Kersey/Przybylo Point-Counterpoint Class A, 2A
By Robert Przybylo and Jason Kersey
Robert: If you had a freshman teammate die during the season (like at Rush Springs with Justin Barney, RIP), what would be the toughest part about moving on and trying to play the rest of the season??
Jason: Well, first things first, could this happen to me? Kids may not want to talk about this openly because they won’t want to seem like they‘re not tough, but when a big fullback is barreling toward you and you are the only thing stopping him from getting in the end zone, will you try for as big of a hit as you could?
Robert: That is what I‘m alluding to, my theory is the mental approach for Rush Springs’ kids is completely different than it was even three weeks ago. We both know football is not a game you can half-speed it, you have to go all out. Trying to straddle that line, I believe, is going to the undoing of Rush Springs.
Jason: I still think they win it. First of all, I think they’re the best team. They beat Washington after it happened, so I don’t know how much of a mental effect it had on them to begin with. Also, perhaps the team rallies around this tragedy and turns it into a championship. Maybe it has that effect on them.
Robert: To finish this topic, I think the opposite is true for Washington. I believe it weighed heavily on their minds and now they’re ready to move on and play their best ball. And like I said, if Rush Springs is able to do it, what a remarkable story…Darkhorse in A??
Jason: I’ve got two for you. First, defending champ Okeene. The Whippets were destroyed, 34-0 in Week 1 by “your” boys Hennessey, but since then have only suffered one close loss, 20-14 to Texhoma, which brings me to my second darkhorse. Texhoma’s only loss of the year was 14-13 to Gruver, Texas.
Robert: I entered last Friday believing the winner of Stroud-Luther has a legit shot. I was amazed at how Stroud took care of business. Luther’s Josh Birmingham is a stud. What you have to love about A and 2A, with those 64 teams, there’s more potential winners than anywhere else.
Jason: I agree, Birmingham is awesome and for Stroud to win like they did is very, very impressive.
Robert: Now, for some of our favorites. We both have a miracle run that seems a little out there. I have Hennessey in the final while you have Bridge Creek in the semis. If everything holds true to form, Bridge Creek would be at Hennessey in the second round.
Jason: Bridge Creek’s only loss this season is to Bethany, who I have winning it all. The Bobcats’ spread offense this season has posed problems to just about everyone who has faced it. Zane Mellinger has been solid at quarterback, and then, of course, there’s Michael Aska. Aska has rushed for 1,121 yards and 16 scores this year. He gets an average of 10 yards per carry, and 19 yards per catch. Does Hennessey have anyone who can stick with him for four quarters? Then, defensively, the Bobcats give up just under 10 points per game. Craig Hill is solid, having picked off four passes. Plus, they are playing for their community. BC has never been a winner, but these last few years, the community has rallied around the team. They are going to shock some people.
Robert: 1962 was the last 10-0 season for Hennesseey. If you add our ages together, you still don’t get the 45 years. The Eagles feature a well-balanced attack as Clint Cooper emerged as a potent QB while Auggie McCulley is still rounding into form at RB after early injuries. Coach Shannon Watford said Cooper has broken out of his late-season funk and is playing well again. And then of course, there’s the Grant Zelnicek story. Well, for that one, all I can say is read Friday’s Oklahoman. I will say one thing, Michael Aska is a jaw-dropper. Last year, “my boy” Kevin Nichols at Bethel compared him to Seymore Shaw. I will say if Hennessey/Bridge Creek play in the second round, it exemplifies everything that is great about 2A. That’s an awesome game to be happening so early in the deal.
Favorite match-up besides final: Look out for Henryetta against Heritage Hall. The Knights beat all three other district playoff teams (Morris, Chandler, Prague) on the road. Kenny Speer’s boys win with defense and Colby Blondell (107 tkls) and Nick Whitlow (95). Imagine that Knights defense going against Garrett Valdez, Banning Fudge, Ford Binning, etc, would be a great battle of wills.
Jason: Bethany’s second round game. If the Bethany play Alva, it’s a match-up of two potential state title contenders. Alva is led by coach Steve Gales’ twins, Mitchell and Tyson. In OCS, we’re talking about George Overbey, the Saints’ quarterback who has been recognized many, many times this year by our fine publication for his outstanding performances. OCS may have three losses, but look at who they are to. Alva (9-1), Jones (always tough, and is a playoff team) and Heritage Hall (no comment necessary on them.) Bethany (assuming it gets by Coalgate) gets a tough second round game no matter who it is.
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