Woodward, Okla. —
CLINTON – The Boomers go into Clinton's famed Tornado Bowl looking for a couple of things tonight.
They are trying to get their season record back to .500 and cement a spot in the Class 4A football playoffs.
They would also like to bounce back from a disappointing 38-15 loss to Elk City a week ago.
And the Boomers will try to do this against one of the better teams in Class 4A.
Clinton is ranked 6th or higher in statewide polls with a 7-2 record and at 5-1 in the district have locked up second place and a home playoff game next week.
The Boomers are 4-5 and still have work to do for a playoff spot. Their hopes will depend on what happens in this game as well in Piedmont where the Wildcats, given new playoff life by an Elgin forfeit last week, hosts the Weatherford Eagles.
Various things could happen, but if Weatherford wins the Boomers are in the playoffs regardless of the Clinton outcome. If Piedmont upsets Weatherford, the Boomers need a win over Clinton and margin of victory could come into play.
But the Boomers main focus is putting together a solid effort against the Tornadoes, who have won 9 straight games in this series. Woodward's last win over the Tornadoes was 7-0 in the 1994 state championship season.
The Boomers typically rely on the running game, utilizing several backs. Dakota Taylor had both touchdowns against Elk City and Kyler Ferguson had big runs. Xavier Vo and Ky Merriman have both turned in big games as well. In the passing game, Jake Hughes will look often to Kaleb Roach.
Clinton's defense is allowing 255 yards a game and is giving up 18 points a night. The Tornadoes do have some ballhawking secondary players as Bo Vowell has 6 interceptions and Devon Mitchell 5.
On the offensive side, Clinton spreads the ball more than it used to, but there is still the 1,000-yard rusher in Marquiz Simpkins and the big play passing game from Garrison Mendoza. Mitchell is the big threat at receiver.
Up front, the Tornadoes have size and strength.
The Boomers are looking for a solid defensive performance and to limit the Tornadoes big plays.
Ferguson headlines the linebacking unit and Micah Kee had a key interception a week ago.
One huge factor for the Boomers is turnovers. Five giveaways and a blocked punt played a big role in the Elk City loss.
Game time in Clinton is 7:30 p.m.
A full area schedule is on tap as some teams tune up for the playoffs, others are looking to qualify for post-season action and some are hoping to build momentum for next year.
In District A-1, the Beaver Dusters make the short trip to Turpin, Mooreland goes to Okeene, Texhoma is at Hooker and OBA visits Fairview.
In District B-2, the big game as unbeaten Laverne at unbeaten Pond Creek-Hunter. Also, Canton is at Waukomis, Covington-Douglas goes to Seiling, Ringwood is at Merritt and Garber plays at Medford.
In District C-1, Tyrone is at Balko, Goodwell goes to Forgan, Sharon-Mutual plays at Shattuck and Boise City travels to Waynoka.
Game time everywhere is 7:30 p.m.
Most eyes will be on the Laverne game against Pond Creek-Hunter to decide the B-1 championship.
In addition to bragging rights, the winner will be assured of 2 playoff games at home. The loser, will in all likelihood, be playing at undefeated Wetumka in the second round.
The top-ranked Tigers have the best offensive and defensive numbers in the district, averaging nearly 56 points a game while giving up just over 11 points a night.
Tucker Rolf and Trevor Harris are just two of the Tigers' explosive offensive weapons. Laverne has depth and talent across the board.
Pond Creek-Hunter counters with an offense powered by Brady Krittenbrink that averages some 52 points a game. The Panthers have given up a few more points on defense.
At Seiling, the visiting Covington-Douglas team still have playoff hopes while the Wildcats are looking to finish the season on a positive note. The Ringwood-Merritt game also has playoff implications.
In Class C, Buffalo is open this week but the Bison will be watching the Balko-Tyrone action. A Balko win puts Buffalo in the playoffs while a Tyrone win knocks Buffalo out due to tiebreaker points.
Sharon-Mutual goes to Shattuck looking for an 8th consecutive victory. The Trojans, who have locked up a home playoff game next week, are averaging over 45 points a game.
Shattuck has won 2 straight since a tough stretch of losses.
Forgan will look to close out a perfect regular season against a winless Goodwell club. The Bulldogs have outscored opponents by a 410-78 margin this year.
In Class A, Mooreland still has an outside chance at the playoffs if the Bearcats can surprise Okeene and win by enough to overtake Hooker in tiebreaker points. Hooker plays at unbeaten Texhoma.