No. 3 Jenks presents another hurdle for top-ranked Muskogee

Monday, October 2nd 2006, 4:22 pm
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ In only its second week in the No. 1 spot, Muskogee had to get past the two-time defending state champions to stay atop Class 6A. The second part of the Roughers' gauntlet in eastern Oklahoma comes this week.

Muskogee (4-0) hits the road to play No. 3 Jenks (3-1) on Friday in another big test for the team that broke a nearly 10-year stranglehold on the top ranking in the state's largest class. When Muskogee moved to No. 1 in the first week of September, it was the first time a team other than Jenks or Union _ who the Roughers beat 21-7 in Week 2 _ had held the top spot in 6A since November of 1996.

Jenks won seven state titles since then, and Union won the other three. It's only fitting that Muskogee must clear both of those hurdles if it truly wants to call itself the state's top team.

Since its win against Union, Muskogee shut down Tahlequah in a 21-0 win and then routed Bartlesville 57-10 last week. Jenks, knocked from the No. 2 spot after a 43-37 loss to Booker T. Washington in triple overtime, appears to be back on track after a 35-0 win against fifth-ranked Owasso last week.

That game and a 51-45 loss to Lawton by No. 8 Mustang brought changes in the Class 6A rankings. Booker T. Washington remains at No. 2, with Jenks breaking a tie with Westmoore to be No. 3 all by itself. Westmoore is now No. 4, followed by Norman, Union, Eisenhower, Owasso, Midwest City and Stillwater.

With all of the state's top-ranked winning by at least 25 points, none of the eight No. 1 rankings changed hands this week. Tulsa East Central remained at No. 1 in Class 5A, as did Wagoner in Class 4A, Sequoyah-Claremore in 3A, Davis in 2A, Pawnee in Class A, Morrison in Class B and Shattuck in Class C.

Sequoyah-Claremore (5-0), in its first week alone at No. 1, was expected to have perhaps the biggest test but instead cruised to a 44-7 win at Berryhill (4-1), which previously held the class' No. 4 ranking. The Eagles also gained a stronger hold on the No. 1 spot, with nine first-place votes _ three more than last week.

No. 2 Seminole and No. 3 Clinton maintained their rankings, with Tuttle, Kingfisher, Purcell and Plainview all moving up one spot after Berryhill's loss. The Chiefs are now No. 8, with Marlow and Vinita tied for the final spot.

Class 5A had a pair of showdowns between ranked teams. Former No. 6 El Reno suffered its first loss of the season 35-17 to No. 3 Carl Albert, and eighth-ranked Nathan Hale knocked McAlester out of the rankings from No. 9 with a 44-19 win.

There are plenty more big games this week. They include:

_ No. 5 Norman at No. 9 Midwest City in Class 6A;

_ No. 4 Ada at No. 2 Bixby and No. 8 El Reno at No. 5 Guthrie in Class 5A;

_ No. 3 Weatherford at No. 2 Bishop McGuinness and No. 9 Mannford at No. 3 Glenpool in Class 4A;

_ No. 2 Millwood at No. 5 Heritage Hall and No. 8 Eufaula at No. 4 Vian in Class 2A; and

_ No. 3 Okeene at No. 6 Beaver in Class A.