Defending Champion: Blanchard
The defending champion Lions are undefeated going into the playoffs and in the middle of a 14 game winning streak dating back to last year’s playoff run. The Lions have two very winable games in the first two rounds. They’ll open up with Perkins and face the winner of the Newcastle-Sulphur match up in the 2nd round. In the quarterfinals I see the Lions running into trouble. They’ll face the potent offense of Victory Christian. Victory hasn’t had the playoff success that Blanchard has had but I believe they have the fire power to pull off the upset. The defending champion reaches the quarterfinals but the road to a repeat ends there.
1st Round Game to Watch:
Michael: Lincoln Christian AT Stigler
When will Lincoln Christian break thru in 3A? The Bulldogs are in their second season in 3A after dominating 2A. They haven’t adjusted too well to playing a class up. You gotta believe that won’t last forever. In my opinion, it’s only a matter of time before the Bulldogs are contending like they did in 2A. Stigler is an interesting match up for the Bulldogs in the first round. I believe this is going to be a competitive game with Stigler getting the win by pulling away in the 4th quarter. I want to see how Lincoln Christian plays in their 2nd straight year in the 3A playoffs. Last season they were eliminated in the first round by Roland, losing a heart breaker 27-26.
Matt: Cushing AT Jones
I like this 1st round match-up, Jones has come on really strong in the second half of the year. Jones started the year slow but had a marquee win when they beat Tuttle late in the year. Cushing suffered back to back losses as they were beat by Seminole in a district title match-up and then they lost to Bethany to finish off the regular season in surprising match-up. How will Cushing bounce back?
Michael: Claremore Sequoyah Makes The Quarterfinals
If Sequoyah makes the quarterfinals for a second consecutive year, they’d beat teams in Beggs and Checotah who are a combined 17-3. The Eagles made it to the quarterfinals last year as a 4 seed, eventually losing a close game to Jones 10-3. Don’t let the 6-4 record fool you, this is a good team and a battle tested team. Led by quarterback Daniel Moniz, I think the Eagles will get a convincing win over Beggs in the first round before beating Checotah in the 2nd round. Unfortunately, I think that’s where the road ends for Sequoyah. More than likely they’ll face Kingfisher in the quarterfinals and I think the Yellowjackets are just too strong.
Matt: Beggs Makes The Quarterfinals
I think Beggs will get the win over district champion Checotah in the 2nd round to reach the quarters. Beggs’ balanced offensive attack is led by running back Kerry Daniels, who had 1,209 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground this year. Daniels opens the field for the passing game as he and quarterback Tyler Marr feed off of each other with play action passing. Marr has thrown for 1,925 and 20 touchdowns on the season. Marr and Daniels will have a great game and get it done and send Beggs into the quarterfinals in class 3A.
Michael: Victory Christian-Plainview & Metro Christian-Kingfisher
Maybe I’ve been too high on Victory Christian all year, I’m sticking to my guns for the most part here. Before the season I picked Victory to win the title, I’ve come back from that a little but I believe they can make it to the semifinals. The Conquerors will have a tough road but I think last year’s 1st round exit has fueled this team. They’ve finished 10-0 for the second straight year and will try to avoid a playoff letdown like last year. I see them making a statement in the 1st round against a decent Dewey team. Stigler in the 2nd round will pose some problems but I still think the Conquerors pull away in the 4th quarter and win by double digits. Then comes a quarterfinal match-up with defending champion Blanchard. Victory gets a monumental program making victory by knocking off the champs and making it to the semifinals. Plainview has dominated all season long and hasn’t had a close game since week 1 when they beat Tuttle 19-14. Speaking of Tuttle, Plainview might see that team in the 2nd round. I think they have no problem in the rematch and face the winner of Locust Grove-Berryhill in the quarterfinals. Plainview is on a roll and looks determined to make a statement and let 3A know they’re here to stay. I have Plainview beating either of those teams and taking on Victory Christian in the semifinals where they’ll end Victory’s dream season. The Indians are going to be too much and get a win over the Conquerors.
