Beggs-Morris battle filled with key playoff implications
With two weeks remaining in the high school football regular season, teams are battling for a chance at competing in the postseason in three weeks.
In Okmulgee County, two teams have already punched their tickets to the playoffs with blowout wins last week. Two other county teams kept their postseason hopes alive with crucial district wins last Friday, while another county team had its playoff dreams take a huge hit last Thursday with a lopsided road loss.
While three county teams are battling for a postseason berth and two other squads earned playoff spots last week, the final county team will spend the final two weeks of the regular season playing for pride and hoping to play spoiler in its final two games of 2023.
The Dewar Dragons and Wilson Tigers were the first Okmulgee County football teams to punch their tickets to the postseason last week with dominating wins at home. The Dragons earned their 11th-straight playoff appearance following a 52-6 victory over the visiting Quinton Savages last Thursday, while the Wilson Tigers will make their second-straight trip to the postseason after blanking the Bluejacket Chieftains 61-0 last Friday.
Dewar and Wilson enter Week 9 looking to assure one of the Top 2 spots in their respective districts (Dewar in B-5, Wilson in C-3) with road wins this Friday night. The Dragons will travel to Council Hill for a district showdown with the winless Midway Chargers, while the Tigers will make the long drive near the Oklahoma-Kansas border to South Coffeyville for a district battle with the winless South Coffeyville Lions.
The three county teams still battling for postseason berths in Week 9 are the Beggs Golden Demons, Morris Eagles, and Henryetta Golden Knights. Morris and Henryetta kept their playoff dreams alive with dominating wins over Westville (50-22) and Okemah (43-0), respectively, while Beggs fell into a tie for the fourth playoff spot in 2A-7 with Sperry following a 68-6 loss to the Kiefer Trojans on the road last Thursday.
All three teams will need to win their final two games in order to have a chance at competing in the postseason in 2023.
In District 2A-5, the Knights are currently tied for fourth with the Keys Cougars with a 2-3 district record. In order for Henryetta to earn a second-straight playoff appearance, the Knights will need to defeat this week’s opponent – the Roland Rangers – at home, then come away victorious next Friday at Keys. A loss during the final two weeks will dash any playoff hopes for the Henryetta gridiron squad.
The Demons are currently tied for fourth with Sperry in the 2A-7 standings with a 2-3 district record, while the Eagles are tied for sixth with Westville at 1-4.
The first obstacle for both county teams will come Friday at Tate Field at Golden Demon Stadium in Beggs, as Beggs will host its county rival in a huge district showdown.
A Morris win, along with a Sperry loss at Okmulgee on Friday, will create a 3-way tie for fourth in the district standings, heading into next week’s regular-season finale (Morris hosts Okmulgee, Beggs travels to Sperry). A Morris win and a Sperry win at Okmulgee will force a 2-way tie for fifth between Morris and Beggs with one regular-season game remaining and could quite possibly force the Eagles out of the playoffs, due to Morris’ 33-12 loss to Sperry in Week 7.
A Beggs win on Friday will eliminate Morris from playoff contention and could put the Demons into sole possession of the final playoff spot in 2A-7 if Sperry falls at Okmulgee or create a tie for fourth, heading into next Thursday’s regular-season finale between the Pirates and Demons in Sperry, if Sperry is victorious in its Week 9 contest at Okmulgee.
If Morris defeats Beggs and Okmulgee in its final two regular-season contests and Sperry drops its final two games, the Eagles will earn the final playoff spot in 2A-7 due to the head-to-head tiebreaker with Beggs.
If Beggs falls at home to Morris on Friday, but defeats Sperry next Thursday and Okmulgee defeats Morris next Friday, the Demons will take the final playoff spot in 2A-7 and earn their 16th-straight postseason appearance.
If Beggs defeats Morris and Sperry falls at Okmulgee on Friday, the Demons will need to defeat Sperry next Thursday to punch their ticket to the playoffs in 2023.
The battle for the final playoff spot in 2A-7 could very well be a lot more clear after Friday’s action in Beggs and Okmulgee.
While Beggs, Morris, and Henryetta are battling for playoff spots and Dewar and Wilson have already punched their tickets to the postseason, the Okmulgee Bulldogs will be looking to end their 2023 campaign with a pair of wins and play spoiler in the 3-team battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in 2A-7. The Bulldogs could very well put a wrench into the plans of Beggs, Morris, and Sperry in the next two weeks by coming away with wins in their final two regular-season games.
Okmulgee had its playoff dreams in 2023 dashed last Friday with a 47-6 home loss to the Kansas Comets, putting the Bulldogs at 0-5 in district play with two games remaining. Even if they close out the regular-season with two-straight wins, the Bulldogs are mathematically eliminated from the postseason because whoever wins next week’s Sperry-Beggs contest will have one more win than Okmulgee in the district standings.
The Knights will look to score their second-straight district win on Friday in their final regular-season home game against their foes from Sequoyah County, the Roland Rangers. Roland enters the Week 9 contest with a 1-7 season record, 0-5 in district play. The lone win for the Rangers in 2023 came by a 21-14 margin in the season opener (August 24) at home against Muldrow.
