Offense sells tickets, and defense wins championships.
This adage has lived on in football lore for decades, and it is still relevant in many ways. If offense was solely responsible for bringing home trophies, the University of Oklahoma would be heading into the 2019 season as a two-time defending national champion.
Although defensive play is often less flashy, it forms the foundation for successful teams.
A good offense is a necessity as well, though. After all, teams with the most points at the end of the game win 100 percent of the time.
Teams that are solid in both facets usually experience the most success. Just look at what Clemson and Alabama have done in recent years.
I was scrolling through Twitter the other day and saw I Was At The Game released a list of the highest scoring Oklahoma high school football teams of the past 10 years from each class.
No Rogers County team earned the honor, but it got me thinking.
Which local program has had the most offensive success since 2009, and perhaps more importantly, which program has the best defense?
I now have the answer.
I analyzed each of the last 10 seasons, calculating each local program’s points scored and point surrendered. I then, of course, determined the point differential.
Teams will be ranked from worst to best based on point differential, but each program’s offensive and defensive ranking will be attached to each.
I’ll compile a list for the top offenses and defenses at the end to make it easier to distinguish.
No. 9 | Chelsea
Points For: 1,599 (9th)
Points Against: 3,211 (8th)
If we were ranking individual seasons, Chelsea would have three of the worst five offensive years.
The Dragons failed to eclipse the 100-point mark in 2016 (75) and 2018 (96), and they barely hit the milestone in 2014, logging only 105 points. In those three seasons combined, Chelsea averaged only 9.2 points per game.
Its best season came in 2011, when the Dragons managed 278 points, or 25.27 points per game. They’ve gone over 200 points in a season only twice since 2009.
Defensively, Chelsea gave up more than 400 points on three occasions and 300-plus on three others.
The Dragons’ worst defensive season accompanied their worst offensive outing, allowing 442 points in 2016. Twenty-ten was Chelsea’s best year defensively, allowing 163 points.
No. 8 | Claremore Christian
Points For: 2,617 (6th)
Points Against: 3,647 (9th)
Claremore Christian wasn’t bad offensively, averaging nearly 29 points per game, but the defense didn’t do it any favors.
Led by Mason Mullins, the Warriors experienced their best offensive season in 2018, scoring 438 points in 10 games. Their worst season was an 82-point outing in 2013.
Claremore Christian held opponents to 221 points in 2015, but 2010 was a rough year for the Warriors, surrendering 632 points in 10 games.
That included giving up 80-plus three times, 70-plus two times, 60-plus four times and 50-plus once.
No. 7 | Foyil
Points For: 2,218 (8th)
Points Against: 2,949 (5th)
Foyil scored 437 points in 2011 for its best offensive season, but it came at a price.
For the ensuing six years, the Panthers averaged only 13.4 points per game, including only 111 points in 2014.
After allowing more than 36 points per game during that stretch, Foyil stepped up its defensive game in 2018, logging its best season of the last 10 years by surrendering only 134 points in 11 games.
No. 6 | Inola
Points For: 2,709 (5th)
Points Against: 3,144 (7th)
Inola has had peaks and valleys like all the other teams on this list, but it is the only one to experience its best offense and worst defense in the same season.
The Longhorns lit opponents up for nearly 44 points per game in 2016, but they also surrendered an average of about 38.3 points.
One game that stands out when looking at that schedule is Inola’s 75-59 loss to Lincoln Christian. That is delving into Big 12 territory.
That came only a year after the Longhorns’ best defensive season, when they gave up only 196 points.
Inola’s 127 points in 2009 was the program’s worst offensive outing.
No. 5 | Claremore
Points For: 2,446 (7th)
Points Against: 2,468 (3rd)
Claremore seems to have had a decent defense ¬— one of the best in Rogers County — but the offense wasn’t quite up to par.
The Zebras’ best offensive season saw 362 points scored in 12 games in 2017, while the worst featured only 114 points during a 2-8 season in 2014.
Defensively, Claremore didn’t have any atrocious seasons, though the 29.45 points surrendered per game in 2013 marks its worst performance.
Twenty-twelve saw the Zebras’ best defensive outing, though, with Claremore holding opponents to 194 points through 12 games (16.17 ppg).
No. 4 | Sequoyah
Points For: 2,907 (4th)
Points Against: 2,911 (4th)
Sequoyah has been fairly balanced, and if not for an unprecedented 0-10 season in 2018, it might’ve been even lower on this list.
The Eagles had their worst offensive and defensive season of the 10-year period last season, scoring only 86 points while allowing 422. That is quite an outlier.
Conversely, Sequoyah managed its best offensive and defensive outings in the same season as well — 2009.
That year featured 464 points in favor of the Eagles while seeing 236 points scored against them. They also held opponents to 236 points in 2013.
No. 3 | Verdigris
Points For: 3,332 (2nd)
Points Against: 2,985 (6th)
We are finally in the positives.
Although Verdigris has somewhat dipped in offensive productivity over the past four years, it has proven to be consistent.
The Cardinals have averaged nearly 30 points per game since 2009, led by their 517 points through 12 games in 2011. They also scored in the 400s on two other occasions.
Verdigris experienced a drop-off two years later, managing only 163 points during a 2-8 season.
The Cardinals saw its best defensive season in 2009, allowing only 163 points.
Twenty-sixteen was the worst for Verdigris in that category, though, allowing 413 points in 10 games.
No. 2 | Catoosa
Points For: 3,036 (3rd)
Points Against: 2,355 (2nd)
Catoosa may have not scored as many points as Verdigris despite playing one more game, but its defense was just that much better.
In the past 10 seasons, the Indians have allowed 300 or more points only twice (2014 and 2016). Take those out, and you’ve got yourself a consistently stout defense.
Catoosa’s best defensive season was a 167-point outing in 2009, but it held opponents under 200 points on two other occasions as well.
Offensively, the Indians’ best season saw 507 points scored through 13 games (39 ppg). Their worst season is a tie between 2009 and 2015, when they managed only 192 points.
No. 1 | Oologah
Points For: 3,849 (1st)
Points Against: 2,222 (1st)
Well, look at that.
Oologah is on top once again.
Of the teams on this list, the Mustangs have played the most games since 2009 (122), and the numbers show. They’ve averaged nearly 32 points while allowing just over 18 points.
Oologah’s best offensive season came on the tail end of the program’s three-straight Class 4A state championship game appearances in 2016, scoring 571 points in 14 games — nearly 41 points per game.
In all, the Mustangs scored 500-plus twice, 400-plus three times and 300-plus three times in the span of 10 seasons. Not bad.
Their worst season was a 204-point outing in 2018.
Defensively, Oologah never allowed more than 279 points, which they surrendered in 2011.
At their best, though, the Mustangs held opponents under 200 points three times, the best of which came in 2017 (146 points).
1. Oologah: 3,849 (31.55)
2. Verdigris: 3,332 (29.66)
3. Catoosa: 3,036 (26.87)
4. Sequoyah: 2,907 (26.43)
5. Inola: 2,709 (26.3)
6. Claremore Christian: 2,617 (28.76)
7. Claremore: 2,446 (22.24)
8. Foyil: 2,218 (20.73)
9. Chelsea: 1,599 (15.52)
1. Oologah: 2,222 (18.21)
2. Catoosa: 2,355 (20.84)
3. Claremore: 2,468 (22.44)
4. Sequoyah: 2,911 (26.46)
5. Foyil: 2,949 (27.56)
6. Verdigris: 2,985 (26.65)
7. Inola: 3,144 (30.52)
8. Chelsea: 3,211 (31.18)
9. Claremore Christian: 3,647 (40.08)