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North Oklahoma City metro area football notebook: Stillwater could be a title contender

BY SCOTT WRIGHT, TRENT SHADID, ED GODFREY AND JONATHAN GRECO Published: September 1, 2014
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With the splitting of Class 6A in two divisions this season, Stillwater has suddenly become a potential championship contender.

The Pioneers, now in the new 6A-II, were 2-8 last season and have not won a playoff game since 2008.

Among the top returning players for Stillwater is senior wide receiver Brandon Prather. The 6-foot, 165-pound target was one of the top receivers in the state last season with 65 receptions for 1,015 yards and nine touchdowns.

Prather will have the benefit of a familiar quarterback as senior Braxton Noble returns for a third season as the starter. The Pioneers are hopeful Noble can remain healthy after suffering season-ending injuries midway through the past two seasons.

CASHION HOPES TO CONTINUE MOMENTUM OF LAST SEASON

At the beginning of last season, Cashion coach Lynn Shackelford didn’t think he had a team that was ready to compete for a state championship.

However, by the end of the season the Shackelford thought otherwise as the Wildcats went on an eight-game winning streak before a two-point loss to Talihina in the Class A quarterfinals.

With standout quarterback Matt Harman returning for his sophomore season along with several other key players, Cashion is looking build on its late-season run from a year ago.

“We feel like we’re one of those five or six teams that probably has a chance to win it,” Shackelford said. “If we can stay healthy and improve at the same pace we improved last year, then once the playoffs come around we’ll have a chance to go compete for a state championship. But they’ll be some other teams that feel the same way and if you can get to that point it’ll just be whoever plays better on that Friday night.”

BLEDSOE, PEYTON KEY FOR PERKINS-TRYON

As new coach Bruce Williams transitions Perkins-Tryon from the wishbone to a multiple-formation offense, he’ll be counting heavily on a couple of seniors.

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