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Previewing The Week In The High School Football Playoffs

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OKLAHOMA CITY -

The winter weather pushed the high school football playoffs back one week, but no amount of snow and ice could delay the inevitable: there are going to be some terrific games this weekend.

Championships are on the line for classes 6A, 5A, 4A, B and C, while berths in next week's state title games are up for grabs in the remaining three classes.

Here's the lineup for the weekend as well as previews for the 6A, 5A, and 4A state championship games.

 

Thursday, Dec. 12

Class 6A Championship- Union vs. Jenks, 7 p.m. at Chapman Stadium In Tulsa

 

Friday, Dec. 13

Class 3A Semifinals

-Blanchard vs. Plainview, 7 p.m. at Moore High School Stadium

-Seminole vs. Kingfisher, 7 p.m. at Choctaw High School

Class 2A Semifinals

-Vian vs. Davis, 7 p.m. at McAlester High School

-Millwood vs. Hartshorne, 7 p.m. at East Central University

Class A Semifinals

-Ringling vs. Talihina, 7 p.m. at Southeastern Oklahoma State

-Hollis vs. Apache, 7 p.m. at Cache High School

 

Saturday, Dec. 14

Class 4A Championship- Anadarko vs. Poteau, 1 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium

Class B Championship- Laverne vs. Pond Creek-Hunter, 1 p.m. at Southwestern Oklahoma State

Class 5A Championship- Guthrie vs. McAlester, 7 p.m. at Boone Pickens Stadium

Class C Championship- Cherokee vs. Tipton, 7 p.m. at Southwestern Oklahoma State

 

6A Preview: Jenks vs. Union

It looked like this might be the year a team from the western side of the state could break the streak, but it wasn't meant to be. Thursday will mark the 18th consecutive year that either Jenks or Tulsa Union will take home the 6A gold ball.

The Backyard Bowl rematch (7 p.m. at Chapman Stadium in Tulsa) will be the fifth time in the past seven years the two have met in the title game. Jenks (13-0) won the regular season matchup back in September in stunning fashion. With five minutes remaining in the game, the Redskins kicked a field goal to take a 16-13 lead. But Trojan quarterback Cooper Nunley would find Dylan Harding behind the Union secondary to retake the lead 20-16 with 25 seconds on the clock. It was a classic and likely a precursor to a terrific grudge match with the championship at stake.

In the semis two weeks ago, Jenks rolled over Westmoore 46-14 and Union outlasted Broken Arrow 30-18. It was a fairly typical Friday night for these two – when they're not playing each other.

On average, the Trojans have outscored opponents 38 to 12. Union and Owasso were the only state schools to play Jenks close this year. It's the defense that has separated the Trojans from their competition so far. Safeties Steven Parker and the aforementioned Harding lead a slew of talented defensive stalwarts.

Union boasts class 6A's highest scoring offense, averaging 45.3 points per game. Mason Farquhar has tossed 26 touchdowns to just six interceptions, running back Tyler Adkins rushed for 1,338 yards plus 20 scores and receiver Jeffrey Mead (58 receptions, 1,015 yards and 14 touchdowns) hauls in anything thrown in his vicinity.

Jenks enters with momentum as defending 6A champs and with current Backyard Bowl bragging rights, but Union was nearly close enough to taste victory in that September matchup. Expect this one to go down to the wire as well.

 

5A Preview: Guthrie vs. McAlester

Class 5A is bringing one of this year's most intriguing title matchups to the table when No. 1 Guthrie and No. 2 McAlester clash in Boone Pickens Stadium on Friday at 6 p.m.

These have proven to be 5A's two premier teams throughout the year and they will fittingly get to duke it out for the gold ball.

No. 1 Guthrie is 13-0 and only two of those victories have come in competitive contests – 28-21 at Carl Albert and 23-21 vs. Shawnee. The Blujays have won their other 11 games by an average score of 46.3-6.8 and dispatched of Collinsville 45-13 in the last round of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, McAlester is no stranger to posting a few lopsided victories of their own and won their latest playoff game by an even wider margin with a 56-20 pelting of MacArthur. After their lone loss against Booker T. Washington back on Sept. 13, McAlester has been on a tear, scoring 50 points or more in all but two of their 11-straight wins.

And the Buffaloes even eclipsed the 70-point mark in the final two games of the regular season in blowouts victories against Tulsa Memorial (70-39) and East Central (76-28).

Guthrie likes to assert itself on the ground with the two-headed monster in the backfield of Kai Callins and Idae Alexander, who have run for 1,502 and 1,310 yards, respectively, with a combined 54 touchdowns. Trevor Blassingame spearheads a dominant Bluejay defense with 114 tackles and 13 sacks.

McAlester features a pair of 1,000-yard rushers, as well, with Jarome Smith and Dalton Wood.

Smith gets the buffalo's share of the carries with 1,927 yards and 23 touchowns but Wood has ripped off 1,079 yards and 16 scores on 9 yards per carry. McAlester also features the state's 11th-leading receiver in Cade Harkins, who has 925 yards and 10 scores on 42 grabs. The Buffaloes also have a 114-tackle defender in Robby Stephens leading their athletic defense.

This will be a doozy of a game for high school football fans.

 

4A Preview: Anadarko vs. Poteau

Friday's 4A state title game consists of two totally different teams at different stages of success.

In one corner is Anadarko, making their third straight title game appearance. The Warriors won the 2011 3A title and fell to Clinton last season in the 2012 4A title game.

In the other corner is Poteau, a team that hasn't been to the state title game since 1950.

Regardless of the teams' histories, Friday afternoon's games should be a great clash.

The Warriors have dominated the competition this season, scoring 48 points per game while allowing just 7.8 points per game. Anadarko has won every game this season by at least 20 points, and eight games by 30 or more. The Warriors closest game came against Woodward at home back on Oct. 17, a game the Warriors won, 18-15, with a touchdown with 56 seconds remaining.

Oct. 17 was not a great night for the Pirates either. Poteau fell, 26-15, to Cascia Hall that night, their only loss of the season. Poteaut's offense comes in averaging 37.8 points a game while giving up 17.

The game should be an exhibition of excellent rushing offenses. The Warriors are led by sensational back RJ Sink, who has rushed for 2,009 yards and 35 touchdowns this season. Sink carries the load for the Warriors' offense, but quarterback Brandon Pollard has good whels as well, rushing for 489 yards and 10 touchdowns. He's also thrown for 1,626 with 17 touchdowns and just four interceptions.

Wide receiver Josh Parton is Pollard's favorite target. Parton has hauled in 32 passes for 638 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The Pirates are led by a two-headed monster in the backfield, running back Roger Barcheers and quarterback Jace Pitchford. Barcheers has racked up 1,505 yards and 11 touchdowns while Pitchford has run for 1,187 yards and 15 scores. Pitchford has been stellar as the director of the offense as well, throwing 23 touchdowns to go with 1, 441 yards.

Jarrett Lowrimore and Kendrick Hardaway have been the key receivers for Poteau, combining for 71 receptions, 1,107 yards with 17 touchdowns.

It should be a great clash Friday afternoon. It may not be the matchup people were expecting at the beginning of the season, but it's probably the best one 4A could have gotten based on the season.

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