It was bound to happen eventually, right?
The COVID-19 coronavirus reared its ugly head within Rogers County high school sports, forcing Oologah to cancel its final nondistrict game against Hilldale. Not cool.
The Mustangs’ District 4A-3 opener at Grove next week will likely be postponed, which would affect the entire Class 4A playoffs slate if and when the teams reschedule. With no bye weeks, the postseason would have to be pushed back at least a week. Again, not cool.
Claremore wasn’t immune from this, either.
The Zebras’ home opener against Rogers County foe Catoosa was called into jeopardy because of possible contact with those impacted at Oologah, but after a brief contact-tracing investigation, coach Jarrett Hurt confirmed Wednesday morning that the game will be played.
Finally, some good news.
Part 2 of the Battle of Rogers County is coming Friday night to Lantow Field, and that is where we’ll start this week’s predictions.
Claremore and Catoosa experienced polar-opposite games last week.
While the Zebras found their resolve and rallied from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Oologah 28-20, the Indians continued to struggle on both sides of the ball in a 52-17 loss to Fort Gibson. Catoosa is averaging only 15 points per game while surrendering an average of 48.
A letdown following a dramatic win is possible, and Claremore could take a step back defensively this week because of that, but it wouldn’t alleviate the Indians’ struggles.
DeShawn Kinnard, who rushed for 216 yards and three touchdowns in the second half last week and 276 yards in all, rides his newfound confidence to another big game, and the defense stays par for the course to send the Zebras to district play with a 2-1 mark … CLAREMORE 38, Catoosa 10
VERDIGRIS 55, Victory Christian 17: After a slow start against Miami, the Verdigris offense sets the tone early with three or four first-quarter touchdowns while the defense takes care of the rest. The Class 3A No. 5 Cardinals cruise into district play with a 3-0 record.
SEQUOYAH 44, Locust Grove 7: I picked Locust Grove to win this game in my preseason predictions, but the Pirates haven’t looked good to open the season. They lost 20-8 to a bad Salina team before getting shut out by Class 2A No. 9 Adair. Much like against Haskell, Sequoyah’s defense shows up to play in this one, and quarterback Blake Bedsworth has a big game on the ground.
CLAREMORE CHRISTIAN 66, Bluejacket 14: CCS finally hosts an opponent after opening the season with three-consecutive road games. Bluejacket is coming off a 40-point win over a Kansas team but was blown out the week prior against an adversary comparable to the Warriors. Bryan Vickers and the Warrior offense rolls again as CCS improves to 4-0.
Chelsea 53, KETCHUM 6: The Green Dragons were knocked off their high with a 40-18 loss to Commerce last week, but Ketchum provides the perfect bounce-back opportunity. The Warriors are one of the worst teams in Class A, and Cash Ramsey and Will Hampton could have their best games of the season in a blowout victory for Cheslea’s third win of the season.
WELLSTON 27, Foyil 20: The Panthers have a chance to keep this one close given Wellston’s defensive struggles. The Tigers have given up 68 points per game in three losses, but their offensive production (22 points per game) is still better than Foyil’s 10. Both teams will struggle offensively, but the Panthers won’t be able to overcome the Wellston home-field advantage.
Last week’s record: 5-2
Overall record: 14-5 (73.7 percent)