Editor’s note: Home teams in ALL CAPS.
Last week’s record: 12-1 (92.3%)
Overall record: 60-6 (90.9%)
We are officially in the second half of the 2021 Oklahoma high school football season, and what a ride it has been.
We’ve seen every type of game here in Rogers County from thrillers to blowouts, and even some matchups that landed in the middle of those two categories. And the deeper we get into district play, every game gets more important as teams jockey for position in the standings, hoping to land in one of the top four spots.
However, importance doesn’t always correlate to close games. That will be made evident with this week’s slate of contests.
If my predictions are anywhere close to correct, all but one of the 10 games will be decided by double digits. I am far from perfect, though, and some of these matchups could end up closer than expected.
Picking the winners of high school football games is easy enough, but including a final score prediction is an entirely different challenge. High school kids are unpredictable, after all.
You never know which version of each team will show up from week-to-week, but that is part of high school football’s appeal. Parity can be scarce within the sport, but when it’s there, things get much more exciting.
Will parity prevail, or will the clear favorites cruise to predictable outcomes? We’ll have to wait until Friday night to find out, but for now let’s focus on what I expect to happen, starting with the “Battle of the C’s”, as Progress correspondent Duane DaPron so aptly named the Claremore – Collinsville matchup.
There is no need to mince words — the Zebra offense has struggled this season, averaging 19.8 points per game. Things looked better last week against Memorial, but Claremore still scored 12 points under the 38 points per game the Chargers had given up coming in.
Furthermore, the Zebras have yet to settle on a permanent starting quarterback, and star running back David Lozoya — who was right at 600 yards rushing — is out for the season after suffering an ACL tear in the third quarter last week.
The defense has kept Claremore in every game, though, allowing only 17 points per game. Coach Jarrett Hurt is undoubtedly proud of what that unit has been able to accomplish in the face of adversity.
Meanwhile, top-ranked Collinsville has looked every bit of the offensive juggernaut everyone expected. At 5-0, the Cardinals are averaging 50.6 points per game and have yet to be held under 42 points.
The defense is equally as dominant, allowing 49 points total (9.8 ppg).
Not to mention Collinsville has blown out two teams the Zebras lost to — Bartlesville and Oologah — by a combined score of 96-29. Those squads outscored Claremore 45-38.
When considering the Cardinals’ dominance and the offensive uncertainty facing the Zebras, the result is clear … COLLINSVILLE 43, Claremore 3
VERDIGRIS 35, Inola 3: Hopes of a district title for Verdigris took a hit last week in a loss to Berryhill, but coach Travis East and company aren’t out of the race yet. The Cardinals get back on track by hammering a struggling intracounty rival that is coming off a shocking 36-21 loss to Jay.
REJOICE CHRISTIAN 47, Sequoyah 27: Sequoyah carries some of its offensive momentum from last week into this Battle of the Eagles, but it won’t be enough this time. Rejoice Christian is leagues ahead of anything Sequoyah has seen this season, especially offensively.
Rejoice Christian fared significantly better against Sequoyah’s past two opponents — Kansas and Salina — averaging 59.5 points against those teams. In comparison, Sequoyah managed a 26.5-point average.
Sequoyah had the better defensive performances, though; holding Kansas and Salina to 7.5 points per game while Rejoice gave up 20 points per game.
DAVENPORT 61, Foyil 8: In the same number of games (five), fourth-ranked Davenport has surrendered only 32 points while Foyil has scored only 38 points. Furthermore, the Panthers give up 48.8 points per game, which is just over what the Bulldog offense averages (48.0).
Chelsea 28, CANEY VALLEY 27: The Green Dragons proved something to themselves in hanging with Morrison for the better part of three quarters last week, and this time they finish the job. Caney Valley is coming off blowout losses to Woodland and Hominy, but it should be good enough to keep Chelsea from running away with it.
Oologah 42, MIAMI 17: The Wardogs have looked improved this season after a winless 2020 campaign. About as improved as one team can be while enduring a three-game losing streak, that is.
Oologah cruises to a second-consecutive win after getting its offense going in the second quarter.
WAGONER 38, Catoosa 3: Wagoner will be eager to score points after suffering a 3-0 loss to Bristow via a walk-off field goal. Catoosa fares better than last year’s 70-0 decision, but the Bulldogs bounce back into the win column with a convincing showing.
Owasso 45, EDMOND NORTH 3: The Huskies are in for a storm when Owasso comes to town. The Rams are re-energized after giving Norman North a 70-28 thumping, and Edmond North won’t be the team to knock them off that new high.
PRYOR 55, Nathan Hale 8: Having been outscored 271-36 through five games, Nathan Hale has no chance. Pryor becomes the fourth team to score 50-plus on the overmatched Rangers.
Lincoln Christian 56, WESTVILLE 6: This might be the most lopsided game between two 6-0 teams you’ll ever see. The Yellowjackets are undefeated but unproven, for their opponents’ combined record is 3-28. That average margin of victory of 23.5 points suddenly doesn’t look so impressive.
Lincoln Christian scores early and often in what will be a reality check for Westville.