Oct. 14—Editor's note: Home teams in ALL CAPS.
Last week's record: 9-1 (90%)
Overall record: 69-7 (90.8%)
Ah yes, it is Fall Break week.
There are usually a few Thursday games sprinkled in throughout the high school football season, but this is the one outlier when nearly every team suits up a day early. This year, all programs in the Progress coverage area play on Thursday.
That's right — Friday night is going to be pretty boring unless you're a fan of softball and/or volleyball.
But without wasting anymore time, let's get into this week's slate of games. We start at Lantow Field, where Claremore hosts Tahlequah for the first time in since 2018.
The Zebras have had some offensive struggles in 2021; that much is clear. However, their defense has proven to be legit.
Last week on the road, Claremore held arguably the best offense in Class 5A to only 206 yards and 27 points, nearly 24 points under their average coming into the game. That is to be commended.
The Zebras' defensive prowess will play a key role again this week, for the Tigers haven't exactly been blowing people away in district play. Not including their 61-6 thumping of Nathan Hale, they are averaging 17.5 points per game in District 5A-4.
Nathan Hale was left out of the calculation because it is one of the worst teams in the state and doesn't provide an accurate measure of how good or bad Tahlequah is.
Claremore is just under that tally at 15.3 points per game in district.
This one certainly has the potential to be close, and the recent series history is indicative of that. Four of the past five meetings have been decided by a total of 24 points (6 ppg).
The Zebras put up a good fight, but Tahlequah ultimately takes advantage of their offensive problems and pulls away late ... Tahlequah 26, CLAREMORE 7
VERDIGRIS 38, Central 20: The Braves are averaging 35.7 points per game, but the Verdigris defense is a dominant bunch eager to atone for the 34 points surrendered to this team last year.
SEQUOYAH 31, Dewey 13: Sequoyah was humbled at the hands of Rejoice Christian last week, but coach Rob Gilbreath will have this group ready to play in its return home. The Eagles bounce back and handle a Dewey team that has very little going for it on either side of the ball.
PRUE 39, Foyil 18: After nearly a month off from Sept. 10 to Oct. 8 because of a pair of forfeits, Prue returned to the field last week and took an 82-32 loss to Drumright.
Although this is a winnable game for Foyil, the Rockets manage to send the Panthers to 0-7 for their second win of the season.
Pawnee 33, CHELSEA 24: Don't be fooled by the Black Bears' 1-4 record. They have played some really good teams, and their one win was against No. 10 Hominy. Chelsea hangs around but can't quite get over the hump in perhaps its last chance to stay alive in the playoff race.
INOLA 28, Mannford 22: After starting 3-0, Inola has fallen on hard times with three-consecutive double-digit losses. However, with this being the most-winnable game remaining on the schedule, first-year coach Tommy Rogers finds a way to guide the Longhorns back to the win column.
Oologah 30, CATOOSA 21: The Indians have a defense capable of leading them to their first win over Oologah since 2018, but the Mustangs have just enough offensive firepower to get past coach Christian Hood's pesky squad.
OWASSO 61, Southmoore 3: Owasso outclasses the SaberCats in every way, scoring early an often in what can't even be considered a fair fight. Southmoore has been shut out three times, scoring only 35 points through six games (5.8 ppg).
REJOICE CHRISTIAN 66, Nowata 12: OSSAArankings.com lists this game as a forfeit win for Rejoice, but I'm going to include it anyway just in case. For the Ironmen's sake, hopefully it won't be played.
Collinsville 40, GLENPOOL 16: The Warriors have been a surprisingly competitive team in District 5A-4, but the Collinsville offense returns to form and scores lots of points while defending the team's No. 1 ranking.
Pryor 44, MEMORIAL 3: Pryor has little trouble dealing with a Chargers team that has been outscored 218-21 through six games.
Lincoln Christian 44, SEMINOLE 20: The Bulldogs face a fellow undefeated team for a second-consecutive week, and this time it is a No. 2 vs. No. 4 matchup. However, the top three teams in Class 3A (Holland Hall, Lincoln Christian and Heritage Hall) have put a significant gap between themselves and the rest of the field. LC proves that with a dominant win over the top non-private team in this week's AP rankings.