Warning: A non-numeric value encountered in /home/stokes04/public_html/okpreps/wp-content/themes/newstube/functions.php on line 1650
SALLISAW (8-3) AT WEATHERFORD (9-2)
In late September, Sallisaw was a long way from being a win away from the semifinals. They started the year 1-3 with a brutal early schedule. However, the Black Diamonds have now won seven in a row, including last week’s low-scoring win over Grove. Sallisaw picked up their first playoff win in nearly a decade. On the other sideline, Weatherford has had some lofty expectations in 2019. They navigated a very difficult district that ended up being one of the more unpredictable districts in the state. They opened up the playoffs with an impressive and dominating win over Cushing. Now these two go at it with the semifinals on the line.
Player Spotlight: Ethan Downs
He’s one of the best players in the state and it’s pretty easy to see why. Weatherford’s Ethan Downs released his junior highlight film this week and it didn’t take long to see why he’s one of the biggest impact players in 4A football today. He and the Eagles appear hungry to make it a semifinal run.
TUTTLE (10-1) AT BROKEN BOW (7-4)
At this time last week, this was probably an unlikely match-up as we headed into the playoffs. Broken Bow lost three in a row to close out the regular season and fell to the four seed. They would bounce back with a huge statement win in the first round. They went on the road and stuffed Bristow 28-3. Now they turn their attention to the defending champion Tuttle Tigers. Tuttle opened up their playoff journey with a ten-point win over Chickasha. The Tigers will have to get on the bus and travel further east than maybe they anticipated as they face a Broken Bow team that’s certainly dangerous.
Player Spotlight: Triston Truelove
Tuttle is a different team when Triston Truelove is lining up in the backfield. Last week was his first week back in the lineup since getting hurt in the Bethany game back in October. Truelove is one of the better running backs in 4A football and with him back, Tuttle remains a favorite to go far.
WAGONER (9-2) AT BETHANY (11-0)
We get to see this match-up again. Bethany and Wagoner squared off in Wagoner a year ago. Bethany would get the best of the Bulldogs on their way to a 4A runner up finish. This year, Bethany is the top ranked team and looking for another run at the state championship. Wagoner is in an unfamiliar position of being an underdog this early in the playoffs. They’ve also been eliminated in the quarterfinals in the last two years. Before that, they had made seven straight trips to the semifinals. Both teams know what it takes to win big games and this may be the best game of the week in the 4A bracket.
Player Spotlight: Sam Brandt
It’s been written about and talked about for nearly a year. Mostly by us. But Sam Brandt torched Wagoner when the two met in the quarterfinals a year ago. He had three passing TD’s, three rushing TD’s and two INT’s on defense. Wagoner gets another shot at Brandt, but Brandt gets another shot at the Bulldogs.
CACHE (8-3) AT POTEAU (10-1)
Cache scored their first playoff win since the early 80’s when they beat Tecumseh last week in the first round. The Bulldogs had been one and done in their recent playoff appearances. We mentioned that brutal district Weatherford was in. Cache was also featured in that and has had to batte every single week. Poteau is looking to not only make it back to the semifinals but looking for more as the Pirates are hungry for gold. They lost their season opener to El Reno in the final seconds of the game. Ever since then, the Pirates have been perfect and appear to be playing some of their best ball right now.
Player Spotlight: Vaka Tuifua
Poteau defensive tackle Vaka Tuifua is an absolute monster on the defensive line for Poteau. The Pirates have that reputation of playing hard-nosed football and Tuifua is a great representative of that. Tuifua will attempt to completely disrupt Cache’s offense on Friday night.