After seven long years, the wait is finally over.
Claremore and Oologah are reigniting their rivalry that has been absent from the schedule since 2014 despite there being less than 15 miles separating the schools. The teams met every year from 1999 to 2013 before seeking new nondistrict options.
Claremore won the last meeting in a 17-14 barnburner.
Although there won’t be playoff implications attached to this matchup, there are tremendous stakes for both programs.
The Zebras will be entering their second road game of the season after a tough encounter with Bartlesville, and building momentum for the approaching district schedule will be paramount. Falling to a possible 0-2 is a situation a young Claremore team wants to avoid at all costs.
The Mustangs might still be adjusting to new coach Darrin Wegner, but scoring a victory over a Class 5A foe would bode well for their confidence while building toward a playoff berth after missing out last year. Oologah beat two quality Class 5A teams in 2019, and it is certainly capable of doing so again with a decent amount of returning starters.
When: Week 2 | Sept. 11
Where: Mustangs Stadium, Oologah
All-time series: According to IWasAtTheGame.com, Claremore leads 9-6
A LOOK AT THE MUSTANGS
Overview: Oologah has the foundation of a playoff team, and a win here would likely serve as a launch pad for the rest of the season.
Wegner came from Coffeyville, Kan., to take over the helm, but he is no stranger to Oklahoma high school football. Before spending four years at Field Kindley, he coached Jay to a 21-29 record from 2011 to 2015.
A winning record this year would be Wegner’s first as a coach since leading Jay to a 6-5 mark in 2013.
With six returning starters on offense, that is certainly possible. The trick will be getting a defense that surrendered 27.9 points per game to slow opposing offenses.
Key Returner: Blake Salt. As a junior, Salt threw for 1,398 yards and 16 touchdowns on 105 completions while also tallying 308 yards and five scores on the ground.
Expect him to use that experience to elevate his passing ability, which will be prominently featured in a spread-style offense.