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#1 BIXBY (11-0) VS #3 DEL CITY (9-2)
Friday, 7PM @ Putnam City HS
The Match-Up: Top ranked Bixby rolled into the semifinals with another playoff victory over Midwest City. The Spartans now turn their attention to another Mid-Del program as they’ll face Del City in the semifinals on Friday night. Bixby has been the top team in 6A-D2 all season and are looking to advance to their sixth straight state championship where they’re hoping to win a fifth gold ball during that time. For Del City, the Eagles believe that they’re right there in the conversation with Bixby and Stillwater as one of the best teams in the state. Del City would roll over Booker T Washington in their first round match-up. The Eagles bounced back after a tough week ten loss to Stillwater in the district title game. Bixby comes into this showdown as the favorite to move on but Del City won’t go down without a fight.
The Players: Bixby’s players are certainly used to being in this situation as the Spartans have only had success since the split in 6A. Bixby has no shortage of playmakers this year. Look no further than the 1-2 punch on offense with quarterback Mason Williams and wide receiver/defensive back Brennan Presley. Williams has been as close to perfect as it gets this year in the Bixby offense. Meanwhile, all Presley has done this year is become a frontrunner for the best player in the state. Del City has fantastic athletes on the defensive side of the ball that will attempt to slow down the Bixby offense. Leading the way is Donovan Stephens. The junior Eagle does everything well and his versatility in the Del City defense is fun to watch. As for the offense, the Eagles are led by three-year starter Quinlan Ganther at quarterback. Ganther has only gotten better and better this year.
The History: With Del City still being somewhat new to 6A-D2, there is no history between the Eagles and the Spartans. Friday night’s semifinal clash will be the first time Bixby and Del City square off on the gridiron. Both teams have had their fair share of success during this decade and they’ll face off Friday night.
Bixby: This has been a class that the Spartans have dominated in it’s early history. Bixby has punched their ticket to the semifinals for the sixth straight year and they bring with them a perfect 5-0 record in 6A-D2 semifinal games.
Del City: Del City isn’t as experienced when it comes to deep runs into the playoffs. But perhaps this is the start of something. The Eagles are into the semifinal round for the first time since 1976. This is only their second ever semifinal appearance.
#2 STILLWATER (11-0) VS #5 CHOCTAW (8-3)
Friday, 7PM @ Yukon HS
The Match-Up: Similar to the other semifinal match-up, Stillwater comes into Friday’s game with Choctaw as the heavy favorite. The Pioneers have been right there with Bixby as the top teams in 6A-D2. Stillwater backed up that thought when they opened up the playoffs with a bludgeoning of Sapulpa in the first round. The Pioneers advanced with a 71-point victory. Now they see a Choctaw team that they rolled over back in October. Since that blowout loss to the Pioneers, Choctaw has won their last five in a row, including going on the road and beating Muskogee last week, for their first playoff win in decades. Choctaw now gets another shot at the Pioneers and they’ll look to make the most of the opportunity. Just like the other semifinal, Stillwater is certainly the favorite, but don’t completely write off Choctaw.
The Players: When you talk about the players in this match-up, it’s hard not to start with Stillwater quarterback Gunnar Gundy. The lefty has been in control all year and has yet to make a big mistake. He threw for over 350 yards and had only one incompletion in the regular season meeting with Choctaw. In the backfield with Gundy is running back Qwontrel Walker. The junior has been a standout since his breakout freshman season. He also feasted in the regular season meeting against Choctaw, scoring six touchdowns in the win. On the other sideline, you have Choctaw, who has the most underrated quarterback in the state with Thad Williams. While a lot of the quarterback talk centers around Gundy, Williams has been simply sensational this year. He’s put up big numbers every week in Choctaw’s offense. Choctaw also has one of the best athletes in the state with OSU commit Jeff Roberson. The future Cowboy brings a very high amount of versatility to the field and the Yellowjackets utilize him in a variety of ways.
The History: Choctaw and Stillwater have been district foes since the split in Class 6A. In the last six years, Stillwater holds a 5-1 edge over the Yellowjackets. In their complete history, Stillwater is 17-2 all time against Choctaw. That includes this year’s regular season meeting, where Stillwater beat Choctaw 74-14.
Choctaw: Choctaw picked up their first playoff win in decades last week when they went on the road and beat Muskogee. With their win over the Roughers, they locked up their first appearance in the semifinals since 1962. Another lengthy drought that has come to an end.
Stillwater: Stillwater is into the semifinals for the second straight season. Last year was Stillwater’s first time in the semifinals since 1995. The Pioneers beat Booker T Washington in last year’s semifinal before falling to Bixby in the title game.