I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The Battle for the Expressway is an OK rivalry name. The Battle for Chick-fil-a on Expressway would be better. Waffle fries and Icedream cones to the winner! Why hasn’t this caught on yet?
Big game at PC Stadium between Putnam City and Putnam City North tonight, two teams that could really benefit from a 1-0 start.
1. Handoff to who? For two teams that had workhorse running backs last year — Casey Curtis at PC and Dre Holman at PC North — they’ll both be turning to less-proven backs this year. Tae Moore was involved in the PC North offense last year, so he’s not totally fresh. He’ll be joined by Nathaniel Ocran and Larry Butler in the run game as well. PC is in a little tougher situation, turning to Javone Knox, Curtis’ little brother, who is a junior. Knox is capable, but the Pirates lost platoon back Devin Colbert to a broken leg last week.
2. Big play or no big play. Putnam City North has some talented, experienced players in the back seven on defense, but in the preseason, they showed some issues with giving up big plays in the passing game — albeit against a couple really good offenses, Lawton and Edmond Santa Fe. Solving those issues will be vital for the Panthers, as PC will be looking to throw the ball more regularly this year.
3. Carrying over from the last point, PC QB Devin White could be the deciding factor in this game. He’s a year more experienced and appears more confident in the passing game. And he has some gifted receivers out there, too. If he can move the offense through the air, and open up the run game for Knox and himself, the Pirates could be looking at a third straight win in this series.
Pirates 24, Panthers 20: The PC North offensive line is still growing up, and PC is solid in the front seven on defense, which will make it tough for the Panthers to get the run game going. And as a run-first offense, it will be hard to move the ball consistently. The Panthers have good size up front, so once those guys get some experience, they’ll be better. But right now, the edge goes to Putnam City.