After a week that featured a healthy mix of close games, upsets and blowouts, eight Rogers County teams return for another slate of district games highlighted by an inter-county matchup.
Foyil has the week off as Claremore, Verdigris, Sequoyah, Inola, Chelsea, Oologah and Catoosa look to atone for losses last week and improve to .500 in the district standings.
Meanwhile, Claremore Christian travels down the Creek Turnpike for a meeting with an unbeaten Lutheran school.
Here are the rankings—from best to worst— and predictions for all seven Week 5 games:
Last week’s record: 7-2 (77.8 percent)
Overall record: 27-9 (75 percent)
1) Sequoyah (0-4, 0-1) at Inola (2-2, 0-1): A county and district rivalry renewed.
Both teams are coming off district-opening blowout losses, which makes this game all the more intriguing.
Which team will recover the quickest to get a leg up in District 3A-4?
Given the district’s overall strength, the loser will likely be eliminated from playoff contention.
Including last year, the Longhorns have won only twice against Sequoyah in 18 meetings since 1999.
The Eagles have struggled on both sides of the ball in 2019, getting outscored 176-33 through four games. Expect that trend to continue on tonight.
Last time: Inola 42, Sequoyah 0
Prediction: Inola 44, Sequoyah 7
2) Vinita (2-2, 1-0) at Verdigris (2-2, 0-1): A late turnover cost Verdigris its incredible second-half rally against Cascia Hall last week.
Meanwhile, Vinita secured the first upset of district play with a surprising 26-13 win over playoff favorite Jay.
Both teams have struggled to put up points in the first half against quality opponents, so whichever team’s offense finds a rhythm first might have the upper hand.
The Cardinals know their goal of hosting a playoff game is still achievable, so expect coach Travis East to have his squad motivated for this fascinating District 3A-4 matchup.
Last time: Verdigris 45, Vinita 35
Prediction: Verdigris 42, Vinita 28
3) Class 4A No. 7 Bristow (3-1, 1-0) at Oologah (2-2, 0-1): If this game were played a couple of weeks ago, it might’ve been the Progress Game of the Week.
However, since defeating a pair of quality Class 5A teams in the first two weeks, Oologah has found itself in a funk of sorts.
The close loss to Hilldale wasn’t too shocking, but last week’s 34-31 upset defeat against inconsistent Cleveland has already shaken the foundation of District 4A-3.
Meanwhile, Bristow hasn’t surrendered a point since dropping a 43-42 decision to Savannah, Ark., in Week 2.
The Pirates are coming off consecutive 38-0 victories over Mannford and McLain.
For comparison’s sake, Cleveland beat Mannford, 20-13.
Last time: Bristow 49, Oologah 7
Prediction: Bristow 34, Oologah 22
4) East Central (2-2, 1-0) at Claremore (1-3, 0-1): It is Homecoming week for the Zebras, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
Claremore has been outscored 104-50 during its three-game losing streak, and luckily for coach Jarrett Hurt’s squad, the schedule gets easier before it gets harder.
Starting with East Central, the Zebras have a three-game stretch against District 5A-4 bottom dwellers Will Rogers and Memorial before closing the regular season with the meat of their schedule.
The Cardinals have two wins, but they have come against less than impressive competition in Stilwell (7-0) and Memorial (60-14).
Claremore should finally be able to catch its breath and roll in this one.
Last time: Claremore 35, East Central 7
Prediction: Claremore 35, East Central 14
5) Claremore Christian (3-2) at Immanuel Lutheran (4-0): The Warriors finally got back on track last week, defeating Union Christian in Arkansas, 66-20.
The Warriors had surrendered an average of 73 points per game the two weeks prior.
Immanuel has looked much improved since finishing 3-7 in 2018, starting the season 4-0.
Whether the Crusaders are for real is yet to be seen, but this could be a high-scoring affair that could go either way.
Last time: Claremore Christian 36, Immanuel Lutheran 12
Prediction: Claremore Christian 54, Immanuel Lutheran 50
6) Miami (1-3, 0-1) at Catoosa (0-4, 0-1): This might be the most unpredictable contest of the night.
With one win between them, there hasn’t been much success to go by when assessing these teams.
Miami’s lone win came in a Week Zero 38-7 rout of Sequoyah, which is on a 15-game losing streak itself.
While Catoosa is off to its worst start in 20 years, the Wardogs have stayed competitive in its previous two losses to Sequoyah Tahlequah and Grove in a pair of 28-21 defeats.
Regardless, this will be a close battle.
Last time: Catoosa 40, Miami 21
Prediction: Miami 28, Catoosa 22
7) Nowata (1-3, 1-0) at Chelsea (1-3, 0-1): Despite their mascot, the Ironmen are not akin to the Marvel comics and movies character.
Nowata’s first win of the season came last week against Kansas, 28-22, while Chelsea enters on a three-game slide.
Both have struggled scoring points in recent weeks, so it will be interesting to see which team finds the most offensive success to squeak out a victory.
Last time: Nowata 33, Chelsea 6
Prediction: Nowata 28, Chelsea 20