Three county gridiron squads start postseason play Friday
The journey towards the prestigious Gold Ball in varsity football begins Friday night all across Oklahoma.
In Okmulgee County, three gridiron squads will be amongst the 192 teams in Classes 6A-C that will begin postseason play this weekend with opening-round contests.
The three county teams that will start their journeys to a possible state championship in 2023 are the Dewar Dragons, Henryetta Golden Knights, and Wilson Tigers.
The Dragons are making their 11thstraight postseason appearance on Friday, while the Knights and Tigers are competing in the playoffs for the second-straight season.
Dewar, who captured the Class B crown in 2020, will open posteason play in Class B Friday at home against the Cave Springs Hornets, while Henryetta will travel to Idabel to take on the Idabel Warriors in a Class 2A opening-round contest and Wilson will host the Paoli Pugs in a Class C first-round matchup.
In Class 2A, the Knights finished the regular season with a 6-4 record, 4-3 in the District 2A-5 standings. Just like in 2022, the Henryetta gridiron squad needed to win its final three regular-season contests to punch its ticket to the postseason in 2023. The Knights will square off against an Idabel team that finished the regular season with a spotless 9-0 record, which included a perfect 5-0 District 2A-6 record and a district championship.
Henryetta began the 2023 season with a thrilling 40-32, come-frombehind, win at home against the Hartshorne Miners, then suffered their first loss of the season the following week – 58-13 setback at home to the Victory Christian Conquerors.
The Knights finished non-district play September 8 with a 20-8 road win at Morris, then began district play two weeks later (Sept. 22) at home against Prague, coming up on the losing end of a 35-0 outcome to the visiting Red Devils.
After suffering a 22-12 loss at Tahlequah Sequoyah on September 28, the Knights snared their first district win of the season on October 6 with a 43-8 thrashing of the Warner Eagles at Cameron Field in Henryetta.
Six days later, the Henryetta squad fell to 1-3 in district play with a 49-14 loss at Vian.
With three games remaining in the regular season, the Knights needed to win all three contests in order to earn a spot in the postseason in 2023.
The Henryetta squad began their 3-game win streak October 20 at Okemah, defeating the host Okemah Panthers by a 43-0 decision, then routed the Roland Rangers 46-6 in the regular-season home finale on October 27.
The Knights capped off their 3-game win streak last Friday with a 38-7 thrashing of the Keys Cougars at Keys High School to earn their second-straight postseason appearance. Idabel began its road to a perfect regular-season record September 1 at home against Kingston, defeating the visiting Redskins by a 54-13 margin.
The Warriors were scheduled to host Broken Bow in Week 2, but the non-district contest was canceled due to a lengthy weather delay.
Idabel finished its non-district schedule on September 15 against Ashdown, Arkansas, blanking its foe by a 27-0 margin for a 2-0 record.
The Warriors began district play September 22 at Hugo, defeating the host Buffaloes 47-8, then blanked Valliant 42-0 the following week for a 2-0 district record.
The other district wins this season for Idabel came against Heavener (35-13), Spiro (49-48), Antlers (566), Wilburton (49-7), and Eufaula (49-13) to capture the district championship and a possible two-straight home playoff games.
An opening-round upset win over the unbeaten Warriors will put the Knights into next week’s second-round matchup against the winner of Friday’s first-round battle between Pawhuska and Kansas, while a first-round loss to Idabel will bring the Henryetta gridiron squad’s 2023 season to a close.
In Class B, the Dragons finished the regular season with a spotless 10-0 record, which included an undefeated 5-0 district record to capture their seventh-straight district crown.
Dewar won every regular-season game this season by double digits with the closest win coming in the non-district finale September 29 at home against Velma-Alma, defeating the Comets by a 52-40 decision.
The other non-district wins for the Dragons in 2023 came against Cherokee (52-6), Snyder (60-0), Depew (58-8), and Arkoma (52-0), respectively.
The Dewar squad began district play October 6 at home against Webbers Falls, defeating the Warriors by a 46-0 margin.
The Dragons also earned Mercy- Rule district wins over Porum (58-0), Quinton (52-6), Midway (666), and Caddo (58-8), to earn their 11th-straight postseason appearance. The win over Caddo in the regular- season finale last Friday awarded the Dewar squad its seventh-straight district championship (31st overall) and a possible two-straight home playoff games.
Cave Springs finished the 2023 regular season with a 5-5 record, 2-3 in district play and finished fourth overall in the B-6 standings.
The Hornets began the 2023 campaign with back-to-back non-district wins over Midway (56-8) and Sasakwa (52-34), respectively, then evened their season record at 2-2 with losses in their next two non-district contests – 64-8 to Quinton and 58-16 to Webbers Falls.
