By: Sandite Pride Editorial Board
No. 1 Bixby Spartans (Last week No. 1) vs No. 8 Putnam City Pirates (7)
The back-to-back defending State Champions (0-2) haven't won a game yet, but only due to their strength of schedule. The Spartans gave 6A-I No. 1 Jenks (3-0) a closer run for their money than 6A-I No. 2 Union (2-1), leading 34-31 with forty seconds left before giving up a touchdown. In week two they traveled to Arkansas to take on Class 7A State Semi-finalist Bentonville (1-1) and lost 44-34. QB Tanner Griffin is 50-82-549-2 with 7 touchdowns.
The Spartans play their home-opener Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Putnam City (2-0).
Putnam makes the drop from 6A-I after a 5-6 season with a 58-28 playoff loss to Union. The Pirates won their in-town rivalry game against 6A-I Putnam North (0-2) 16-7 and trounced 5A El Reno (0-2) 24-6.
The Pick: Bixby 53-12
No. 2 Booker T Washington Hornets (3) vs Shawnee
The Hornets are 1-2 after starting with the toughest pre-conference schedule in the class. In week one they lost to 6A-I No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe (3-0) by a close 26-23, then followed it up with a 21-14 win over No. 5 Midwest City (0-2). This weekend they traveled to Shreveport, Louisiana to take on the number two team in the nation. Florida's IMG Academy (3-0) features 29 NCAA Division One committed players and had little difficulty in shutting down the Hornets 49-7 in the Battle of the Border high school showcase.
Booker T travels to 5A Shawnee (1-1) Friday at 7:00 p.m.
The Pick: Booker T 36-13
No. 3 Muskogee Roughers (4) vs Bentonville
Former 5A State Championship-winning coach from Guthrie, Rafe Watkins, has spent the last season rebuilding Muskogee's program, and it looks like the move has paid off. The Roughers are 2-0 to start the season for the first time since 2007 and did so against solid teams. They defeated Midwest City 16-12 in week one and McAlester 51-13 in week two.
This week they'll travel to Bentonville for a 7:00 p.m. game.
The Pick: Bentonville 41-18
No. 4 Midwest City Bombers (5) vs Del City
Midwest City is two in the hole, but both losses were to top-five teams, and both were by a touchdown or less. 16-12 to Muskogee and 21-14 to Booker T. The Bombers will take on 5A No. 6 Del City (2-0) on the road Friday at 7:00 p.m.
The Pick: Midwest City 33-15
No. 5 Choctaw Yellowjackets (9) vs Putnam North
Choctaw (2-0) has relied entirely on its offense this season, winning its first two games by an average score of 49-42. In week one they were the leading team in a 52-42 shootout with Sapulpa, and in week two they scored a major 45-41 upset over the Sandites, coming from behind with a minute left. The pass-heavy offense will help Choctaw to prevail against many teams in 6A-II, but they'll need to develop their defense before the playoffs if they want to take down Bixby or Booker T.
The Pick: Choctaw 55-33
No. 6 Sand Springs Sandites (2) vs No. 11 Putnam West Patriots (14)
The Charles Page High School football team (0-2) bit off more than they could chew in week one with a 56-21 loss to Arkansas 5A back-to-back State Champions Pulaski Academy (1-1). Last week they led a shootout with No. 9 Choctaw for the entire game before giving up a last minute touchdown for a 45-41 loss. Sr. QB Hunter Greathouse holds a 27-55-389-2 passing record with 2 touchdowns, and Jr. RB Payton Scott has 57 carries for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns. The Sandites are reloading on defense behind Sr. Delvin Jordan, but retain a powerful O-line lead by Nathan Simonton, Danny Ropp, Michael Carper, and Lincoln Adams.
The Sandites look to get in the win column with their home-opener Friday at 7:00 p.m. against Putnam City West (2-0).
The Patriots are looking to compete this year after going 4-6 last season for their best record in over a decade. They got off to a great start with a 43-14 win over 5A Duncan (1-2), then defeated in-town rivals from 6A-I Putnam North (0-2) 16-5 in week two.
The Pick: Sand Springs 46-19
No. 7 Lawton Wolverines (8) vs Lawton Eisenhower
The Wolverines (0-2) are off to a rough start, dropping a 56-41 shootout to No. 3 Carl Albert (2-0) and a 35-28 loss to in-town rivals 5A No. 1 Lawton MacArthur (2-0). They still have strength of schedule in their favor, and are likely to get in the win column against 5A rivals Lawton Ike (0-2).
The Pick: Lawton 37-10
No. 9 Bartlesville Bruins (6)
The Bruins (1-2) lost a lot of talent in their starting QB, lead RB, and most of their starting defense and is unlikely to pose the threat they did last year. They won their season opener 27-24 over 5A McAlester, but dropped a 59-14 beatdown to 6A-I No. 9 Owasso (1-2) and 27-7 to 4A No. 4 Cascia Hall (2-0). Bartlesville has a bye week this week and will return to action September 23rd against Muskogee.
No. 10 Enid Plainsmen (12) vs Bishop McGuinness
The Plainsmen (2-0) are recovering from a 3-7 season with a pair of wins, 22-19 over 5A No. 10 Guthrie (1-2) and 42-31 over Ponca City (1-2). This week they'll have their toughest opponent yet in 5A No. 7 Bishop McGuinness (1-1).
The Pick: Enid 20-19
No. 12 Deer Creek Antlers (11) vs Edmond Memorial
Edmond Deer Creek (0-2) went 8-4 last season in 5A before stepping up a division. They lost their season opener 52-13 to No. 6 Southmoore (1-1), then lost the first game of Edlam 47-31 to No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe (3-0). Despite being winless, they have scheduling strength in their favor. This week they'll finish out their in-town rivalry series against Edmond Memorial (2-1) Friday at 7:00 p.m.
The Pick: Deer Creek 24-19
No. 13 Stillwater Pioneers (10) vs Mustang
Stillwater (1-1) slated nothing but 6A-I teams for their pre-conference schedule and fared well against Edmond Memorial (2-1) for a 24-7 win in week one, but fell 16-7 to No. 10 Moore (1-1) last week. This week they'll have an even tougher opponent in No. 7 Mustang (2-0). Mustang will have the home field advantage this Friday at 7:00 p.m.
The Pick: Mustang 39-19
No. 14 Sapulpa Chieftains (13) vs Bishop Kelley
Sapulpa (0-2) looks to new leadership in the former Sand Springs defensive coordinator Robert Borgstadt. Borgstadt is in his first year at the head coaching position, and the Chieftains are already competing. They lost their season opener 24-21 to 5A Duncan (1-2) and got in a shootout with Choctaw (2-0) but fell 52-42. The fast-paced offense benefits from double-threat QB Cameron Elder with a 49-72-522-3 passing record and 3 touchdowns in addition to his 33 carries for 129 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground.
The Chieftains will play a home game Friday at 7:00 p.m. against 5A No.8 Bishop Kelley (1-1).
The Pick: Bishop Kelley
Ponca City Wildcats (15)
The Wilcats (1-2) employ a solid QB in Brice McDougal who's 58-104-729-3 for 5 touchdowns already this season, but are hurting in the run game. Both of their first two opponents hung 42 points on them. Edmond Memorial (2-1) won 42-6 and Enid (2-0) won 42-31, but the Wildcats did manage a 9-0 win against 5A No. 10 Guthrie (1-2). The Wildcats got an early start on the season and will take a bye this week.