Grove (7-3, 5-2) at McAlester (9-1, 6-1)
District finish: Grove - third in 5A-4. McAlester - second in 5A-3
State titles - Grove: None. McAlester: 1968, 1988.
Last week: Grove 41, Tahlequah 13. Tulsa Washington 49, McAlester 18.
Winner gets Lawton MacArthur/Ada winner in quarterfinals.
Key matchups: A Grove defense led by linebacker Bobby Harris (129 tackles) and Trent Phillips (115 tackles) that has allowed 17.1 points per game this season will go up against a McAlester offense that is averaging 38.8 points per contest. Quarterback Tony Kiefer as 2,428 yards and 27 touchdowns passing while also leading the Buffaloes in rushing with 918 yards and another 10 touchdowns. The Ridgerunners will look to senior running back Buck Maples and the offensive line to carry the load. Maples has 1,021 yards and 15 touchdowns on the season.
What to watch for: Grove may have an overlooked advantage on special teams. Harris is averaging 37.4 yards per punt on the season, while McAlester has used three different punters, averaging 34 yards per kick.
Pawhuska (6-4, 4-2) at Colcord (8-2, 6-1)
District finish: Pawhuska - third in 2A-7. Colcord - second in 2A-8.
State titles - None.
Last week: Pawhuska 35, Chouteau 6. Colcord 45, Ketchum 18.
Winner gets the Okemah at Talihina winner in round two.
Key matchups: A Colcord offense that has gotten better every week and is averaging 36 points per game goes against a Pawhuska defense that is allowing 15 points per game. Hornet quarterback Canaan Sherrell has over 1500 yards passing and 19 touchdowns and 875 yards rushing. Running back duo Chris Aguilar and Darwin Davis have combined for over 1,200 yards and another 13 touchdowns. Aguilar also leads the Colcord defense with 123 tackles.
What to watch for: Colcord’s big plays. The Hornets have made a habit of scoring on big plays this year. Sherrell has five interceptions from his defensive back position, returning three for touchdowns. Wideout Rusty James is averaging 20.6 yards per catch. The Hornets have won five in a row.
Barnsdall (2-8, 2-4) at Afton (10-0, 5-0)
District finish: Barnsdall - fourth in A-7. Afton - first in A-8.
State titles: None.
Last week: Morrison 48, Barnsdall 14. Afton 63, Yale 0.
Winner gets the Stratford at Quinton winner in round two.
Key matchups: No one has been able to slow down the Eagles this year, who finished their fifth undefeated season with a blowout of Yale in week 10, a team Barnsdall defeated 32-6 in week seven. Despite that win, the Panthers only managed 99 points offensively all season, and have the lowest win total of any team in the playoffs, but a 13-12 win over Drumright in week eight gave the Panthers the tiebreaker they needed to make the postseason. Afton quarterback Brennon Fuser finished the regular season with over 2,000 yards rushing and passing, accounting for 32 total touchdowns. Running back Matt Wisdom had 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns, both among the state’s best.
What to watch for: The Eagles can beat you in a variety of ways. Wideout Sam Sheperd had 14 touchdowns on 30 receptions this year. Wide receiver/defensive back Dusty Henry has 10 interceptions on the season, returning four for touchdowns. Fuser returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown in last week’s win over the Bulldogs.
Fairland (5-4, 3-2) at Morrison (7-3, 5-1)
District finish: Fairland - third in A-8. Morrison - second in A-7.
State titles: Fairland - None. Morrison - 1984, 1986, 1988-1994, 2003, 2005-2008.
Last week: Fairland 42, Hulbert 6. Morrison 42, Barnsdall 14.
Winner gets the Wewoka at Wayne winner in round two.
Key matchups: Fairland will look to get its balanced offensive attack going against a Morrison defense that allowed 22.5 points per game in the regular season. Fairland is averaging 158 on the ground and 146 through the air. The Owls will try to take advantage of wide receivers Jesse Drosche (6’4”) and Jordan Alexander (6’1”) against a smaller Wildcat secondary.
What to watch for: If tradition makes a difference on the field, then the Wildcats should have a huge advantage. Morrison has won 14 state titles, 13 in eight-man football, while the Owls are making the 15th playoff appearance in school history and their first since 2007. Morrison missed the playoffs in 2009 after winning the state title in 2008, their first in 11-man football.