Since the season-opening win against their Sequoyah County rivals, Roland suffered non-district losses to Stilwell (34-19) and Central Sallisaw (8-7). The Rangers’ district losses have come against Keys (32-21), Vian (64-0), Prague (42-8), Okemah (3524), and Tahlequah Sequoyah (54-16), respectively.
With a playoff berth not in the picture for 2023, the Bulldogs will take on a Sperry Pirate team that is looking to earn the final postseason spot in District 2A-7 this season.
Sperry enters the Week 9 contest with a 5-3 season record and sports a 2-3 district record. The Pirates’ two district wins this season have come against Morris (33-12) and Westville (42-14), while Sperry has suffered district setbacks to the top three teams in the 2A-7 standings – Victory Christian (69-21), Kiefer (44-12), and Kansas (26-14). Prior to district play, Sperry swept its non-district schedule in 2023, earning wins over Verdigris (27-20), Glenpool (4124), and Vinita (23-14), respectively.
Friday’s county battle in Beggs will be the 24th meeting between the Demons and Eagles since 2000 with Beggs holding a 19-5 advantage, including winning the last 13 contests (Beggs defeated Morris 60-0 in regular season and 50-6 in playoffs in 2020). The last time the Eagles defeated the Demons was 2010 by a 21-14 margin.
Beggs enters the Week 9 county battle with a 4-4 season record, 2-3 in district play with the two district wins coming against Westville (38-16) and Okmulgee (54-22), while Morris is 3-5 on the year, 1-4 in district play with the lone district win coming last Friday at home against Westville. Beggs’ other two wins this season have come against Hugo (480) and Verdgris (44-38), while Morris’ other two wins in 2023 have come against Kellyville (56-12) and Haskell (58-7).
With a postseason spot secure, the Dragons will now set their focus on winning their 31st district championship in school history in 2023, beginning with Friday’s road game against the Midway Chargers.
Midway enters the Week 9 contest at 0-8 overall, 0-3 in district play. The Chargers’ district losses have come against Quinton (54-8), Webbers Falls (56-8), and Caddo (15-0 forfeit), while Midway’s non-district defeats this season have come against Cave Springs (56-8), Arkoma (56-30), Bowlegs (540), Gans (78-74), and Depew (51-0), respectively.
Now that the Tigers have secured their second-straight playoff appearance this season, the Wilson squad will set its sights on capturing their first district championship in school history, beginning with Friday’s long road trip to South Coffeyville and a meeting with the South Coffeyville Lions.
South Coffeyville comes in to Friday’s district battle winless on the year (0-9, 0-6) and have suffered district losses to Bluejacket (30-12), Watts (22-0), Coyle (46-0), Oaks-Mission (48-46), Copan (6822), and Wesleyan Christian (72-0), respectively, and have suffered non-district defeats to Welch (500), Porum (45-0), and Foyil (34-16) this season.
Kickoff for this week’s contests featuring Okmulgee County varsity football teams is scheduled for 7 p.m.
— 2A-5 Standings T-1. Prague – 5-0 (8-0) T-1. Vian – 5-0 (6-2) 3. Tahlequah Sequoyah – 4-1 (5-3) T-4. Henryetta – 2-3 (4-4) T-4. Keys – 2-3 (2-6) T-6. Warner – 1-4 (2-6) T-6. Okemah – 1-4 (2-6) 8. Roland – 0-5 (1-7) — Week 7 Games
• Henryetta vs Roland
• Prague vs Vian
• Tahlequah Sequoyah vs Warner
• Keys vs Okemah — 2A-7 Standings T-1. Victory Christian – 5-0 (7-1) T-1. Kiefer – 5-0 (8-0) 3. Kansas – 4-1 (7-1) T-4. Sperry – 2-3 (5-3) T-4. Beggs – 2-3 (4-4) T-6. Morris – 1-4 (3-5) T-6. Westville – 1-4 (1-7) 8. Okmulgee – 0-5 (0-8) — Week 7 Games
• Okmulgee vs Sperry
• Beggs vs Morris
• Kiefer vs Westville
• Victory Christian at Kansas — B-5 Standings T-1. Dewar – 3-0 (8-0) T-1. Caddo – 3-0 (7-1) 3. Webbers Falls – 2-1 (7-1) 4. Quinton – 1-2 (4-4) T-5. Porum – 0-3 (2-6) T-5. Midway – 0-3 (0-8) — Week 7 Games
• Dewar at Midway
• Caddo at Webbers Falls
• Quinton vs Porum* *Played Thursday — C-3 Standings 1. Wilson – 5-0 (7-1) T-2. Coyle – 4-1 (6-2) T-2. Wesleyan Christian – 4-1 (5-3) T-4. Copan – 3-2 (4-4) T-4. Watts – 3-2 (4-4) 6. Oaks-Mission – 1-4 (2-6) 7. Bluejacket – 1-5 (1-7) 8. South Coffeyville – 0-6 (0-9) — Week 7 Games
Wilson at South Coffeyville Copan at Coyle Wesleyan Christian at Watts* Bluejacket vs Oaks-Mission *Played Thursday