It was a nice gesture, although it was odd to see some schools playing and others with a free pass because their opponent opted out.
So although it’s technically the second round of the playoffs Friday night, it has the real feel of the first legitimate week of postseason action.
Heading into this round, there are three Oklahoma commits still standing.
This is easily one of the most intriguing matchups of the playoff schedule. The Yellowjackets are 7-3 and went 6-1 in district action. That lone loss was a very respectable 24-13 setback to powerhouse Bixby.
Now here come the Panthers. PC North started the season 6-0 and had an impressive 31-6 win against Bartlesville to open up the postseason.
All eyes are going to be on Choctaw safety Jordan Mukes. The OU commit has had some issues off the field, while trying to show continued development on the field.
He has 60 tackles and three interceptions this season, but there’s always this feeling that there’s more he can do. In a game like this, he’s going to need to do just that.
Anchoring things offensively is 2023 quarterback prospect Steele Wasel. The sophomore has accounted for 26 touchdowns (15 passing, 11 rushing) and nearly 2,600 yards of total offense.
A sneaky name to watch is 2022 Choctaw DL DeSean Brown. Still figuring things out back in September, he now has 53 tackles and 10 sacks this season.
A bit of a start-and-stop season for the Eagles. They’ve been dominant at 8-0 and are definitely among the favorites to earn the Class 4A championship.
Leading the charge is OU commit Ethan Downs, who has been every bit as good as advertised during his senior year.
He’s only played seven games, so the numbers don’t pop out at you. If you watch the tape, however, he has certainly stood out.
Downs has accounted for seven touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving, one fumble), but his calling card is obviously defensively.
He has 49 tackles and three sacks this season. The sack number might feel a little low, but he’s been incredibly effective with 10 tackles for loss.
A rematch from earlier this season, when Santa Fe demolished Westmoore at Moore by a 69-14 score on a Saturday afternoon.
That game featured a big-time performance from 2022 OU wide receiver commit Talyn Shettron, who no doubt will be hoping for an encore performance Friday.
Heading into Friday’s game, Shettron had 41 catches for 733 yards and 10 touchdowns. While his number of catches are down compared to last year, his ability to make the big play has increased dramatically, averaging nearly five more yards per catch.
Shettron had two more touchdowns in the win vs. Edmond North last week and has done everything he can to live up to that lofty Rivals 100 ranking for the 2022 class.
Santa Fe has won eight consecutive games.
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