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Wolves to open 5A playoffs tonight at home against Sapulpa

Brian Johnson
Shawnee defensive lineman Lane Williams (67) wraps up the Tulsa Bishop Kelley ball carrier while teammate Koby Mitchell (54) pursues on the play last Friday night at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

If the Shawnee Wolves are to conquer the Sapulpa Chieftains in the first round of the Class 5A State Football Playoffs tonight, it might begin by corralling senior running back/cornerback Te'zohn Taft.

Taft, 5-foot, 11-inch, 170-pounder, has a five-star rating by Rivals.com and, offensively, is a dual threat running the ball and catching passes.

“He is being recruited by everybody, not only in the state but in the country,” said Shawnee head coach Jason Sexton.

Kickoff for tonight's contest is 7 p.m. at Jim Thorpe Stadium.

Sexton is all too familiar with Taft after Sexton served as an assistant at Muskogee. Sapulpa, Muskogee and Shawnee were all among the same 6A district in 2019.

“He had about 300 yards rushing and about 200 receiving in a game last year,” Sexton said. “He reminds me of when we went up against (former University of Oklahoma standout) Ryan Broyles.”

Broyles, who attended Norman High School, went on to set some receiving records at OU and later spent several years in the NFL before retiring.

Sexton believes Sapulpa has a multiple good skilled players.

“Their quarterback is big and has a strong arm and they have a backup running back who had two long touchdown runs. They have good receivers and offensively, they're an extremely talented football team,” said Sexton.

He considers the Chieftains do be better than average on defense and really good on offense.

Last week, Sapulpa closed out the regular season at 5-4 after dropping a 23-20 decision at Glenpool in District 5A-4 play.

Meanwhile, the Wolves were on the short end of a 31-12 score at home to District 5A-3 runner-up Tulsa Bishop Kelley.

Despite the loss, Shawnee (4-5, 4-3) was able to lock down fourth place in the district a couple of weeks ago and an all-important host berth for the opening round of the playoffs.

Senior running back Demetress Beavers ripped off a 70-yard scoring run and junior Jaylon Orange crossed the goal line off a 13-yarder for the Wolves in last week's loss. Senior defensive end/linebacker was involved on 12 tackles, including four for losses of yards and two quarterback sacks.

The winner of tonight's Shawnee-Sapulpa clash is set to face Collinsville, which drew a first-round bye.