STILLWATER (AP) No. 6 Oklahoma State has come a long, long way from its head-scratcher loss to West Virginia. The preseason Big 12 favorites are one win from their second league championship in the last three years. A victory would enable the Cowboys to share the honors with the winner of the game between No. 9 Baylor and No. 23 Texas. Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) would be set for a top BCS game as well. That win, however, will need to come at home Saturday in the annual Bedlam rivalry game against No. 18 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12). "It doesn't get any bigger than this, especially for me being from Oklahoma," said senior defensive tackle Calvin Barnett, preparing for the last home game of his college career. "I grew up in Tulsa watching this game. As a team, we know this means a lot. Every week for us has been a big game, and it's all led up to the biggest game. It feels really good knowing that all the work we've put into it so far is coming out and that the chance is actually here." Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy, whose younger brother Cale has served as Oklahoma's running backs coach since 1999, seems to be downplaying the identity of the opponent while concentrating on properly preparing his players for a talented adversary.
NORMAN (AP) Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said nothing during his weekly press conference on Monday to indicate he wouldn't start Trevor Knight at quarterback Saturday at No. 6 Oklahoma State. Knight played well in relief in a 48-10 win over Iowa State and as the starter in a 41-31 win at Kansas State two weeks ago. Blake Bell, who has started eight games this season for No. 18 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) left the Iowa State game after suffering a concussion and wasn't available against Kansas State. Stoops said he assumed Bell would be cleared for action if needed against Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1). Stoops also said he felt good about how well the Sooners have moved the ball offensively with Knight at quarterback for most of the past two games. Knight entered the Iowa State game in the second quarter and the Sooners closed the game with 45 unanswered points, as he rushed for 123 yards and a touchdown and passed for 61 yards. Against Kansas State, he rushed for 82 yards and a touchdown and completed 14 of 20 passes for a career-high 171 yards and a touchdown. More important, he looked considerably sharper than he had in two uneven performances to open the season in wins over Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia.
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Kevin Durant recorded his first triple-double of the season with 32 points, 10 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Oklahoma City Thunder rallied for yet another fourth-quarter win, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 113-103 on Sunday night. Oklahoma City extended its winning streak to seven games, tops in the Western Conference, and moved to 9-0 on the season at home. It's the franchise's longest home winning streak to open a season since the 2004-05 campaign, when the team played in Seattle. Kevin Martin, in his return to Oklahoma City after joining Minnesota during the offseason, led the Timberwolves with 24 points, while Nikola Pekovic had 22 points and 10 rebounds. The Thunder have beaten Minnesota eight straight times at home, dating to the 2008-09 season, the franchise's first in Oklahoma City. Minnesota led 83-78 entering the fourth quarter but wilted against Oklahoma City's defense, scoring just 20 points. Meanwhile, Durant had two of the Thunder's six 3-pointers in the quarter and finished off his fourth career triple-double. His previous three came last season. Overcoming large deficits has been a Thunder specialty this season. Oklahoma City rallied from double-digit, second-half deficits in wins over Denver and Washington, and trailed by 11 points in the first half against the Timberwolves.
High school football rhetoric in early fall often surrounds the indulging thought of practicing on Thanksgiving, which obviously indicates a team's playoff dreams are still alive and kicking.
Well, Class 4A No. 1 Anadarko, Class A No. 3 Hollis, Apache, and Class C No. 1 Tipton all practiced yesterday. Limiting the discussion to the gridiron, we'll examine why those teams ought to be thankful this time of year, besides still playing football in late November.
Anadarko Anadarko has no shortage of speed, size, and experienced coaching, to go with a rabid fan base and two straight state-championship game appearances.
Need we say that many thanks are in order?
In the last half-decade, the top-ranked Warriors' are a combined 59-5, and a third consecutive trip to the state finals is on the line when Anadarko (12-0) and No. 2 Wagoner meet in Saturday's 1:30 p.m. semifinal at Stillwater High School. It's a rematch of last year's game, which Anadarko won 24-14.
Again squaring off will be two great tailbacks ó 'Darko's R.J. Sink and Wagoner's Lawrence Evitt ó who have combined for more than 4,000 yards this season. Sink enters the game with 2,009 rushing yards and 35 touchdowns, while Evitt boasts 2,469 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Evitt had 143 yards on 32 carries and two touchdowns in last year's meeting. Sink was slightly hobbled but managed 177 yards and two touchdowns.