Cave Springs finished non-district play September 28 with a 54-52, overtime, victory, then began district action eight days later with a 36-30, overtime, win over Arkoma.
The Hornets earned their second-straight district win October 12 at home against Gans, defeating the visiting Grizzlies by a 30-22 margin.
Cave Springs’ bid for a district championship fell by the wayside by losing its final three district games to finish with a 2-3 district record. The Hornets’ final three losses came against Keota (58-0), Welch (48-8), and Foyil (23-20), respectively.
A first-round win over Cave Springs will put the Dragons into next week’s second-round meeting at home against the winner of Regent Prep and Depew, who meet Friday in Tulsa, while an opening-round loss to the Hornets will derail any state championship dreams for the Dewar squad in 2023.
In Class C, the Tigers finished with their best regular-season record in school history (9-1) and ended the season with an 8-straight winning streak, which included a spotless 7-0 district record and the Wilson squad’s first-ever district championship.
Wilson began the 2023 campaign September 1 at home against the Graham-Dustin Chieftains and escaped with a 26-18 victory in the season opener.
The lone loss for the Tigers this season came in Week 2 – a 72-26 defeat at Caddo.
After the Caddo loss, the Wilson squad finished its non-district schedule on October 14 with a 5628 win over the Bowlegs Bison.
The Tigers began district play September 21 with a 50-8 win at Coyle, then earned district wins over Oaks-Mission (60-0) and Copan (50-30), respectively, for a 3-0 district record.
The Wilson squad continued their winning streak on October 12 with a 26-12 victory at home against the Wesleyan Christian Mustangs.
The Tigers concluded their district schedule with a 61-0 win at home against Bluejacket, a 15-0 forfeit win at South Coffeyville, and a 36-14 home win against Watts to finish with a spotless 7-0 district record.
With the forfeit win over South Coffeyville, the Wilson squad was awarded the District C-3 championship – the first district crown for the Tigers in school history.
Paoli earned its playoff berth last Friday with a 56-34 win at home against Maysville to leapfrog the Warriors for the final postseason spot in District C-4.
The Pugs finished 6-4 overall on the year, including a 4-3 district record. Paoli began the 2023 season with back-to-back non-district wins over Temple (48-38) and Bray-Doyle (68-22), respectively, then ended non-district play with a 48-0 loss to the Weleetka Outlaws.
The Pugs began district play with a 20-8 loss at Maud, then notched consecutive district wins over Bowlegs (38-20) and Sasakwa (50-0) to sit at 2-1 in the distict standings.
The other district losses for Paoli in 2023 came against Graham-Dustin (54-24) and Thackerville (66-20).
Besides last Friday’s win over Maysville, the Pugs also earned a district win over the Fox Foxes on October 20 by a 54-6 margin.
An opening-round win over Paoli will put the Tigers into next week’s quarterfinals at home against the winner of Ryan and Tyrone, who meet Friday in Ryan, while a first-round loss to the Pugs will bring the Wilson gridiron’s dreams of a first-ever state championship to a close.
Kickoff for Friday’s playoff games featuring Okmulgee County teams are scheduled for 7 p.m. Below are first-round playoff schedules for Classes 2A, B, and C. — Class 2A Playoffs
Millwood vs Crossings Christian Purcell vs Holdenville Idabel vs Henryetta Pawhuska vs Kansas Kingston vs Frederick Chandler vs Alva Kiefer vs Vinita Tahlequah Sequoyah vs Heavener Prague vs Spiro Victory Christian vs Rejoice Christian Jones vs Chisholm Davis vs Lindsay Adair vs Sperry Eufaula vs Vian Washington vs Lexington Oklahoma Christian School vs Meeker — Class B Playoffs
Laverne vs Ringwood Okeene vs Cyril Keota vs Quinton Wetumka vs Yale Velma-Alma vs Covington-Douglas Garber vs Shattuck Drumright vs Davenport Caddo vs Foyil Dewar vs Cave Springs Regent Prep vs Depew Oklahoma Bible Academy vs Hollis Wilson (Ardmore) vs Southwest Covenant Weleetka vs Barnsdall Welch vs Webbers Falls Seiling vs Alex Turpin vs Pond Creek-Hunter — Class C Playoffs
Timberlake vs Geary Maud vs Coyle Wilson (Henryetta) vs Paoli Ryan vs Tyrone Tipton vs Buffalo Wesleyan Christian vs Graham-Dustin Thackerville vs Copan Waynoka vs Mt. View-Gotebo
First-Round Games (All Games Friday @ 7 p.m.)
First-Round Games (All Games Friday @ 7 p.m.)
First-Round Games (All Games Friday @ 7 p.m.)