By Glen Brockenbush
Bixby photo by Karen Schwartz
The final week of the regular season brings a lot of weight, with playoff berths, playoff seeds and district championships up for grabs.
But one game in particular stands out, and not just because of the playoff implications.
The Bixby Spartans, who are on a 58-game winning streak, an 11-man football record in Oklahoma, just scored 60 or more points for the seventh straight game in a 64-7 thrashing of Moore. Coach Loren Montgomery’s team bills itself as the greatest team, the dynasty, and many other accolades and superlatives in the state.
But before they can look to a fifth straight state championship, and first in 6A-I, the Spartans must first focus on their season finale against Jenks. And it won’t just be suburban Tulsa that will have their eyes on the game, as ESPN and its family of networks head to Bixby for the second time in three years.
This is not only great visibility for both schools and whatever college prospects they may be suited to, it is a great opportunity for Oklahoma as a state to show off the brand of high school football that is plays in the Sooner State. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
The Jenks-Bixby game was moved to Thursday due to ESPN’s weekly high school football showcase. But several other games were also moved to Thursday, for unexpected reasons, as the possibility of severe weather on Friday forced the postponement to Thursday night.
Now here are the top 10 Oklahoma high school football games to watch this week.
1. Jenks (7-2, 5-1 in District 6AI-1) at Bixby (9-0, 6-0) – Thursday
There’s not much else to say as the winners of the two Class 6A state championships over the past two seasons meet to decide the district championship on national television. And depending on how the bracket forms come playoff time, it could be a preview of the state championship game.
But Jenks will have to play better than he has in recent weeks if the Trojans are to upset. Yes, the 90-9 win over Southmoore was a “statement”, but it was sandwiched between four games that saw Jenks go 3-1 with an average winning margin of five points in their wins.
Last week, the Trojans rallied late and needed a blocked PAT to outlast Broken Arrow in overtime, 35-34.
2. Stillwater (9-0, 6-0 in District 6AII-1) at Muskogee (9-0, 6-0) – Thursday
The top two teams in Division 6A II are likely to meet for the right to be called District Champions. Stillwater has been blasting people left and right, but their Thursday opponents may be just as good.
Outside of a few close calls early in the season, Muskogee has been turned off on defense. How will the Roughers handle Gage Gundy, Noah Roberts and the Stillwater attack?
3. Idabel (7-2, 6-0 in District 2A-6) at Eufaula (8-1, 6-0)
Once again, a district crown is at stake. Despite an unblemished district record, Idabel has gone largely unnoticed in the leaderboards.
They’re up against a Eufaula team that’s well below its offensive points-per-game average against Hugo, but the Ironheads posted a shutout and will need those defensive prowess against an explosive Warriors offense.
4. Bethany (8-1, 5-1 in District 4A-2) at Newcastle (7-2, 4-2) – Thursday
Once again, 4A-2 offers us a juicy match. If Bethany wins, the Bronchos can seal the 2 seed.
But if the Racers get a win and Blanchard and Tuttle both win, we end up with three teams with district records of 5-2 and chaos ensues.
5. Midwest City (7-2, 6-0 in District 5A-1) at Elgin (8-1, 5-1)
In their first year in Class 5A, the Elgin Owls host a de facto district championship game. That’s the good news.
The not so good news is that they face probably the best player in the entire district, Bombers quarterback DeAngelo Irvin Jr. He’s dynamic enough to fool any defense, and slowing him down will be the goal. number one for the defense of Elgin.
6. Tulsa Bishop Kelley (5-4, 5-1 in District 5A-4) at Grove (9-0, 6-0)
Grove made a statement just over a week ago when he strangled defending champion Collinsville. The Ridgerunners should beat Bishop Kelley, but games aren’t played on paper.
7. OKC Heritage Hall (8-1, 6-0 in District 3A-2) at Marlow (7-2, 5-1) – Thursday
Heritage Hall beat almost all of its opponents this year. Their final hurdle to a district championship is a team from Marlow which is traditionally one of the best-drilled teams in the small school ranks.
8. Tulsa Victory Christian (6-3, 5-1 in District 2A-7) at Kiefer (9-0, 6-0) – Thursday
If the Conquerors are successful, they will have gone from 2-3 to start the season to district champions. But they will have to defeat a strong team of Trojans to achieve this.
9. Ada (6-3, 4-2 in District 4A-4) at Broken Bow (7-2, 5-1)
There are probably matches that have more impact in terms of ranking. Both teams have guaranteed playoff spots, but neither will be able to host.
The winner likely gets Wagoner, while the loser likely pulls No. 1 Cushing in the first round.
10. Balko/Forgan (6-2, 2-1 in District B-1) at Laverne (7-1, 3-0)
In our only 8-man game of the week, we have a rematch of last year’s state championship game.
But the Bulls haven’t looked as sharp as they did a year ago, and Laverne has Felix Teal, who is one of the best players in the state.
. game ESPN makes a of best games Oklahoma for last week regular season