Elk City (3-3, 1-1) @ Chickasha (3-3, 2-1)
A year ago this game was played between a pair of undefeated teams trying to take the reigns in the 4A-1 race. This season it’s more of a de facto playoff elimination game. The Elks are coming off a 35-0 win over Cache that snapped a 3 game losing streak. Chickasha blitzed Woodward 41-0. The Chicks feature a spread offense that utilizes their speed and skill on the outside, as well as the run/pass ability of Quarterback Cade Rayburn. Chickasha features a two headed monster at the running back spot with Derreck Owens-Shells and James Harrell. Each guy has the ability to score from any spot on the field. Elk City’s been searching throughout the year to put the right guys in the right spots to have the best chance to succeed. Last week against Cache it appeared the Big Elks found the formula for success. Elk City leads the overall series between these two 8-3 all time. More importantly it’s been 5-2 for the Brown and White since Chickasha joined the district back in 2016. That’s includes the last 3. The winner puts themselves squarely in the mix for a home playoff game and second place finish in the district. The loser will be in a battle just to make the playoffs. Chickasha has the ability to make some plays and score some points, but I think the Elks are beginning to catch their stride with the playoffs looming in a month. I’ll take Elk City to win this one 35-14.
Weatherford (4-3, 2-1) @ Cache (3-3, 1-1)
Just about the time it seemed as if the Weatherford Eagles were back on track offensively, Clinton came to Woody Roof Field and kept them off the scoreboard last week in a 17-0 loss. The Eagles have a plethora of play making skill guys that just haven’t quite put it together at the same time yet this season. Cache was rolling offensively before a shutout loss as well a week ago at the hands of Elk City. The Bulldogs were a bit hobbled last week with fantastic RB Connor Muldowney limited in the game. QB Tyler Harbin suffered a leg injury that took away some of his explosiveness, especially after halftime against Elk City. These two have met every season since Cache joined 4A-1 in the 2012 season. Weatherford’s dominated the series overall winning 9 of 11 including the last 4. Just like the Elk City/Chickasha game, the winner here will battle the rest of the season to host a playoff game in round 1. The loser could be on the outside looking in once the regular season comes to an end. Weatherford’s ability to win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball proves to be too much for a Cache team that I’m just not sure how healthy they’ll be on a short week. Eagles win 28-7.
Guymon (4-3) @ Clinton (4-2, 3-0)
The Clinton Red Tornadoes get a well deserved week off within 4A-1 with the independent Guymon Tigers coming to town. Clinton’s taken complete control of the district the last two weeks with a 21-7 home win against Elk City then shutting out Weatherford 17-0 on Woody Roof Field last week. The Red Tornadoes can choose to use this game in a multitude of ways. They can keep their guys sharp for a few quarters, or they can get some guys a week off to heal the bumps and bruises that inevitably show up after 6 weeks of games. The result of this one matters zero in the race for a district title. As with virtually every all time series, Clinton leads this one 28-5. They haven’t played since Guymon’s last season in 4A-1 back in 2011. The Reds are riding an 18 game win streak over the Tigers. Guymon hasn’t beaten Clinton since 1989. The winner and final score will completely depend on how Clinton chooses to play this game. A full throated effort from the Red Tornadoes, and they can name their score. Either way it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things for Clinton. Their focus is on finishing off another district title and gearing up for a run at the program’s 18th State Championship. Give me the Red Tornadoes by at least two scores no matter how they decide to play it.
Battle for Beckham County: Merritt (2-4, 1-2) @ Sayre (1-4, 0-3)
It hasn’t been the greatest of seasons for either Merritt or Sayre, but none of that matters when these two tangle on Thursday in Sayre in the Battle for Beckham County. Merritt’s coming off their first district win last week, 57-14 over Burns Flatt-Dill City. Sayre’s still in search of their first district win after playing an extremely difficult district schedule to this point. This is only the 8th time these two will meet on the football field, which seems crazy considering the two schools are separated by less than 15 miles. All 7 previous matchups have been played since the two have been district mates starting in 2016. It’s been a series of streaks that Merritt leads 5-2. Just like OU/Texas I’ll take the team that won last year. This year that’s the Merritt Oilers. Merritt wins 41-27.