Class 3A Top Games to Watch: Round 2
Thursday, July 28th 2011, 5:55 pm
By: News On 6
Originally Published: Nov 16, 2010 12:49 AM CDTGrant Belcher
Oklahoma Sports Staff Writer
OKLAHOMA CITY – Some of the most exciting teams in the state come from Class 3A and as the field narrows down, the games will only get more exciting.
Even in the second round, there are still plenty of quality matchups to choose from.
But several games stand out from the rest as 16 teams battle it out Friday night for a spot in the 3A state quarterfinals.
1.) Bridge Creek at Heritage Hall – No one has been able to touch the Chargers this season, and it remains to be seen whether that will change in the 3A playoffs. But one thing is for sure: the further they go in the playoffs, the higher quality opponent they will face and the bigger the shots they will take.
That challenge begins this Friday with Bridge Creek. The Bobcats are on a roll and want to prove that Heritage Hall isn’t the standalone powerhouse in 3A. Bridge Creek took care of business, 49-15, against Purcell in the first round, but admittedly got about the toughest second-round draw you could ask for. Still, the Bobcats have a number of impressive wins this season and will not be fazed by the hype surrounding the Chargers, who could have a fully healthy roster for the first time in weeks.
It’s hard to bet against the Chargers this early, but the days of breezing by teams are just about over.
2.) Valliant at Metro Christian – Metro Christian is ranked higher in the Oklahoma Sports/CoachesAid.com Top 10, but Valliant has a better record overall, which typically means one thing. The Valliant Bulldogs’ strength of schedule isn’t exactly top notch. The Bulldogs lost handily to the toughest opponent on their schedule – a 52-28 loss at Spiro – but will surely be looking to prove that they are worthy of their 10-1 record. Valliant knocked off Henryetta in the first round but is looking for much more than a simple one-and-done.
Meanwhile, the Metro Christian Patriots have won four straight, but didn’t do anything to really impress in the first round. The Patriots snuck by Berryhill, 17-14, to advance in the playoffs after posting several much more impressive wins in the regular season. Metro Christian posted a huge 22-point win at Verdigris just a few weeks before. It should be interesting to see which Metro Christian teams shows up for the second-round game. If it’s the team that beat Verdigris, then Valliant could be in a world of trouble. But if it’s the same team that merely edged out Berryhill in the first round, then the Patriots could be ripe for the picking.
3.) Nowata at Spiro – On paper, the Nowata Ironmen don’t always pass the eye test as a team to look out for late in the playoffs. But what they pulled off in the first round of the 3A playoffs this year was stunning and highly respectable. Nowata pulled off a huge upset of Sequoyah-Tahlequah to advance to the second round. If that wasn’t enough, they did it just one week after Sequoyah-Tahlequah beat them to end the regular season. Any team who can pull that quick of a turnaround deserves major props, especially in the area of coaching.
Coach Eric Walkingstick will certainly have his work cut out for him in planning for Spiro, however, as the Bulldogs looked solid in a win over Victory Christian and have won four straight. The Bulldogs are one point away from being undefeated on the season after a 22-21 loss at Seminole in October.
The Spiro Bulldogs have a tough task in front of them, but then again they had a tough task in front of them in round one and we all know how that turned out.