Bobby Lewis, NewsOn6.com
TULSA, Oklahoma – After this week, we're one month into the 2011 high school football season. The top tier teams will begin to separate themselves from the pack soon. Some teams have some catching up to do after falling in early holes. It's also the beginning of district action across the state.
Here is a look at the Top 5 matchups this week:
5. Coweta Tigers (1-2) at Claremore Zebras (1-2)
Hard to sell a pair of 1-2 teams as a must-see game of the weekend, but both of these playoff teams from a year ago are looking at a major uphill battle to make the postseason if they drop to 1-3. Coweta struggled to move the ball on offense in the first two weeks of the year but did score 27 points against Bishop Kelley last week. Claremore escaped with a 1-point win in its opener, but has lost two in a row. The winner gets an early leg up in the 5A-District 4 race.
4. Lincoln Christian Bulldogs (3-0) at Pawhuska Huskies (2-1)
These two teams have been the cream of the crop in 2A for the past few seasons. Their battles have decided district races in each of the past two years. They met in the playoffs in 2008 during the Bulldogs run to a title. Both are picked to compete for the 2A-District 7 crown again and it's likely that each stands in the other's way. After three weeks of football, the Bulldogs are unbeaten and have scored 132 points while allowing just 33. The Huskies pounded Nowata and Hominy on the road but dropped a Week 2 home game against Perry, 16-12.
3. Bartlesville Bruins (1-2) at Owasso Rams (1-2)
Both of these teams need a win this week. Sandwiched around a home win against Muskogee, the Rams got blown out by Broken Arrow and Jenks. They are averaging 23.5 points per game on the road. That's where the find themselves this weekend. The Bruins have lost two in a row after storming past Shawnee in the opener. They've managed just 7 points in each of the past two weeks.
2. Vinita Hornets (3-0) at Wagoner Bulldogs (3-0)
The Hornets and Bulldogs are on opposite ends of the scoring spectrum in 4A-District 3. Through three weeks, Wagoner (89 points) is second in the district in points scored behind Catoosa (110), while Vinita is last among teams who have played the full three game schedule (62). The Hornets have been able to stay perfect thanks to a stingy defense, led by defensive linemen Jeremiah Nelson and Kolbi Phillips. The players have been pointing to this district opener as a big time matchup since fall practices began.
1. McClain Titans (2-0) at Catoosa Indians (3-0)
The Indians are undefeated because of their defense. Catoosa hasn't allowed more than 14 points in any game so far. That being said, they've beaten teams with a combined 3-6 record to this point, so the competition hasn't been top notch. McClain comes into this game with an unblemished record as well. Like Catoosa, they haven't played stiff opponents either, narrowly beating Edison (13-12) and Hale (25-6). The winner of this Week 4 matchup will prove a lot to its fans.
Just missed the cut:
Sand Springs Sandites (1-2) at Stillwater Pioneers (2-1)
Booker T. Washington Hornets (0-3) at Skiatook Bulldogs (2-1)
Claremore-Sequoyah Eagles (2-1) at Inola Longhorns (1-2)
Bixby Trojans (0-3) at Union Redskins (3-0)