1) AFTON (5-0) AT REJOICE CHRISTIAN (6-0)
For the third straight week, we have a 1 vs 2 match-up that is the top game of the week. The top spot in Class A will be on the line as #1 Rejoice Christian will host #2 Afton on Friday night. Both teams have been dominant this season, lighting up scoreboards starting in week one. However, Friday’s game will be the biggest test for both teams. Not only will the top spot in Class A be on the line, but the winner will be in the driver’s seat for the district title.
The Key: Stops. When you’re dealing with two teams that have outstanding playmakers on offense, which these two do, it comes down to the defense. Who can come up with stops. Who can create turnovers. Neither team wants this game to be a shootout, although that might be inevitable. The team that can come up with a big stop in a crucial moment or a big turnover will have a leg up.
2) OOLOGAH (6-0) AT WAGONER (6-0)
This game may be listed as #2 but think of it more like 1B. #3 Oologah travels to face #1 Wagoner in another chapter of a great football rivalry. These two teams have not only become district rivals, but playoff rivals. They’ve met in the last three state championship games. Wagoner won all three of those meetings and are winners of 43 wins in a row, a state record. Oologah would love nothing more than to go into Wagoner and end that streak.
The Key: Nikia Jones. He’s been the biggest key to why Wagoner has won so many of those 43 consecutive games. Why should Friday night be any different? Oologah has to find a way to not give up the big play to Jones. The Wagoner standout will make plays, but Oologah has to avoid that game breaking play that Jones is so used to producing.
3) NORMAN NORTH (5-1) AT UNION (6-0)
Okay this game is 1C. You get the point. Another championship rematch happens as Norman North travels to Tulsa to square off with #1 Union. The Timberwolves grabbed headlines across Oklahoma when they knocked off Union in the regular season a year ago. The Redskins returned the favor with a shootout victory in the state title game. Both teams still have fantastic offenses. Don’t be surprised to see another shootout on Friday night in Tulsa.
The Key: Union’s Arsenal. Union has proven this year that they’re just about as close to a complete team that you’re going to find in high school football. The Redskins can beat you in multiple ways and have shown the ability to be versatile. Union isn’t a perfect team by any means. So when they make mistakes, Norman North has to take advantage.
4) BISHOP KELLEY (5-1) AT SKIATOOK (5-1)
Bishop Kelley got over one hurdle in their district, now comes another immediate one, and this one is on the road. The Comets will travel to Skiatook to face off with the Bulldogs in a game that could decide the district champion. The winner of this game might also be the best chance for an east side team to contend in 5A football this year. Both teams have bounced back from non-district losses to rivals. Bishop Kelley survived a scare from Claremore last week.
The Key: TK Wilkerson. The Tulsa commit is one of the better athletes in the state. At running back, Wilkerson is a handful to deal with for defenses. The Comets were already torched by a running back this year when they faced Bishop McGuinness. They can’t afford to have another game where they give up 250+ yards on the ground.
5) CHOCTAW (4-2) AT STILLWATER (5-1) (THURS.)
It’s only week seven and we still have plenty of football left to be played. However, this game may end up being an elimination game in the west side district of 6A-D2. Choctaw and Stillwater are both coming off tough losses last week and Thursday’s game in a must-win situation for both teams. With so many strong teams in the district, neither team can afford to take another district loss with so many tough games still remaining on the schedule.
The Key: Choctaw Secondary. The Yellowjackets had a tough week against Midwest City and their star quarterback Preston Colbert. It doesn’t get easier as they face off with Stillwater sophomore quarterback Gunnar Gundy. If Choctaw is going to win this game, they cannot allow Gundy to get into a rhythm in this offense.
6) BLANCHARD (6-0) AT BETHANY (5-1)
It’s time to answer some questions as Blanchard travels to Bethany. Both teams have been ranked in the 4A top ten for the majority of the season. However, it’s time to find out how serious either team is as a contender to Wagoner’s throne as 4A champion. Blanchard has been blasting teams but Friday will be their toughest test when they have to face a Bethany team that has beaten several ranked opponents. The district title might be decided in this game Friday night.
The Key: Blanchard Defense. The Lions have been absolutely stout on defense this year. They’ve given up seven points in the last two weeks. Bethany doesn’t have the best offense in 4A football, but they can be dangerous. If Blanchard is going to get a win, they can’t afford to get into a shootout. They’ll look to continue their dominance on defense.
7) PLAINVIEW (5-1) AT SULPHER (6-1)
Just like several of the other games in this top ten, the district champion could be decided in this match-up. Plainview hits the road and takes on a Sulphur team that has to feel pretty confident behind their offense. Plainview relies on their defense, a defense that has shut out their last two opponents. While the likelihood of a shutout on Friday is relatively low, this match-up definitely presents a clash of styles with Sulphur’s high-scoring offense and Plainview’s stingy defense.
The Key: Sulphur Offense. Since scoring a season-low 18 points in their loss to John Marshall, the Bulldogs have had no problems putting points on the scoreboard. They’ve scored at least 50 points in their last three games. Plainview cannot afford to get into a shootout with this Bulldog offense.
8) LUTHER (6-0) AT CHRISTIAN HERITAGE (5-2)
These two teams are in a stacked district that also features powerhouse Millwood. It’s a real possibility that the loser of this game will be ranked in the top ten but have to go on the road in the first round of the playoffs. Christian Heritage has already squared off with Millwood. Luther has been absolutely smashing teams, scoring 70 points in two different games this year. Both teams have offenses that will be very tough to slow down on Friday night.
The Key: Luther’s Defense. While Luther’s offense gets all the headlines, and rightfully so, the defense hasn’t been bad. They’ve given up ten points or less in four games this season. It’s more likely that we’ll see a shootout between these two teams, but if Luther can slow down the Crusaders’ offense, the Lions could roll here.
9) EDMOND SANTA FE (4-2) AT BROKEN ARROW (2-4)
Don’t judge a book by it’s cover and don’t judge Broken Arrow by their record. Three of their four losses have come to the top three teams in 6A-D1. It’s no secret that the Tigers have played a brutal schedule. However, it might have paid off because the Tigers were ready for a big game last week when they knocked off undefeated Westmoore on the road. Now they return home and look to continue that momentum against an Edmond Santa Fe team coming off a bye week.
The Key: Santa Fe Front Seven. Broken Arrow absolutely gashed Westmoore on the ground last week. The Tigers were able to dominate the line of scrimmage and running back Noah Cortes benefitted from it. If Santa Fe is going to pull off the win, they have to find a way to combat the BA offensive line and slow down the running game.
10) TAHLEQUAH (5-1) AT CLAREMORE (4-2)
Tahlequah has turned into a consistent team to watch out for in 5A football in the last year and a half. Since their loss to Skiatook, the Tigers have rolled. Claremore is coming off their first loss of the year to an Oklahoma school after they nearly knocked off Bishop Kelley on the road. However, to avoid a potential road playoff game, both teams must be firing on all cylinders. Most eyes in this district will be on the Kelley-Skiatook game, but this one won’t disappoint.
The Key: Cayden Aldridge. The Tahlequah quarterback is probably better known for his baseball skills. He’s one of the better baseball players in the state. However, he’s been great under center for Tahlequah this season. If Claremore is going to get a win, they have to find a way to stop the dual-threat quarterback from Tahlequah.