Expect Elk City and the Boomers to treat tonight’s District 4A-1 matchup as a playoff game.
Why? Because the winner will just about sew up a spot in the post-season while the loser faces an uncertain future.
The winner will move to 4-1 in the district with 2 tough opponents left The loser will drop to 3-2 with the same 2 tough opponents left. Plus, McGuinness is lurking with 2 district losses and wins over both the Boomers and Elks.
Woodward comes into the game with 2 straight victories while Elk City bounced back from a loss to beat Piedmont last week.
Kickoff is 7:30 p.m. for the Boomers’ home finale - at least in the regular season.
Woodward, 5-2, comes into the game ranked 6th in the coachesaid.com poll. Elk City, 6-1, is ranked in the top 10 in some other polls.
The game features 2 of the top offensive teams in Class 4A as Elk City averages 443 yards a game and the Boomers 386. Woodward has a statistical edge on defense, giving up 221 yards per contest to 255 for the Elks.
The big tests for that Boomer defense will be sure tackling and the ability to get pressure on Elk City quarterback Will Davis.
“It will be a challenge for our defense to make sure we tackle well,” Boomer head coach Justin Jones said. “In the secondary we have to play assignment football and up front we’ve got to get pressure on him.
“When he (Davis) has to scramble around he rushes some things and does some things he wouldn’t normally do.”
Davis has already turned in a big year, throwing for 1,948 yards and 18 touchdowns, but also 7 interceptions.
Cody Lake leads a balanced receiving group with 44 catches. Davis and Elias Wiseman have been the Elks top run threats.
The Boomer defense features linebacker Mason Semmel who has 92 tackles this year and over 300 in his career. Dalton Russell has 51 stops and Daniel Nelson 50.
The Boomers have recorded 21 quarterback sacks this season.
Offensively, the Boomers are more balanced than Elk City and have shown an ability to control games with the run.
Garrett Roach has 493 yards on the ground and Casey Covalt 351. Covalt has thrown for 1,425 yards and 12 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions. Drake Smithton has 51 catches while Roach and Semmel combine for 41 more.
Steven Ferguson is Elk City’s top defender with 73 stops.
“We’ve got to be able to run the football against them and execute in the passing game,” Jones said.
A year ago, the Boomers ran for 300 yards and dominated much of the game, but lost when Elk City scored in the final minute.
Woodward is looking to reverse that on “Black Out” night this year.
Tonight’s area football schedule.
Perry at Alva, Beaver at Thomas, Sharon-Mutual at Boise City, Geary at Canton, Cherokee at Pond Creek-Hunter, Chisholm at Watonga, Texhoma at Fairview, Goodwell at Forgan, Mooreland at Hooker, Seiling at Laverne, Okeene at Apache, Ringwood at Merritt , OBA at Turpin, Timberlake at DCLA and Tyrone at Shattuck.
Buffalo at Waynoka
Game time everywhere is 7:30 p.m.