No. 1 Heritage Hall vs. No. 2 Lincoln Christian
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: O’Dell Field, Cushing High School
Records: Heritage Hall (11-0), Lincoln Christian (12-0)
Playoff history: In the only previous meetings, Heritage Hall defeated the Bulldogs 38-14 in the 2015 3A state final and 69-34 in last year’s semifinals. The Chargers seek a sixth gold ball overall and their fifth in six years to go with three runner-up finishes. Lincoln won the 2A state title in 2002 and is in the semifinals for the third time.
The matchup: Lincoln’s 3A top-rated scoring offense, averaging 51.8 points per game, against Heritage Hall’s 3A top-rated scoring defense. Led by LBs Hardy Bowers and Connor Keith and DE Will Dunn, the Chargers allow only 7.4 points per game. Lincoln QB Chase Ricke has thrown for 3,060 yards and 46 TDs and WR/TE Connor Johnson has 21 TD receptions. Heritage Hall WR Phillip Smitherman, a Harvard University commit, has 14 TD receptions, leading an offense averaging 40.5 points per game. “They move (Smitherman) around and do a good job of using him to get other people open," Lincoln coach Jerry Ricke said. "We have to be aware of where he's lined up."
Other key players: Heritage Hall RB Jayden Williams has rushed for 11 TDs. QB Jackson Jobe has passed for 1,831 yards and 25 TDs with only four interceptions. … Lincoln RB Josh Kaste has rushed for 1,320 yards and 23 TDs and averages 9.4 yards per carry. … Lincoln WR Kolbe Katsis has 825 receiving yards and eight TDs. LB Daymon Levell has 85 tackles, including seven behind the line. DE/OL Cade Bennett has 10 tackles for loss.
Noteworthy: Brett Bogert, son of former coach Andy Bogert, is in his sixth year at the Chargers’ helm, 78-3 with four gold balls. … Jerry Ricke, 28-9 in three seasons as LSC’s head coach, arrived as an assistant coach in 2002, the same year the program began. Ricke said it's possible that he is the only person who has seen every LCS game.
No. 3 Plainview vs. No. 5 Verdigris
When: 7 p.m. Friday
Where: Noble Stadium, Noble High School
Records: Plainview (10-1), Verdigris (10-2)
Playoff history: Verdigris, which has never won more than 10 game in a season, will be making its first semifinal appearance. Plainview lost to Lincoln Christian in last year’s quarterfinals, was runner-up to Jones for the 3A state title in 2016 and is in the semifinals for the fourth time. Plainview and Verdigris have never met.
The matchup: Both are physical teams who like to run the ball and mix in the play-action pass. Offensive linemen Eli Russ of Plainview, an OSU commit, and Austin Woods, an Arkansas State commit, are among the state’s top seniors. Plainview’s Blake Nowell, a TCU commit, has 1,023 receiving yards and 11 TDs. Verdigris’ Toby Willis has 1,400 receiving yards and 21 TDs. … Verdigris is second in 3A scoring offense (45.7 points per game) and Plainview is third (44.7). Plainview is fifth in 3A scoring defense (16.5) and Verdigris is ninth (19.3).
Other key players: Plainview QB Brock Parham has 23 TD passes and only five interceptions. RBs Tyson Al Jbour and Jaxon Clemons have combined for 25 rushing TDs. … Verdigris QB Dylan White threw four TD passes in the quarterfinal win over Perkins and has 16 in his last seven games. … Sloan Roller leads the Cards’ defense with 114 tackles, including 22 for loss. Alek Hess has 10 sacks. … Caden Parnell has 11 rushing TDs.
Noteworthy: Joe Price is 50-12 in his fifth year at the Plainview helm. … Travis East is 21-22 in his fourth year as Verdigris' coach.