The Shawnee Wolves face a monumental challenge tonight as they host the Class 6A II top-ranked Bixby Spartans at 7:30 p.m. at Jim Thorpe Stadium.
Bixby brings in perhaps one of the best high school teams in state history and has a hefty resume to prove it.
*So far this season, the Spartans have outscored the opposition by a massive 476-81 margin. Bixby has been so dominant that by the second game it eclipsed the opposition's season scoring total.
*The Spartans have gone over the 70-point scoring barrier three times this season, including a 75-0 rout of Sand Springs last week.
*Just as effective is the Bixby defense. Other than the 47 points surrendered in a 77-47 season-opening win over Mansfield Timberview in a game played in Artlington, Texas, the Spartans have limited the rest of the schedule to 14 points or less in each game. Bixby owns three shutout victories on the year. The opposition has scored in single digits or less five times this year
In the hammering of the Sandites, quarterback Mason Williams was 18-of-21 passing for 281 yards and four touchdowns as he played just the first half. Brennan Presley caught six of his aerials for 130 yards and two scores of 25 and 42 yards as the Spartans raced out to a 24-0 margin by the end of the opening quarter, which included a safety on a tackle by Owen DeWoody in the end zone.
Brennan Presley now has 17 touchdown receptions for the season.
Bixby added three more touchdowns in the second quarter as the Spartans employed their reserves in the second half. The Spartans piled up 612 yards of offense against Sand Springs for the game.
“They are arguably the best team in the state in any class, especially with the way they beat Jenks like they did (57-7),” said Shawnee head coach Billy Brown. “They have 97 kids on their travel roster and probably 50 more who will stay at home. They're coaches do a great job and they've got at least four kids who will be going to D1 schools and they'll have more in the future.”
The key for the Wolves will be containment.
“They've big-played everyone they've faced. We've got to try and make them earn what they can get,” Brown said. “They can have one or two-play drives all day. We can't let them do that and expect to have a chance at all.”
Bixby has claimed state championships four of the past five years – 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
Shawnee was on the short end of a 30-20 score at Sapulpa last week in District 2 play. A Dre-Evans 29-yard touchdown pass to Jaylon Orange. Joe Maytubby accounted for the Wolves' other two touchdowns off an 88-yard fumble return and an 11-yard scoring pass from Evans.
The Wolves have three on the injured list. Juniors Terrance Shaw and Jesse Ramsey are out while senior Isisah Bighead is questionable, according to Brown. Junior Ray McGirt is out with a broken collarbone.
Meeker (5-3, 4-1) at Prague (3-4, 3-2)
It will be the veterans against the youth as the experienced Meeker Bulldogs journey east on Highway 62 to battle the up-and-coming Prague Red Devils in a Lincoln County showdown and District 2A-2 clash at 7 p.m.
Both teams are trying to position themselves for the postseason and both are coming off victories last week as Meeker crushed Holdenville, 61-6, while Prague clubbed Kellyville, 44-6.
Prague head coach Mike Hedge says his squad is up to the challenge.
“Meeker is a veteran team. Our kids are young. We're excited to see how our kids perform,” Hedge said.
The Bulldogs, behind the combination of Caden Wolford and Jacob Martin, thumped the Wolverines last Friday in rainy and chilly conditions as Wolford ran for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass while Martin tossed three TD passes and scored once by rush.
“With the Martin and Wolford kids, teams haven't had an answer for them,” said Hedge. “There are not as many quarterbacks as good as the Martin kid. Those two score points on any team on their schedule.”
Despite an 0-3 start to the season, the Red Devils have since gone 3-2 in district play and they appear to be improving since launching the season.
“We've been so young, starting seven sophomores and one freshman with only two seniors,” Hedge said. “We're young, but at the same time getting better each week.”
Hedge pointed out that with Prague's non-district schedule, those three teams (Cashion, Stroud and Luther) are currently a combined 27-0 on the year.
Meeker head coach DJ Howell, who has seen his team win three straight and four of the last five, says the Red Devils have the Bulldogs' attention.