Get ya popcorn ready for this one. After Metro Christian wins a thriller against Seminole in the quarterfinals, they’ll get the Buffalo Bills of high school football. Kingfisher has made it to 3 title games in the last 4 years and had to settle for silver. I believe Metro and Seminole won’t have any problems in their first two games setting up a top 5 clash in the quarterfinals. Metro gets the win and faces another top 5 opponent for a spot in the state title game. Kingfisher will have a tough 2nd round opponent when they face the winner of Cushing at Jones in the 2nd round. The Yellowjackets are hungry, the Yellowjackets are talented, and they want the state championship that has escaped their grasps 3 times in the last 4 years. Kingfisher makes it to the semifinals where they face a battle tested Metro Christian team. In what could be an instant classic and one of the games of the year, Metro Christian ends Kingfisher’s dream of making it to a 4th title game in 5 years with a huge wi,n and takes the next step to becoming a consistent elite team in 3A. After last year where no east team made it to the 3A semifinals, 2 Tulsa schools do and 1 makes it to the title game.
Matt: Blanchard-Plainview & Seminole-Kingfisher
Blanchard has been led by their great running back Braden Stringer all year long on offense. Stringer does it all for Blanchard he is the complete package at the running back position and he has put up monster numbers this year. Stringer ran for over 2,000 yards and 31 touchdowns in the regular season. Plainview, after squeaking by Tuttle in the first week 19-14, have blown out teams by an average score of 47-5. Plainview has been dominant and I do think Locust Grove will give them a run for their money, but I think they get past them to reach the semi’s. I don’t think they will have enough to beat the defending champs but I believe it will go down to the wire!
For Seminole it all starts with Papi White. The kid makes some phenomenal plays all over the field. White has had an outstanding year, putting up monster numbers for his team with 1,963 and 24 touchdowns on the ground. Seminole will have a tough test against Metro Christian in the Quarterfinals. I think playing a tough Metro team and then turning around and getting Kingfisher will be too much. I do believe White will finally find his match with Kingfisher as the Yellow Jackets have a great back as well. Kingfisher has had an outstanding year, they are undefeated and have not been played close at all this season. The one cause for concern is whether their players will be ready to play a full game and be in shape. I think that they will be fine as they will have a week to prepare. Cushing in the second round will be very tough for the Jackets. It is a match up that wouldn’t have happened until at least the quarterfinals but with Cushing dropping its last two games it happens in just week 2. I do think they will find a way past Cushing and then I see them getting past Beggs and getting to the Semis for the match up against Seminole.
Michael: Metro Christian Over Plainview
If this match-up takes place, can you think of another team that will be as battle tested as Metro Christian? The Patriots will have victories over undefeated Seminole in the quarters, undefeated Kingfisher in the semi’s and another undefeated opponent in Plainview. By the time Metro gets to the title game, facing an undefeated team will be the norm. Then again, because Metro Christian will be battle tested, maybe Plainview will have the advantage. Just by comparison, Plainview has the easier road to Boone Pickens Stadium. I don’t think so. This is Metro’s year. In years past the Patriots have had some of the better offenses in the state but never had a defense to match the output when the playoffs rolled around. The Pats have a defense that thru 9 games, only gave up 23 points. In the season finale against another top 10 team in Berryhill, Metro gave up 20 points in the 1st half but shut them out in the 2nd half. Plainview has had similar success, not giving up many points week after week in Southern Oklahoma. Metro wins the title after a gauntlet run in the playoffs.
Matt: Kingfisher Over Blanchard
Blanchard will make it back to the title game and so will Kingfisher but this year will be different. Kingfisher has the overall better team and I think the better running back in Landon Nault. Nault hasn’t put up the same amount of yards as he has in years past because they haven’t needed him to. Kingfisher has only had to play one half at the most in games this year. They have outscored teams on average 49-7 throughout this season. Blanchard will give them a fight but I have Kingfisher winning the 3A title after taking home 3 silver balls in 4 years, they will bring home the gold ball.
Come back tomorrow as we preview the playoffs in class 4A!