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Defenses make mark in opening round of playoffs

Updated:
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Defense wins championships.

Coaches in all sports wear that phrase out, particularly in the postseason. But it's true, and several Oklahoma high school teams showed during the first week of the playoffs that they have the kinds of defenses that could carry them a long way.

Start with Bristow. At halftime, the Purple Pirates trailed 14-0 to Class 3A's top-ranked and unbeaten Roland. But Roland managed fewer than 50 yards in the second half and Bristow rallied to win, 21-14. Bristow will play Meeker in the quarterfinals this week.

Then there is Jenks, which scores a bunch of points but usually does a pretty good job of clamping down on the opponent. The Trojans, ranked No. 1 and seeking a fifth straight Class 6A title, held Edmond Memorial to minus-14 yards rushing in the first half on their way to a 43-0 halftime lead. The final score was 56-14.

Edmond North coach Bill Bays credits the defense for the Huskies' 20-0 victory over Del City in Class 6A. The Huskies came up with seven turnovers, including two interceptions and a fumble recovery by Britton Langdon.

``Our defense just had one of those performances,'' Bays said. ``Words can't express how well they played.''

Edmond North advances to play Lawton this week in what figures to be another defensive showdown. The Wolverines have 30 takeaways this season and have scored eight defensive touchdowns. They beat Putnam City North 9-0 in the first round last week, holding North to 152 total yards.

``Any time you can shut out somebody in the playoffs, at 6A or any level, you feel really good,'' Lawton coach Clarence Madden said.

In all, there were 21 shutouts posted in the 80 first-round playoff games. One of them was by Class B's top-ranked Pioneer, which held Burns Flat-Dill City to 54 total yards in a 50-0 victory.

Pauls Valley's defense held Kingfisher to 5 yards rushing in a 29-0 victory. Stroud managed just 73 total yards in a 34-0 loss to Davis. Wewoka beat Verdigris 42-0, allowing 65 total yards.

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Despite the many strong defensive performances, there were several players who had big nights on offense last week:

_ Seymore Shaw of Shawnee had 33 carries for 278 yards and two touchdowns, and caught a 66-yard TD pass in a 33-20 victory over Bixby.

_ Pauls Valley's T.J. Rushing ran for 224 yards and two scores in the 29-0 victory over Kingfisher.

_ Ronnie Osborne of Piedmont had 290 yards and all four touchdowns in a 28-14 victory over Cache.

_ Mario Scott of Valliant carried 36 times for 260 yards and scored twice, including a 96-yarder, in a 25-18 victory over Warner.

_ Eufaula's Avery Shine ran for 243 yards and four TDs as the Ironheads beat Antlers, 27-7.

_ Marshell Chiles had 31 carries for 248 yards and three scores in a 48-35 victory over Altus.

_ Mike Wilson needed just 11 carries to total 164 yards and score twice in Tulsa Washington's 42-18 victory over Catoosa.

_ Owasso's Lamont Moore had 231 yards and three TDs on 30 carries as the Rams beat Enid, 35-6.
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