Meeker’s 2013 edition is on the verge of carving out a new chapter in the program’s history, and setting a standard for future Bulldogs to follow.
Head coach Mike Hedge and crew — already in possession of the District 2A-5 title — are just one win away from creating Meeker’s first-ever undefeated season.
“There’s more pressure this week than all of them combined,” Hedge said with a chuckle. “This is one we want. This is one we’ve been looking for in the regular season.”
Meeker will close out the regular season with a trip to Holdenville Friday. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.
The Bulldogs, currently 9-0 overall and 5-0 against 2A-5 opposition, mangled Holdenville by a 43-0 count last year. Meeker went on to finish at 7-5 last season with a second-round playoff loss to (16-13) to Commerce.
Holdenville is 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the district.
Okemah (7-2, 4-1) is second in the district, and Stroud (6-3, 4-2) is third. Mounds and Haskell, both 2-3 in 2A-5, will fight for the rights to the fourth and final playoff spot Friday at Haskell.
If the Bulldogs conclude the regular run at an unblemished 10-0, their trek into uncharted territory will not end there. With homefield advantage for the first round of the postseason, their opponent will be this week’s Hugo-Antlers winner (District 2A-6’s fourth-place finisher). Meeker has never faced Hugo or Antlers before.
“It’s all something new,” Hedge said.
Hedge said his entire crew is healthy, ready and available for the Week 10 battle.
“We’re almost 100 percent,” he said.
Leading the Bulldog offense is sophomore quarterback Jake Standlee, with 711 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 101 carries. Senior Dallas Jackson has rushed for 693 yards and six TDs on 55 carries, and senior Leven Hendley has 674 yards and 13 TDs on 63 carries.
Standlee has completed 31 of 59 passes on the year for 586 yards and 10 scores while being intercepted only twice.
Also in Week 10…
Shawnee, already locked into second place in District 5A-3 and assured a home berth for the first round of the playoffs, will conclude the regular season Friday with a 7:30 p.m. kickoff at Noble (4-5, 2-4).
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Depending on a lengthy list of possibilities in District 5A-4, the Wolves (7-2, 5-1) will face Pryor, Collinsville or Claremore in the first round.
Shawnee bested Noble 58-34 in 2012.
McLoud, after a back-and-fourth struggle to stay aloft in the District 4A-2 standings, still has a shot at making the postseason. The Redskins (5-4, 3-3), after stunning Ada 33-20 last week, will end the regular season by hosting Harrah at 7:30 p.m. Friday, and with a win over Harrah — and a Mannford loss to Tecumseh — McLoud will finish third in the district. The Redskins will also finish third if they win by 13 or more points and Mannford defeats Tecumseh, but they will finish fourth if they defeat Harrah by 12 or fewer points and Mannford triumphs.
If McLoud falls to Harrah, Mannford will take fourth place.
Ada and Douglass will square off Friday for the top two spots in 4A-2.
Tecumseh and Mannford will meet at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Tecumseh. The Savages, 35-20 winners over Mannford last year, are 2-7 overall and 1-5 in 4A-2.
Seminole, the District 3A-2 champion, will face Centennial or John Marshall in the first round of the playoffs. The Chieftains (9-0, 5-0) can forge an undefeated regular season — their second in a row — with a win over host Chandler (5-4, 2-3) this week.
Chandler faces a couple of scenarios that would allow the Lions to take the fourth and final playoff spot, beginning with a win over Seminole. If the Lions lose, however, they can still take fourth if Bristow falls to Prague, or if they lose by 14 or fewer points and Bristow defeats Prague.
Prague is 0-9 overall and 0-5 in 3A-2. Chandler was a 69-33 victim to Seminole last year, while Prague fell 54-14 to Bristow (2-7, 1-4).
Perkins-Tryon can claim fourth place in 3A-2 if Chandler falls by 15 or more points and Bristow wins.
Maud (5-4, 3-3) is tied for fourth with Southwest Covenant and Webbers Falls in District C-4, while Thackerville (8-0, 6-0) holds down first place and Arkoma (6-3, 4-2) and Sasakwa (6-3, 4-2) are tied for second.
Maud will go to Sasakwa — a 56-24 loser to the Tigers in 2012 — for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday. The Tigers face a long list of possibilities for reaching the postseason in third or fourth place, beginning with third place with a win over Sasakwa, an Arkoma win over Webbers Falls and a SW Covenant loss to Bokoshe.
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Maud would also finish third with a win of nine or more points, coupled with an Arkoma win and a SW Covenant loss where the Tigers drop three or fewer district points to SW Covenant.
The Tigers would take third with a win of nine or more points, coupled with a Webbers Falls win and a SW Covenant loss in which Maud drops one or fewer points to Webbers Falls, and they would take fourth with a win of eight or less points, an Arkoma win and a SW Covenant win where the Tigers lose three or fewer district points to SW Covenant.
Maud would finish fourth and reach the playoffs with a win, an Arkoma win and a SW Covenant win in which Maud loses four or fewer district points to SW Covenant, or the Tigers would take fourth with a win, a Webbers Falls loss and a SW Covenant win where Maud wins by eight or less points, loses two or more district points to Webbers Falls or four or more district points to SW Covenant.
Another fourth-place scenario for the Tigers would be initiated by a Maud win, a Webbers Falls win and a SW Covenant loss in which the Tigers win by nine or more points and drop one or fewer district points to Webbers Falls.
Apart from Tecumseh and Prague, other Tri-County teams that will conclude their 2013 seasons Friday are Bethel, with a District 3A-3 game against visiting Newcastle; and Macomb, with a District B-2 game at Alex.