2018 champion/ Team to beat
MWC Carl Albert: The Titans are looking for their fourth consecutive state title and their 40-0 victory over top-ranked Oklahoma City McGuinness on Friday night not only won a district title but also sent a warning to all the other contenders in 5A. Carl Albert’s 10-6 loss to Piedmont in Week 5 snapped a 40-game winning streak and appeared to indicate that 5A was wide open. However, the Titans have bounced back with five consecutive wins and have a quarterback, Ben Harris, who already has won two state titles.
Edison: Coach Tony Daniels’ Eagles have won nine in a row and have the state’s top running back, Nebraska commit Sevion Morrison. A strong defense and running game can take a team a long way in the playoffs. Edison, however, hasn’t won a playoff game since 1992.
Tahlequah: The Tigers’ prospects looked a lot better before starting quarterback Tate Christian suffered a shoulder injury Friday in their first loss of the season, 21-14, to Claremore. Christian’s status for the playoffs is undetermined.
Collinsville: Coach Kevin Jones’ Cardinals have overcome QB Cole Dugger’s move to Owasso and standout Brayden Burd’s season-ending injury to post an 8-2 record. Collinsville actually came real close to a perfect regular season as it lost by one to Oologah and in OT to Tahlequah. The Cardinals are an under-the-radar team that could surprise in the playoffs.
Players to watch
Gage Hamm, Coweta: Sophomore QB has passed for 1,881 yards and 17 TDs plus rushed for six touchdowns. After a slow start, the Tigers’ offense is rolling and averaging 44.3 points over the past three games.
Thomas Ivy, Edison: Senior move-in receiver/DB from Coweta has made many clutch plays for the Eagles on both sides of the ball, including his winning TD with nine seconds left Friday at Ada.
Dae Dae Leathers, Tahlequah: The Tigers’ career rushing leader may be counted on even more than normal during the postseason due to Christian’s injury.
Charlie Murdock, Claremore: Senior QB has thrown for over 2,000 yards and 28 TDs — including 12 to Dylan Kedzior.
No. 9 Bishop Kelley at No. 6 Collinsville: Both of these teams reached the semifinals last season. These teams met in playoff openers in 2013 and ‘15, with Collinsville winning 21-14 each time.
OKC McGuinness could visit Edison in the quarterfinals, and that would be a matchup of big-time running backs, Morrison and TCU commit Dominic Richardson, at LaFortune Stadium.
Predicted state champion
MWC Carl Albert 28, Edison 17