– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
1) CRESCENT (1-1) AT CASHION (3-0)
Without a doubt the top game this week around Oklahoma is Cashion hosting Crescent. It’s a match-up between top five teams in the same class that have state title aspirations. But more importantly, it’s a massive district clash that could end up deciding the district champion. Because Class A features two districts that have nine teams, instead of the normal seven or eight. While other teams are in their final non-district tune-up games, these two teams kick off the district season.
The Key: The Big Play. Cashion and Crescent each have explosive offenses that can put up big numbers in a hurry. Cashion routinely has one of the top passing offenses and this year is no different behind quarterback Griffin Lamb. For Crescent, they do most of their damage on the ground with quarterback Hunter Bowers, who is one of the top dual-threat QB’s in the state.
2) METRO CHRISTIAN (2-0) AT HOLLAND HALL (1-1)
Metro Christian has dropped down from 4A to 2A and they’ve had an instant impact on the 2018 season. It only took a few weeks before the Patriots jumped up into the OKPreps 2A rankings. Holland Hall has been in the top ten since the start of the season but the Dutch are looking to bounce back after falling to Cascia Hall in overtime back in week one. These two teams are both ranked in the 2A top ten after the first few weeks of the season.
The Key: Holland Hall Defense. Metro Christian has built a reputation as one of the top passing teams in the Tulsa area. However, during last week’s win over OCS, Metro running back Ryan Johnson ran for over 300 yards. Metro Christian’s offensive attack will be a challenge for Holland Hall and a big key will be the Dutch attempting to slow them down.
3) CASCIA HALL (2-0) AT MILLWOOD (2-0)
Millwood knocked off rival Douglass on Saturday and extended their winning streak to 30 games in a row. Now they turn their attention to a Cascia Hall team that is ranked in the 3A top ten. Cascia Hall had last week off after beating Gravette, AR. and rival Holland Hall to start the year. Millwood’s winning streak is the longest active winning streak in the state. The last time Cascia faced a team with a 30+ game winning streak, they upset Heritage Hall in the 2016 playoffs.
The Key: Playmakers. You would have to be living under a rock to not already know or have an idea about the playmakers Millwood features. The Falcons are rarely slowed down and Friday night might not be any different. If Cascia is going to have a shot at the upset, they have to get off the field on defense. Easier said than done.
4) BETHANY (2-0) AT KINGFISHER (1-1)
This is the first week of a tough four week stretch for Bethany. They hit the road to face off with Kingfisher on Friday night. Next week, they host Blanchard to open district play and in a few weeks they’ll host Tuttle. A win on Friday night could give Bethany a boost heading into district play. Kingfisher bounced back after a week one loss to Tuttle by beating up on Hennessey last week. This match-up is a battle between two ranked teams.
The Key: Bethany Defense. Without a doubt the biggest key in this match-up is the Bethany defense. Kingfisher has playmakers on offense that can put up some big numbers. If Bethany is going to remain undefeated heading into district play, getting off the field defensively will be a big key to improving to 3-0.
5) BEGGS (2-0) AT SHILOH CHRISTIAN, AR. (1-1)
Shiloh Christian is one of the top private schools in Arkansas and they’ll play host to Beggs on Friday night. Shiloh Christian has a history of playing some strong teams from Oklahoma. They’ve played Broken Bow, Lincoln Christian and most recently Victory Christian in 2014. However, this will be a rare out of state contest for a Beggs team that doesn’t have much of a history against teams not from Oklahoma.
The Key: Dalton Spring. Beggs quarterback Dalton Spring is one of the more underrated players in Oklahoma after an absolutely breakout junior season. Spring has the ability to completely change the landscape of the game. However, he’ll have his work cut out for him and will face a tougher challenge than what they saw the first few weeks.
6) DAVIS (1-1) AT HERITAGE HALL (1-1)
Before Heritage Hall’s loss to Millwood in week one, you had to go back to 2014 when the Chargers faced Davis to find the last time they lost in the regular season. These two perennial powers square off once again on Friday night. Heritage Hall bounced back from their loss with a comeback win over Clinton last week, scoring 20 unanswered points in the second half. Davis looks to bounce back after a blowout loss to Sulphur.
The Key: Billy Ross Jr. In last year’s win over Davis, Heritage Hall running back Billy Ross Jr. scored a touchdown on the very first play of the game. That was the start of a rout. Ross will once again be excited to face Davis as the Wolves struggled against the run last week, giving up over 400 yards to Sulphur RB Trey Kiser.
7) DEL CITY (1-1) AT BARTLESVILLE (1-1)
Del City has moved up from 5A and have immediately become one of the bigger threats in the class. Bartlesville is led by first year head coach Lee Blankenship. The Bruins have a strong rushing attack while the Eagles will counter with a passing game led by the QB/WR duo of Quinlan Ganther and Jeff Foreman. Both teams have playoff aspirations and a win on Friday night will give the winner momentum heading into district play.
The Key: The Bounce Back. Del City let one slip away in overtime to rival Carl Albert. Bartlesville jumped out to a 14-0 lead in Collinsville but lost to the Cardinals 34-27. How both of these teams put last week behind them could end up deciding who goes on to win this game. Getting a lead and holding onto that lead will be key.
8) LAWTON MACARTHUR (1-1) AT CLINTON (1-1)
Both teams have a great history as two of the better programs in Oklahoma and they’ll square off to wrap up non-district play on Friday night. Both teams will be in bounce back mode as Clinton and Lawton MacArthur are each coming off a loss last week. After playing each year from 2012-2015, the two teams didn’t play in 2016 and 2017. During that four year stretch, Lawton Mac rolled during that time, winning all four match-up’s by a combined score of 135-40.
The Key: The Second Half. Both teams are coming off a loss and both teams had a lead going into halftime. For Clinton, they let a potential upset over Heritage Hall slip through the cracks when they led 12-0 at halftime and lost 20-12. Lawton Mac fell to rival Lawton 41-32, after leading 20-12 at halftime.
9) CHOCTAW (2-0) AT PUTNAM CITY NORTH (2-0) (THURS.)
It’s a Thursday night game and is without a doubt the best game on Thursday night. Choctaw and Putnam City North are each 2-0 to start the season and are each ranked in 6A-D1 (PC North) and 6A-D2 (Choctaw). Both teams expect to contend for a playoff spot and a win on Thursday night will give the winner momentum heading into brutal districts. Both teams were impressive in blowout victories last week.
The Key: Putnam City North Defense. The Panthers have been nothing short of dominant to start their 2018 campaign. PC North blew out their rivals Putnam City and Putnam City West by a combined score of 84-6 in the first two weeks. If the Panther defense continues their dominant play on Thursday, a 3-0 start could be on deck.
10) WESTMOORE (2-0) AT MUSTANG (0-2)
Westmoore is off to a 2-0 start after blasting rivals Moore and Southmoore by a combined score of 76-26. Meanwhile, Mustang is looking to bounce back after losses to Yukon and Edmond Santa Fe. The Broncos want to avoid a very rare 0-3 start to kickoff their 2018 football season. The Jaguars and the Mustangs are squaring off for the first time since they were district foes in the early part of this decade.
The Key: Dayton Wolfe. Westmoore has put up a lot of points in the first two weeks and a pleasant surprise has to be the emergence of sophomore quarterback Dayton Wolfe. The young QB has thrown for over 400 yards and six touchdowns, including three touchdowns in each of the first two games of the year.