PRYOR, OK —
Game of the Week: No. 7 Adair (3-1, 1-0) at No. 9 Nowata (4-0, 1-0), Friday, 7:30 p.m.
The winner of this game should, by any standards, be the last man standing at the end of the District 2A-7 schedule with the top seed and a pair of home playoff games.
The 2012 game between these two schools went down as an instant classic. Adair was down 21-14 in the final minutes of regulation before Brady Bradbury scored on a four-yard run to tie the game. Bradbury then connected with Hunter Rosebrough to give Adair a 28-21 lead in overtime before Nowata fumbled the ball away to end the game.
Don't think either side has forgotten how that one ended.
The matchup this year is a mirror image of last season's: A 3-1 team hits the road for a huge early-district contest against the 4-0 league favorite to jockey for playoff position. Adair head coach Mark Lippe pegged Nowata as the favorite to win the district before the season started, and the Ironmen have not disappointed.
These ain't the Nowata Possums.
Adair's potent air attack has hiccuped a bit in the last couple weeks, with an anomalous output against Millwood and a less-than-stellar second quarter for BJ Bradbury and his receivers against Caney Valley last week. If the Warriors can put the kibosh on bad throws and dropped passes and neutralize the pressure from Nowata's 6-foot-2, 260-pound nose guard and Player of the Year candidate Skyler Wood, they will have a chance to upset the Ironmen.
Bold Prediction: Nowata 23, Adair 17
Pryor (2-2, 1-0) vs. Tulsa Central (1-3, 0-1), Friday, 7 p.m.
District 5A-4 will be a tough button to button this year. All eight schools have gone through the meat grinder in their first four games, and only Claremore (3-1) has come through with a record above .500. The Tigers will be fighting for the right to be 2-0 in district play — and two wins from a playoff spot. The Braves are one loss from falling into an 0-2 district hole. Give the edge to Pryor, which will be defending its turf on homecoming night. The Tigers play four of their last six at Tiger Stadium.
Bold Prediction: Pryor 27, Central 16