Woodward, Okla. —
Five state football championships will be decided this weekend and there is a little intrigue in each and every game.
Can the West end a championship drought approaching 2 decades in Class 6A?
Can Clinton (4A) and Pond Creek-Hunter (B) reverse regular season losses?
Can Carl Albert (5A) complete the turnaround from 1-5 to state champion?
Can Tipton (Class B) take the next step and go from state runner-up in 2011 to state champion in 2012?
All those questions will be answered - Class 6A on Friday and the others on Saturday.
And the remaining 3 classes? Well, the championship game participants will be decided in this weekend’s semifinals.
Here is a look at the classes.
Norman North wasn't even in existence the last time a western Oklahoma team won the Class 6A championship (Midwest City in 1995). Jenks, by contrast has won 9 championships since then, but none since 2007 - though the Trojans did lose in the finals 3 times over the past 4 years.
This is actually the first time a western school has reached the championship game since Enid in 2006.
Neither record looks gaudy compared to the finalists in other classes. They have 9 losses combined.
In East Central's case it is deceiving. All 4 losses are the result of forfeiting the first 4 games of the season due to using an eligible player. The Cardinals haven't actually lost on the field - though they've been tested a couple of times.
Carl Albert is the classic catch-fire-at-the-right-time story. After going 1-5, the Titans were able to get well against the weaker teams in District 5A-2 and carried that momentum into the playoffs.
East Central last won a state championship in 2005, while Carl Albert has 10, the last one in 2009.
Woodward fans got an up close look at both Anadarko and Clinton this year, losing 35-0 to the Warriors and 47-17 to Clinton.
The finalists also got an up close look at each other back in week 6 of the regular season when Anadarko won 28-21.
In the rematch Anadarko puts a 28-game winning streak on the line and the Warriors are doing it with defense, allowing more than 7 points in just 3 games all season. The Warriors were in 3A last year, but haven't skipped a beat in moving up to 4A.
Clinton's numbers aren't necessarily as dominant, but the Tornadoes know their way around at championship time. The Red Tornadoes have 15 state championships in their history and several other runner-up finishes, including a year ago.
Each team has the great running back - Marquiz Simpkins for Clinton and R. J. Sink for Anadarko and strong, talented linemen.
Don't be surprised if it goes down to the last possession.
Laverne has been knocking on the door in Class B the last 5 years and the Tigers appear ready to march through this time.
In front of them, however, is a dangerous Pond Creek-Hunter team that arguably has the best win of the two clubs with its 41-40 overtime victory at Wetumka.
Laverne is trying to beat the Panthers for the second time this season - never an easy task.
The Tigers, though, have a lot of weapons. Trevor Harris is a touchdown waiting to happen. Tucker Rolf throws well and has good receivers and the Tigers have several big, strong linemen.
Laverne was last in the finals in 2008, losing a 30-26 thriller to Garber.
Pond Creek-Hunter features a 2,000-yard rusher in Brady Krittenbrink.
The Panthers do have a little history on their side. They are 3-0 in state championship games.
Let's see. Both teams can score. Both teams can stop people. Neither team has lost.
This one is going to be fun.
Josh Torres leads a fast Tipton squad noted as much for just giving up 28 points all season as anything else. The Tigers thrive off turnovers, getting 5 in a tight 28-20 semifinal win over Sharon-Mutual last week.
Forgan features run-pass threat Dalton Lemieux who has thrown for 27 touchdowns (just one interception) and rushed for 23 more. Trevin Lopez gives the Bulldogs a second 1,000-yard rusher.
Forgan is trying to win its first state championship since 1974. The Bulldogs were last in the finals in 2002 when they lost to Pond Creek-Hunter. Tipton won a state title in 1997,
Johnny McMahan is managing editor of the Woodward News.
Friday, 7:30 p.m. at OSU
Norman North (12-1) vs. Jenks (11-2)
Saturday, 7:30 p.m. at OSU
Carl Albert (8-5) vs. East Central (9-4)
12:30 p.m. Saturday at OSU
Anadarko (13-0) vs. Clinton (11-2)
Saturday at Putnam City High School
Jones (11-2) vs. Blanchard (11-1), 1:30 p.m.
Seminole (12-0) vs. Kingfisher (13-0), 7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m. on Friday
Vian (13-0) vs. Davis (13-0), Midwest City High School
Oklahoma Christian (12-1) vs. Frederick (13-0), Southwestern Oklahoma State University
1:30 p.m. on Saturday
Texhoma (12-0) vs. Ringling (11-1) at Enid
Wynnewood (12-0) vs. Cashion (13-0) at Norman
7:30 p.m. at Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Laverne (13-0) v.s Pond Creek-Hunter (12-1)
1:30 p.m. at Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Forgan (12-0) vs. Tipton (13-0)