2014 6A-II State Champions Bixby fell to the top-ranked 6A-I Champions from Jenks at home Friday in a 58-24 beat-down that may cause many to rethink their ranking of Bixby as the #2 team in the state. Then again, the Spartans lost to the Trojans 66-20 in their season-opener last year, so maybe there really is just that much of a gap between the top teams. Bixby managed only 14 first downs to Jenks’s 20, and managed only 310 total yards, and punted an average of only 32.8 yards. Add to that 2 fumbles and they didn’t exactly perform like state champions. I’d be surprised if Bixby falls more than a spot in the Division2 rankings, if at all, but I expect them to fall behind Union and Southmoore in MaxPreps State rankings.
Booker T Washington had a solid victory over Midwest City in their season opener, winning 28-16 at Midwest City whom they only defeated 17-12 at their home field last year. Their next five games were won 227-0 last year, so it’s not unreasonable to think the upcoming season will be even more impressive. BTW is led by a new, but far from inexperienced Quarterback, in Senior Dakarai Willis. Midwest City may have been clearly defeated, but they were far from destroyed. After being caught off guard with two 90-yard kick-off returns by BTW’s Rylan McQuarters, MWC held BTW scoreless for the second half and rallied for two fourth-quarter touchdowns. Washington will easily handle the 4A Central Braves next week and the Bombers should have no problem taking down 5A #10 Carl Albert.
The 5A East Central Cardinals had a score of impressive seasons, culminating in a 2005 State Title, but haven’t had a winning season since 2012. They’ve only managed a 7-13 record over the last two seasons, so they’re not exactly a big deal to beat. However, Bartlesville hasn’t had a winning season in even longer, so improving from a 48-27 win in 2014 to a 47-0 shutout in 2015 is a good way to kick off the season. Next week the Bruins face Cascia Hall, and though they’re only 4A, they’ve put up impressive records the last few seasons, and claimed 3 consecutive state titles from 2007-2009. It should be a good match for a rebuilding 6A team.
Muskogee lost 33-22 to 5A semi-finalists McAlester, which was actually an improvement over their 35-7 season debut last year—which ended in a 3-7 season record. At one point they even led 22-19, a marked improvement from their last several season openers. It’s quite possible that they’ll make a legitimate playoff run this year. Muskogee takes on Owasso next week, and despite a 21 point shutout by Union, the Rams should still make quick work of the Roughers.
Charles Page lost a lot of big names from 2014, including their starting QB, Kicker, and star RB/WR. They also put into place some young new talent in Junior QB Hunter Greathouse who had an excellent debut in Page’s 61-8 domination of 5A Nathan Hale. Though the Sandites have Enid next week; their first real test will be in two weeks against Guthrie.
Ponca City devastated Enid 42-14 on the Plainsmen’s home field in a full reversal from their 14-13 loss last year. Ponca has Guthrie for week two, which will be a real test of their season to come. Guthrie came into the season ranked fourth in 5A, but time will tell if their 28-27 loss to unranked Duncan was a fluke or foresight of the season to come.
The Claremore Zebras entered the season unranked by Tulsa World polls but won their first matchup against Pryor 21-20. After a 4-6 losing season in 2014, this could be a good sign for the season to come. Next week the Zebras have Rogers, Arkansas at home.
Finally, Sapulpa is in a major rebuilding year after a season of drama and devastating losses that amounted to a 1-9 record. With a new Head Coach in former Broken Arrow offensive coordinator Jake Corbin, the Chieftains can only move up from here. They suffered a 38-12 loss in their season opener at Choctaw, but considering their previous-season loss of 50-13, they already seem to be on the up and up. Next week Sapulpa takes on Hale at home and can be expected to hang half a hundred on them easily.