Last Updated: September 22, 20237.9 min read

Coming Up:  VYPE Plus Muskogee editors Nick Hampton and Bill Huddleston weigh in with their opinions on the Top 5 games in the Muskogee area.



This is a battle of two top five teams in Class 6A-II in the first district encounter for both teams. I give the edge to the Roughers here for a couple of reasons. One of them is #1-quarterback Jamarian Ficklin. The VYPE TOP 100 signal caller brings experience to this vital spot that the Sandites don’t have. They do have a crackerjack sophomore QB in Easton Webb who led a second half comeback in a wild 63-53 win over Sapulpa in the season opener (assuming he’s healthy-he didn’t play last week against Ponca City), but Ficklin should find the pickings pretty easy against a young defense of Sand Springs. The top-ranked Roughers have also had a week off to scout and prepare for what is always a tough game and they’re playing at home, which is a big plus. Muskogee also has some question marks surrounding their defense and they will need to have their defensive front win the battle in the trenches against a big and experienced Sandite offensive line. The Sandites will probably have the upper hand in the running game which is their strong suit. Tailback Kenneth Page has 600 yards rushing so far this year and he should be their main threat. But don’t be surprised if Sandite head coach Bobby Klinck goes to the air a little more than usual after watching what Carl Albert did to the Rougher secondary two weeks ago.

Nick’s Pick: Muskogee 38 Sand Springs 28


Hey Nick…not so fast my friend to disrespect the Roughers defense. Yes Carl Albert did have some big plays through the air but Muskogee checked the Titans running game to 102 total yards. So if the ground and pound offense is how the Sandites make their bread, the journey to Rougher Village may not be much fun unless Muskogee fails to cover the passing lanes. Jamarian “Byrd” Ficklin and Muskogee’s offense will have a card or two up their sleeve if Sand Springs sells out to stop the air raid by grounding UNLV commit wide receiver Kayden McGee, Jayden Swanson and Ondraye Beasley. Muskogee has had two weeks to rest, recover and prepare for the district opener to ensure the defense is zeroed in on their assignments and the offense prepared to put points on the scoreboard. Welcome home to former Muskogee Rougher now Sand Springs assistant coach Parker Borovetz.

Bill’s Pick:  Muskogee 42 Sand Springs 21

“We love bringing you all the news and insights from the 3R region.   Please click here to subscribe to VypePlusOK.com.

Email either of us if you have any thoughts, suggestions or opinions.   Bill.Huddleston@vype.com  Nick.Hampton@vype.com



The Hornets will try to pick up the pieces following their manhandling by Claremore last week while the Indians look to recover from a loss to Stigler. This game is a little hard to call. Both teams have lost to ranked opponents and beaten less talented teams to achieve identical 2-1 records. Stilwell has the experience edge with eight starters back on defense and a talented receiving corps led by Tray Chuculate as well as experience at tailback and fullback while the Hornets are young and short on experience on both sides of the ball. Hilldale quarterback Dawson Fields is showing signs of putting things together and runs the offense smoothly, but penalties and youthful mistakes are still plaguing the Hornets. Coach David Blevins called last week’s game a test for the Hornets to see where they are, and they found they have a way to go. I think this game will be much more of a marker for the Hornets to see where they stack up against an equal opponent. I’ve got to give the nod to the Indians playing at home.

Nick’s pick: Stilwell 24 Hilldale 17


The Indians are tired of the mistreatment and disrespect from their opponents in recent years. There’s an edge on the shoulders of this year’s Stilwell lineup and the Hornets who are growing up learning their lessons under the pressure of game time action, are primed targets if Stilwell wants to challenge for any postseason discussion

Bill’s Pick:  Stilwell 28 Hilldale 14



The third-ranked Pirates are flying high on a three-game winning streak against teams that were all ranked when they played as they visit Leo Donahue Stadium for this district encounter. Fort Gibson has struggled with some injuries and youth and come in with a 1-2 mark. Dax Collins (pictured above) continues to lead Poteau on offense and defense while the Tigers are looking for that key player to step forward and take charge. I don’t see this game as too much of a challenge for Poteau. The Pirates are the early pick to take the title in District 4A-4 this season and they’ve got too much fire power and defense to let Fort Gibson stand in the way.

Nick’s Pick: Poteau 38 Fort Gibson 14


The firepower in the bellows of the Pirates ship is loaded and ready to get the District 4A-4 battles started against another young team in Fort Gibson. The Tigers will be physically bigger upfront but the Pirates have a strong and fast lineup on both sides of the football that capitalizes on their opponents’’ mistakes

Bill’s Pick:  Poteau 42  Fort Gibson 14



The Black Diamonds are on the rebound under coach Brandon Tyler with a 2-1 record heading into this district contest with the Cougars. Ada is a team that is also putting the pieces together after some graduation losses, but they seem to have found their way forward a little quicker than Sallisaw. Ada is 3-0 with wins over 5-A schools Durant, Ardmore and McAlester and have established some strength at quarterback with the emergence of Brock Boyles who has thrown for five touchdowns so far. They’ve also got a stable of running backs led by Xander Rhynes, Lakievin Richardson and Kolten Carlock. The ‘Diamonds have also seen the emergence of talent with Brock Streun at quarterback and Cole Stephens at running back as they look like to make a playoff statement in 2023 after going 0-10 a year ago. I think this will be a great test for Sallisaw to see just how far they have come in their quest to bring back the good old days of Black Diamond football. I think a look at the non-district schedules of these two tells a tale. The Black Diamond’s wins are against opponents with a combined 1-6 mark while Ada’s three opponents are a combined 5-4. The Cougars had last week off so they’re rested and prepared and, in the end, I think Ada, which is expected to battle Poteau for the 4A-4 title, will have just a little too much for the rejuvenated Black Diamonds.

Nick’s pick: Ada 30 Sallisaw 20


This game is a matchup of tradition. Ada, who has won more state championships (19) than any other team in Oklahoma although the Cougars won their last state title in 1996, is off to a good start and the resurgent Black Diamonds appear to be “All-In” on the motivation of head coach Brandon Tyler, evidence by their win last week over Class 6A-II opponent Tahlequah. While the opportunity awaits for Sallisaw to make a strong statement for reaching the playoffs with a victory, Brandon Osteen’s squad is playing at home and ready to show their remaining opponents there’s only one way to define the acronym – POTAC…Powerful, Optimist, Triumphant Ada Cougars.

Bill’s Pick:   Ada 35 Sallisaw 17



There’s not a lot to say about this game. Wagoner is undefeated and top ranked in 4-A and Skiatook is 1-2 coming into week one of district play. The Bulldogs took care of business last week dispatching Grove in a grudge match and did it in convincing fashion and should turn this into win number four on the season.

Nick’s pick: Wagoner 44 Skiatook 10


It’s a battle of Bulldogs at W.L. Odom Field when Skiatook visits Class 4A defending state champion and top ranked Wagoner. Like I said last week, coach Dale Condict’s team can dominate on both sides of the ball. They’ll bark and bite loud and strong to improve to 4-0 on the 2023 campaign with a lop-sided win.

Bill’s pick:  Wagoner 49 Skiatook 7

“We love bringing you all the news and insights from the 3R region.   Please click here to subscribe to VypePlusOK.com.

Email either of us if you have any thoughts, suggestions or opinions.   Bill.Huddleston@vype.com   Nick.Hampton@vype.com

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