter Greathouse is 42 of 90 for 601 yards and 4 touchdowns by air and 4 touchdowns on the ground. 

Yukon has yet to even come close to a win this season, falling 42-20 to Mustang (3-1), 55-7 to Norman North (4-0), 38-7 to Southmoore (38-7), and 33-9 to Broken Arrow (2-2). The Millers held a tough schedule with nothing but ranked 6A-I powerhouses and that experience could give them an edge on the Sandites who have played only one powerhouse team this year. 

The pick: Sand Springs 38 Yukon 13.

No. 8 Putnam City West Patriots (8) vs No. 11 Stillwater Pioneers (10)

The Patriots (3-1, 1-0) haven't had a winning season since 2000 and they're looking to change that in 2016. After beating Duncan (2-2) 43-14 and Putnam North (1-3) 16-5, the Patriots experienced their first loss of the season 29-24 at the Sandites' (2-2) home-opener. They didn't let that hiccup slow them down, and rebounded with a dominating 35-10 district victory over Enid (1-3, 0-1). 

Stillwater (2-2, 0-1) started with one seriously tough pre-district schedule and secured a pair of high quality wins against ranked 6A-I opponents, before giving up a big upset this week. They won their season opener against Edmond Memorial (3-2) 24-7, then lost 16-7 to Moore (2-2) before netting another big win over Mustang (3-1) at 36-24. The Pioneers clearly have what it takes to win big games against big opponents, but after falling 21-14 to Deer Creek at home, they're going to need to buckle down and secure some district wins if they want a shot at their first State Championship since 1967. The Pioneers are led on the ground by Josiah Castleberry who has already ran over 600 yards thus far this season. 

The pick: Putnam West 33 Stillwater 29

No. 10 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) vs No. 12 Enid Plainsmen (13)

Choctaw (2-2, 0-1) is still struggling to find its place in the rankings, starting strong with 52-42 and 45-41 wins over Sapulpa (0-4) and Sand Springs (2-2), respectively, but falling 17-14 to Putnam City North (1-3) and 36-32 to Putnam City (3-1, 1-0). The Yellowjackets are true to their name when it comes to offense, hammering their opponents from the air, but just can't seem to get their defense rolling. QB Dylan Weaver is 64 of 107 for 864 yards this season.

Enid (1-3, 0-1) was edged out 22-19 in the season opener by Guthrie (2-2) and got in the win column in week two with a 42-31 victory over Ponca City (1-3, 0-1), but hasn't come close since. They were dominated in week three 44-14 by Bishop McGuinness (3-1) and shut down 25-10 last week by Putnam West (3-1, 1-0). 

The pick: Choctaw 40 Enid 10

No. 13 Bartlesville Bruins (11) vs No. 14 Ponca City Wildcats (15)

Bartlesville (1-3, 0-1) and Ponca (1-3, 0-1) are both in precarious spots this season with a single win apiece and one of the two destined to be 0-2 in district play after this Friday's meet. The Bruins' lone win was a close 27-24 over McAlester (2-2) while Ponca blanked Guthrie (2-2) 9-0. 

The Bruins were utterly dominated 63-6 at the hands of Muskogee (4-0) last week, while the Wildcats were shut out 47-0 by Booker T Washington (3-2). Bartlesville has shuffled through three quarterbacks this year after starter Garrett Meidl was out with a knee injury and Will Walton and AJ Archambo both tried out the position. Meidl returned to action against Muskogee but was held to a mere 10 completions on 24 attempts for 59 yards. Ponca QB Brice McDougal has a solid record this season with 58 completions on 104 passes for 729 yards and only 3 interceptions. 

The pick: Bartlesville 21 Ponca 14

6A-II District One Standings

Putnam City West (1-0)
Deer Creek (1-0)
Putnam City (1-0)
Midwest City (1-0)

Lawton (0-1)
Choctaw (0-1)
Stillwater (0-1)
Enid (0-1)

6A-II District Two Standings

Muskogee (1-0)
Booker T (1-0)
Sand Springs (1-0)
Bixby (0-0)

Bartlesville (0-1)
Ponca City (0-1)
Sapulpa (0-1)

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