The Pryor Times

September 26, 2013

Football previews: Week 4

Chuck Porter
Sports Editor

PRYOR, OK — Game of the Week: Locust Grove (3-0) at Tahlequah Sequoyah (1-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

In Week 4, a Mayes County team lacks a true signature game for the first time this season. The Game of the Week instead focuses on a reversal of fortune and a chance at redemption for an up-and-coming Locust Grove team.

The Pirates started out last season  3-0, too, but that 3-0 had a different feel than 2013's 3-0. Two wins by narrow margins in 2012 set Locust up for a 58-13 beatdown at the hands of Tahlequah Sequoyah. LG went on to lose five of its last six and miss the playoffs.

Sequoyah lost its two stars from 2012: head coach Brent Scott and his son, current Memphis quarterback Brayden Scott. Brayden was one of 12 Indians implicated in a summer camp payment investigation that ultimately led to Brent's dismissal and the team's almost instant collapse. Sequoyah was 9-1 and a favorite to take home a gold ball in 2012 before the OSSAA forced the Indians to forfeit their playoff berth and all of their wins, including their dismantling of the Pirates. While that meant LG technically finished with a .500 record, the lopsided result on the field is still lucid — and it's one the current Pirates want to rectify.

In 2013, these two teams are headed in opposite directions.

Sequoyah, now led by head coach Shane Richardson, began its 2013 campaign with a win over Okemah but surrendered 47 and 62 points in consecutive weeks in losing efforts. The Pirates, meanwhile, boast one of the best young quarterbacks in the state in sophomore Mason Fine and a wealth of talent surrounding him. Locust has the fourth-best scoring defense in Class 3A as is winning games by an average of 30 points. LG will find out Friday night just how far the program has come in just two short years under head coach Matt Hennesy.

Bold Prediction: Locust Grove 40, Sequoyah 17

Pryor (1-2) at Coweta (1-2), Friday, 7 p.m.

Coweta's 1-2 record is a bit misleading, as those Tigers faced a veritable murderer's row in their non-district schedule. Coweta mustered just nine total points in losses to 4A No. 2 Wagoner and 5A No. 2 Carl Albert before stealing a 48-42 win at 5A No. 7 Bishop Kelley in Week 3. Pryor is still licking its wounds after a tough loss at Miami last week. However, only one Tiger squad will be able to get a crucial district win Friday at Coweta.

Bold Prediction: Coweta 35, Pryor 28

Salina (2-1) vs. Ketchum (2-1), Friday, 7 p.m.

The Wildcats are on a roll after a season-opening loss in the Battle of 82. Senior quarterback Cale Backward is commanding his role as distributor, and his supporting cast of running backs, led by Bret Fite, Jon Parsons and Damon Gourd, have torched opposing defenses for two straight weeks. Don't expect the Warriors to give Salina much trouble on homecoming night. When the dust settles, the 'Cats should be sitting pretty with a 1-0 district record.

Bold Prediction: Salina 30, Ketchum 14

Adair (2-1) vs. Caney Valley (0-3), Friday, 7 p.m.

Adair lost a regular season game for the first time since 2010 last week against Millwood. The Warriors will also be celebrating homecoming. In short, the Trojans are in for a rough night. There will be plenty of fireworks on offense, but pay close attention to the defensive front six for Adair, especially linemen Austin Bourke, Michal Boriack and Dalton Franklin. That crew is doing some very underrated work in the early part of the season.

Bold Prediction: Adair 59, Caney Valley 0

Chouteau (2-1) at Chelsea (1-2), Friday, 7:30 p.m.

Chouteau will be gunning for its first district win in six seasons Friday, and Chelsea is not a good football team. The Dragons snared a 36-18 win at Class A Foyil in Week 2, but in a pair of home games (Inola and Salina) Chelsea has scored a grand total of one touchdown. Chouteau has proven it has a defense that can put up a fight, shutting out Porter in the second half last week. The Wildcats will take care of business and have a new goal next week: win a home district game.

Bold Prediction: Chouteau 26, Chelsea 8

Chuck's Week 3 Picks: 4-1

Overall: 12-2