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Wolves to host Tulsa East Central in pivotal District 5A-3 clash tonight

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star

Off to a 3-0 start in District 5A-3 play, the Shawnee Wolves should be taking a step up in competition tonight as they entertain the Tulsa East Central Cardinals for a 7 o'clock kickoff at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Shawnee Football Hall of Fame induction ceremonies, originally scheduled for earlier this season and rescheduled for tonight, have been postponed again. The ceremony has been moved to the final regular season home game on Nov. 6 against Tulsa Kelley.

Seniors from football, cross country, cheer, pom, band and choir will also be recognized tonight.

Tulsa East Central is 3-2 on the season and 1-2 in the district, after a 60-21 loss to Coweta last week. The Cardinals have dropped two games in a row, losing a 57-14 decision to McAlester two weeks ago after opening the season with three straight wins over Tulsa Public School counterparts Hale (73-6), Memorial (36-14) and Rogers (57-24).

Because of those first three scores, the Cardinals should be considered as one of the better teams within the Tulsa Public School system. They do have the attention of Shawnee head coach Jason Sexton and his staff.

The speed and athleticism of Tulsa East Central will be a concern.

“Their quarterback (5-foot, 10-inch, 165-pound Cunu Fields) can scramble around and has a strong arm,” said Sexton. “They have a lot of athletic receivers.”

Among those athletic targets is senior William McGuire and coming out of the backfield is 6-0, 191 junior Mike Lee.

“(Lee) has really good size and speed,” Sexton said. “On defense, they fly around. They play quality football with good schemes and good players. We'll have to play extremely well to compete and try to get the win.”

Shawnee, also 3-2 overall, is coming off a 33-8 victory at Tulsa Rogers last Friday as Jaylon Orange scored three touchdowns – two off 6-yard runs and the other off a 3-yard fumble recovery and return. One of Orange's 6-yard scoring runs was set up by a 30-yard interception and return by Karran Evans.

Hudson Davis Barkus also had a 10-yard return of a fumble for a score and Zane Walck had a 13-yard run for a TD late in the contest.

“Defensively, it was probably our best game. Our tackling was real good and we forced six turnovers,” said Sexton. “Twenty-eight points were scored directly or gave us excellent field position and we held them to less than 100 yards of offense. We played extra physical with our tackling. Offensively, we struggled to get our passing and running game going. We're looking to get that cleaned up.”

Following tonight's action, the Wolves are scheduled to be on the road for two straight district games – at Coweta on Friday, Oct. 23 and at McAlester on Oct. 30. McAlester knocked off Shawnee, 34-13, earlier this season in a non-district game at Jim Thorpe Stadium.