“They do a lot of things that challenge you,” said Howell about the Red Devils. “They're a pretty physical football team and you've got to be ready with all that they throw at you. When you're on offense, their defense comes after you and challenges you with man-to-man coverages.”
Offensively, Meeker has to be aware of Prague senior Trevor Mills, according to Howell. Mills netted 68 yards on 13 carries and had a 2-point conversion run in last week's win over Kellyville. Trevor McGinnis was the Bulldogs' top rusher as he gained 159 yards on 18 carries and scored two TDs.
“You've got to understand where Mills is. He's dynamic and can hit the home run,” Howell said. “Their No. 15 (Elijah) Ramos, an outside linebacker, is someone you have to watch out for.”
McLoud (0-8, 0-5) at Tecumseh (5-3, 3-2)
The Tecumseh Savages conclude the 2019 season with two straight home games, including a 7:30 meeting with the McLoud Redskins tonight.
Tecumseh saw its three-game win streak stopped with a 36-7 setback at top-ranked Bethany last week.
Senior Jaylen Walker's 5-yard touchdown run, with 2:33 to go in the game, broke up the Broncos' shutout bid.
Meanwhile, McLoud was on the short end of a 57-32 score with Madill.
Walker leads all Savage ball carries on the season with 934 yards on 156 carries for a 6.0 yards-per-carry average and has rushed for 17 touchdowns.
Quarterback Will Hilton has completed just over 50 percent of his passes (54-of-104) for 827 yards and six TDs with only four interceptions. Jake Trice has 20 receptions for 319 yards and a TD Graham Dickson has 10 grabs for 148 yards.
Defensively, Gage Boatman tops Tecumseh in total tackles (86) and tackles for loss (10).
Marlow (5-3, 4-1) at Bethel (5-3, 2-3)
Hoping to stay in playoff contention, the Bethel Wildcats play their final home game of the season tonight against the Marlow Outlaws for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Marlow currently sits in second place in the district at 4-1 and could possibly lock up that No. 2 spot in the district and a first-round home playoff berth with a win tonight.
Bethel needs a victory tonight to stay in the postseason hunt and hopes that the momentum of a 38-6 rout of Douglass can help provide that push.
Gunner Smith fired six touchdown passes in that win played in cold, rainy conditions.
The Outlaws are coming off a key 26-12 triumph last Friday over the Sulphur Bulldogs, giving themselves the opportunity to be a team in control of their own destiny.
The Wildcats must win tonight and beat Lone Grove on the road next week to have a playoff chance.
Seminole (3-5, 1-4) at Tulsa Webster (0-8, 0-5)
Career victory No. 363 will be in sight for head coach Mike Snyder as his Seminole Chieftains visit Tulsa Webster tonight.
That 363 figure will set the state record for coaching victories in 11-man football.
However, the Chieftains have been on a four-game losing slide and hope to get back into the win column.
Seminole was on the short end of a 13-12 score against Checotah last Friday night. The Chieftains built a 12-0 halftime lead off a 21-yard scoring pass from sophomore quarterback Brendan Rodriguez to junior Easton Wurtz. Seminole's other score came off a 7-yard run by Cameron Gunville later in the second quarter.
Chandler (4-4, 3-2) at Henryetta (3-5, 2-3)
The Chandler Lions will try to move closer to landing a Class 2A playoff spot as they visit Henryetta tonight.
Chandler hammered Okemah 40-12 last week. Leading 20-12 at the end of the third quarter, the Lions tallied 20 unanswered points in the fourth to put the game away.
There is a three-way tie for third place in the district between Chandler, Prague and Okemah at 3-2. Henryetta follows at 2-3.
Maud (3-5, 0-3) at Strother (2-6, 1-2)
After a 3-1 start to the season, the Tigers have slumped to four straight losses, including a 46-0 setback at Weleetka last week.
Maud is still seeking its first district victory.
Strother is coming off a 38-14 loss to district-leading Canadian.