– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
OKPreps will have wall to wall coverage of the 2018 playoffs. We kick things off with our playoff preview series. Breaking down the bracket, checking out the contenders and giving you some players to watch. You’ll also hear from coaches with our OKPreps Scene Setter Podcasts.
Booker T Washington Hornets
Booker T Washington finally broke through last year and captured the gold ball. They’ve had some talented teams since the 6A split but last year they put it all together and dominated on their way to a state championship. This year, the Hornets once again played a brutal non-district schedule and got a little beat up in the process. They started the year 2-3 with out of state losses to North Little Rock, AR. and Horn Lake, MS. They were also tripped up in Bixby, losing 21-7 to the Spartans. However, the Hornets closed out the season on a five-game winning streak and their offense is starting to click. Injuries have certainly had an impact on the Hornets. Star running back Thomas Grayson missed time, OSU commit DJ Jones is out for the year. Despite all of that, the Hornets are still talented enough to go back to back.
TEAM TO BEAT
Stillwater is the only unbeaten teams in 6A-D2 and they have 6A-D2’s top scoring offense. It doesn’t take long to see why they’re so explosive on offense. With experience all over the offensive side of the ball, it would have been a surprise if they weren’t successful this year. The Pioneers were dominant from the start of the season, blasting through non-district play with wins over three 6A-D1 teams. The followed that up with an impressive showing against Midwest City. They were tested with tough road games against Lawton and Del City but in the end, the Pioneers stayed on top. If the Pioneers go ahead and capture the state championship, don’t be surprised if they’re right back here in this position next year. This could end up being the start of something pretty special in Stillwater.
MARQUEE 1ST ROUND GAME
Del City (7-3) AT Booker T Washington (7-3)
The first round offers several can’t miss match-up’s but this one tops the charts in our minds. Del City travels to Tulsa to take on Booker T Washington. The Eagles lost a heartbreaker to Stillwater last week but they must regroup in order to knock off the defending state champion Hornets. If you’re looking for talented athletes all over the field, look no further than this match-up. The Hornets routinely have one of the more talented rosters in the state. Del City is getting close to that status with an exceptionally talented team this year, and some young stars in the making. Both teams have playmakers all over the field. Don’t be surprised if this match-up turns into a high-scoring affair..
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Brennan Presley – WR – Bixby
Bixby wide receiver Brennan Presley has been one of the more dynamic players this year in 6A-D2. He’s had a major impact as an offensive weapon. However, he’s made an impact on the defensive side of the ball as well. However, with a young sophomore quarterback, Presley has been the security blanket Bixby has needed. When the Spartans need a big play, it’s normally from their junior speedster, who can completely change the game with the ball in his hands.
Jeff Foreman – WR – Del City
Del City senior wide receiver and defensive back Jeff Foreman is currently an Arkansas State commit. If he indeed signs with the Red Wolves, we believe that he’s going to make plenty of Power 5 programs regret not coming after him harder. Foreman is an absolute game changer, wherever he lines up on the field. He’s a big reason why Del City has had one of the more explosive offensive units in the state this year and they’ll rely on him to continue that in the playoffs.
Miles Davis – RB – Lawton
Lawton running back Miles Davis had a breakout season last year as a junior and he followed that up with another strong campaign this year. It’s always difficult to follow up that kind of season when everyone is trying to stop you. Despite all of that, the Wolverines still fed their star running back and he answered every challenge. If Lawton makes another run to the state championship game, Davis will have a huge part in that.
Preston Colbert – QB – Midwest City
Midwest City quarterback Preston Colbert had injuries nearly derail his senior campaign but he is fully back to 100%. Colbert showed in a rivalry showdown with Del City what he’s capable of when he’s at 100%. He threw for three touchdowns and ran for three more as they blew out the rival Eagles. Colbert has been thinking about the playoffs since they were knocked out in the semifinals last year. He’s healthy, he has revenge on the mind, and that’s a scary though for 6A-D2.
Qwontrel Walker – RB – Stillwater
The young sophomore has been outstanding in Stillwater’s unbeaten season. Walker had a breakout season last year as a freshman but he’s elevated his game to a completely different level this year. He’s without a doubt one of the best running backs in the state and simply knows how to get into the end zone. The Pioneers have a dangerously balanced offense but Walker is the dynamite that can completely change a game.
Bixby-Lawton Part IV
For the fourth time in the last five years, Bixby and Lawton will square off in the playoffs. The Spartans and Wolverines have met twice with the gold ball on the line and then another time in the first round. On Friday night, they renew their playoff rivalry. Last year was the first year that these two’s paths didn’t cross in the postseason. However, it’s been a one-sided affair in favor of the Spartans. Bixby is 3-0 in the last three meetings.
Does The Bixby Dominance Continue
We stay with Bixby for our next noteworthy piece. The Spartans have owned Class 6A-D2. Booker T Washington might be the defending champions but the playoffs have been Spartan territory since Class 6A was split. In the last four seasons, Bixby has made it to the championship game each year. They won championships from 2014-2016. They fell short last year to Booker T Washington. The road to another title game will be tough, but the Spartans have been there and done that.
Young Pioneers Ready For Spotlight
Stillwater is no stranger to playoff football, but this is the first time they head into the postseason as district champions since 1995. It’s also the first time they have been 10-0 since the mid-seventies. Coming into this season, you knew that Stillwater would be a dangerous team, considering all of the talented players that they brought back. However, you also could see that they were in a brutal district and you never know how a team responds to being the hunted, rather than the hunter. Stillwater has never backed down once this year.