Most intriguing matchup
Class 6A No. 5 Jenks (3-2) at No 4 Broken Arrow (3-2)
Why bother: Both of these teams have already had their showdowns with Tulsa Union and Owasso, with both beating Owasso and falling to Union. So this is the final regular-season battle between the East's Big Four. This game is likely to decide District 6A-2, although that could be a mixed blessing if Union and Owasso win out, because of playoff pairings. Jenks' offense was expected to be explosive and after a slow start has put up 145 points over the last two games. Broken Arrow's offense has been potent as well, but the Tigers' defense has held their last two opponents to a combined seven points.
The pick: Jenks 27, Broken Arrow 25
Broken Arrow was my preseason No. 2, but with the Tigers working Devon Thomas back into their offense and Cameron Wrenn dealing with injuries, the Trojans are the more potent team. Jordan Smallwood, a wide receiver who has committed to OU, has put up big games since missing Jenks' game in Texas. He makes the difference in a tight game that decides the district.
Other top attractions
Class 4A No. 2 Clinton (4-1) at No. 6 Anadarko (5-0)
Plot: After losing loads of talent from last season's Class 3A championship team and moving up to Class 4A, Anadarko was expected to be a bit down. But the Warriors have reeled off a 5-0 start, outscoring opponents 200-15 so far. But Clinton, which has lost only to Class 5A Lawton MacArthur, presents the first legitimate 4A power for Anadarko.
Starring: Anadarko running back R.J. Sink did something last week in a win over Elk City that not even Sheldon Wilson accomplished — scoring seven touchdowns in a game. For the season, Sink has 523 yards and 13 touchdowns on just 55 carries. Clinton has a solid running game of its own, helped by a strong offensive line. Sophomore Marquiz Simpkins has 714 yards, eight touchdowns and is averaging more than 10 yards per carry.
The pick: Clinton 20, Anadarko 14
Both teams have big-game experience, but in the end, Clinton's lines on both sides and its depth wear down the Warriors.
Carl Albert (1-4) at Class 5A No. 1 Guthrie (5-0)
Plot: It's hard to call this a marquee game based on the records, but the intrigue becomes apparent when you look behind them. Carl Albert started the season with a brutal first five games. The Titans' opponents so far have combined to go 20-5 heading into their third consecutive game against an undefeated opponent. Guthrie's opponents, though, are a combined 5-20 going into Friday's game. Either way, this figures to be the turning point in both teams' schedules. Carl Albert's schedule starts to lighten up after this, while Guthrie's gets tougher as Deer Creek and McGuinness still lie ahead.
Starring: Both quarterbacks have been outstanding. Guthrie's Bryan Dutton was expected to be and he hasn't disappointed, rushing for 410 yards and seven touchdowns and throwing for 662, 13 touchdowns and just one interception. The Titans' Steve Thompson has been a bit of a surprise just because he was an unknown factor going into the year. But he's rushed for 671 yards and 10 scores while throwing for nearly 500 yards.
The pick: Guthrie 28, Carl Albert 20
The game figures to be much closer than the records would indicate as Carl Albert has played tight already with some of 5A's best. But in the end, Guthrie is able to hold on and win for the third consecutive season.