Evitt is coming off back-to-back 300-yard rushing performances in Wagoner's wins over Ft. Gibson and Woodward.
"He's fast, that's the first thing you notice," Anadarko head coach Kent Jackson said of Evitt. "That's going to be the key of the game, is how he's contained. I think they put a lot of pressure on him to score. A lot of his touchdowns are 60, 70 yards, then they try to play defense to win. I know that sounds pretty simple, but they're going to need him to stay in the game."
Apache quarterback Freeman lives up to promise made on mom's death bed
Like hundreds of high school football players across Oklahoma, Tyler Freeman will sit around the table today devouring turkey, ham, dressing, mashed potatoes the standard fare for Thanksgiving.
And while the table will be full of family members laughing and excitedly talking about Apache's playoff success, there will also be something missing, the smiling face of his mother Shannon.
It was just over seven years ago that the energetic 35-year-old mother said her goodbyes to Tyler and husband Odie at the end of a short battle with cancer.
While 35 is indeed a short life in this day of modern medicine and longer life expectancies, Shannon made the most of her time on earth, touching countless lives. During her prime she was what I would call a piece of work, ornery and always talking about something.
Yes, the "Apache Flash" as my wife Brigitte so lovingly tagged her dear friend during their years making the rounds at AMBUCS regional and national conventions, was as full of energy as anyone I ever met.
At the time she was running the local March of Dimes office and one of that group's top fund-raisers was the Bud Mud Volleyball Tournament. The "Flash" knew all about my life-long battle with polio because her mother Dee Ann (Chesney) Whitehead was a fellow 1969 graduate of Apache High School and we'd been friends for years.
Since the March of Dimes got its start as a way to fund polio research and treatment, it only made sense that we would be drawn together to work on the project. For my part I recruited a team of media and sports celebrities to compete in the event and thanks to great teamwork from many of my friends and Shannon's, we raised more money than any previous year.
Shannon also served as President of the Mountain Metro AMBUCS of Lawton.
As you see, there was a pattern forming, yes leadership was something that just came natural to the "Flash" and now it's obvious her son has developed strong leadership skills of his own.
NORMAN (AP) No. 20 Oklahoma didn't necessarily need additional motivation heading into its annual Bedlam showdown with No. 7 Oklahoma State. But the Cowboys' big win over Baylor has set up an intriguing scenario for the Sooners. Should Texas Tech win at Texas on Thanksgiving and Texas beat Baylor on Dec. 7, those results, combined with an Oklahoma win over the Cowboys on Dec. 7, would forge a four-way tie between Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Baylor for the Big 12 Conference title. The same could happen if Texas beats Texas Tech, then loses to Baylor, provided Baylor loses at TCU this Saturday and the Sooners beat Oklahoma State. So despite lopsided losses to Texas and Baylor earlier this season, the Sooners' hopes of at least a share of what would be a ninth Big 12 title aren't dead yet - something that surprised offensive tackle Daryl Williams when he learned about the possibility Monday.
STILLWATER (AP) Mike Gundy doesn't remember his exact thoughts on the trip home from a shocking loss at West Virginia. The Oklahoma State coach does, however, remembers his feelings about the flight itself after the 30-21 loss in the team's Big 12 Conference opener. "When I was on that bus to get to the airplane, and then on that plane coming back from Morgantown, I felt like it was a 12-hour flight," Gundy said. Despite the early disappointment, the No. 7 Cowboys (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) have rallied since the loss the Mountaineers winning their seventh straight game after Saturday night's 49-17 throttling of previously undefeated Baylor. The streak hasn't been enough to put Oklahoma State back in the national-championship discussion, but Saturday night's win did end any such chances for the No. 9 Bears (9-1, 6-1). It also put the Cowboys in complete control of their Big 12 championship hopes, needing only a win over rival Oklahoma in two weeks to secure their second conference championship in three seasons. "Things happen for a reason, (the West Virginia loss) happened for a reason," Oklahoma State wide receiver Josh Stewart said. "We obviously moved on and just beat one of the best teams in the country, and now people are realizing that we're one of the best teams in the country." The Cowboys were picked to win the Big 12 during the preseason, but they struggled early with inconsistent quarterback play with Clint Chelf giving way to sophomore J.W. Walsh for several games.
MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) You could almost hear Bob Stoops shrug his shoulders in the frigid shed just up the ramp from the playing field, where his No. 22 Sooners had just squeaked out a win over Kansas State. At a school where Bennie Owen, Bud Wilkinson and Barry Switzer once plied their trade, Stoops had just trumped them all. He won his 158th game at Oklahoma on Saturday, breaking a tie with Switzer for the most wins in school history, and he didn't seem to care a lick. "I do not look at anything individually," he said. "I'm supported by a great administration that has been here for all 15 years. I've had great assistant coaches who've had a hand in it. They are great to work with every day. We've had a good group here for a period of time, but I do not have time to look at it, to be honest. It's something I will reflect back on down the road." Leave it to those around Stoops to reflect on it for him. His younger brother, Mike Stoops, now his defensive coordinator, said that the entire team took pride in the record. It was built on the backs of guys such as Josh Heupel, who led the Sooners to the 2000 national title and now serves as Stoops' co-offensive coordinator, and Adrian Peterson, the Heisman Trophy runner-up and now a five-time All-Pro with the Minnesota Vikings.
TIPTON Everyone knows about the explosive offensive players that Tipton has on its roster but last night the Tigers' defense was just as explosive, limiting Bluejacket to just 55 yards rushing and forcing three turnovers, one of those an 18-yard interception return by Terrance Rushing that put the seal on a 48-0 Class C playoff victory Friday night.
With the field blanketed in ice-covered blades of grass that were kicked up on every play, both teams struggled in the early going and it was actually Bluejacket that got the first big penetration, moving to the Tipton 22.
But that tough Tiger defense rose up and when a big hit forced the ball out of the grasp of a Bluejacket runner, Tipton's Tyler Vossen grabed it in his hands back at the 38.
Once again, though, Bluejacket's defense did a good job, forcing a Tipton punt but the Tigers got a big break when Gerald White's 54-yard boot rolled all the way to the 7-yard-line.
Just a couple plays later, a bad snap sailed over the head of Bluejacket quarterback Austin Stoner and the Tigers chased him down and smothered him for a safety and the game's first points with 3:48 remaining in the first quarter.
After the ensuing kickoff, Tipton started to show its offensive might, using seven plays to cruise 66 yards to paydirt, the payoff a Bryant Flores run over the left side of the line. Remarkably, the Tigers overcame several penalties on that drive to arrange the 10-0 lead.
Bluejacket's next drive also produced a lone first down, but once again a hard hit forced a fumble and this time the Tigers were right there to gather in the ball. Flores made that turnover pay off on an 11-yard touchdown run as the score jumped to 18-0.
One of the wildest plays of the first half came when the power back in the lineup, Rushing, broke over left guard, stumbled slightly, but somehow regained his balance and started toward the goal 78 yards away. A Bluejacket defender had a bead on Rushing and was quickly gaining ground, but so was Tipton speedster Josh Danna, who scampered past the defender, then just slowed down to throw him off pace with a nice shield block.
That is to say, will gridirons in southwest to central Oklahoma the regions where the five area schools are playing their second-round games get pummeled with a mixture of sleet and ice tonight, as some weather people are predicting?
Couldn't say. Best leave predicting all things atmospheric up to meteorologists, not sports writers.
However, there is some question as to whether these games will all be played on their scheduled days or times. Some schools could opt to re-schedule based on travel risks.
Consider the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association is unlikely to force any school to make a trip for a playoff game with dangerous road conditions due to liability issues. And the average drive for Lawton-area schools and teams visiting is 161 miles, or about two-and-a-half hours. Bluejacket's trip to Tipton wrecks the curve at 318 miles (nearly five hours) one way from its home in the Northeast.
So these school's games Anadarko, Hobart, Hollis, Empire, Apache and Temple are subject to change. Hobart was the first to move the starting time up, to 6 p.m. tonight, and others may follow, so be sure and check before you head to your favorite stadium.
But ice and sleet won't keep us from previewing them.
We'll go in order starting with top seeds rather than classification, since 2- through 4-seeds received top pecking last week.
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Officials say area residents should prepare for a severe winter storm that could bring extremely cold temperatures along with rain, sleet and even snow.Jacob Russell, Comanche County public information officer, said the county's c...
Erratic driver forced vehicles off U.S. 62 before impact with truckA Frederick woman and a Comanche County employee were injured Wednesday morning following what police say was a "vicious impact" on U.S. 62 east of Cache.The 63-ye...
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A family is receiving Red Cross assistance after a southwest Lawton home went up in flames and smoke Wednesday afternoon. Investigators are looking into the possibility it was intentionally set.The fire caused calamity for first r...