By BEN JOHNSON
(All games on Friday night are at 7:30, unless noted otherwise.)
Fort Gibson at Tahlequah
Where: Doc Wadley Stadium at Northeastern State University.
Radio: Game will air live on KEOK, FM-102.1.
Nicknames: Tahlequah Tigers; Fort Gibson Tigers.
Coaches: Tahlequah - Brad Gilbert (second season, 1-9); Fort Gibson - James Singleton (third season, 15-8).
Records: Season opener for both teams.
Rankings: Tahlequah is not ranked in the Associated Press’ prep poll; Fort Gibson is No. 6 in Class 4A.
Series record: Tahlequah leads 4-2.
Last meeting: Last season, Fort Gibson scored 20 seconds into the contest and rolled past Tahlequah, 40-20. Fort Gibson finished with 414 yards of total offense.
News to know: Tonight’s game will be the first of six homes games for Tahlequah in 2013. ... Tahlequah’s Mason McMillan ran for 194 yards against Fort Gibson last season. McMillan is now playing at Northeastern State. ... Tahlequah turned the ball over five times against Fort Gibson last season. Four of those turnovers were interceptions thrown by Tahlequah quarterback David Dick. ... Fort Gibson was a quarterfinalist in the Class 4A playoffs in 2012.
Looking ahead: Tahlequah is at home again on Sept. 13 when it hosts Rogers (Ark.). Fort Gibson will host rival Hilldale on the same night.
Okemah at Sequoyah
Where: Thompson Field.
Radio: Game will air live on KTLQ, AM-1350.
Nicknames: Sequoyah Indians; Okemah Panthers.
Coaches: Sequoyah - (Shane Richardson, first season); Okemah - (Joe Turner).
Rankings: Sequoyah is ranked 18th in 3A; Okemah is 11th in 2A.
Series record: Sequoyah leads 3-2.
Last meeting: In 2012, Sequoyah beat Okemah 40-20, thanks to Kyle Helsley’s 136 yards rushing. However, the Indians had to vacate the victory later in the season, resulting in a win for Okemah.
News to know: Sequoyah lost 15 starters from last year’s team. ... Taking over at quarterback for Sequoyah will be Zach Parish and Derrick Bruner. ... Okemah made the second round of the Class 2A playoffs last season before being eliminated by Adair, 36-35.
Looking ahead: Sequoyah continues at home against Beggs on Sept. 13. Okemah will take on Prague.
Claremore-Sequoyah at Keys
Where: Cougar Stadium.
Time: 7 p.m.
Radio: Game will be tape-delayed on KEOK, FM-102.1.
Nicknames: Keys Cougars; Claremore-Sequoyah Eagles.
Coaches: Keys - (Gary Willis, 12th season, 76-47); Claremore-Sequoyah - Jody Iams (15th season, 106-59).
Rankings: Keys is not ranked in Class 3A; Claremore-Sequoyah is 18th in the AP poll.
Series record: Claremore-Sequoyah leads 1-0.
Last meeting: Claremore-Sequoyah beat Keys 31-10 in 2012.
News to know: Both teams made the Class 3A playoffs last season. Keys was eliminated by Metro Christian in the second round, while Claremore-Sequoyah made it to the quarterfinals before being ousted by Jones. ... Keys scored first in last year’s meeting, and Claremore-Sequoyah responded with 31 unanswered points.
Players to watch
- Keys: Dakota Matlock (RB).
-- Matlock, a 5-foot-9, 165-pound sophomore tailback, has a tall order ahead of him — filling the void left by Cody Cole. However, based on comments from the Keys coaching staff, Matlock could be workhorse for the Cougars over the next three season.
- Claremore Sequoyah: Benny Sandecki (QB).
-- Sandecki, a junior, will fill in at the quarterback spot with Daniel Moniz sitting out with an injured knee. Moniz rushed for 1,571 yards and 19 touchdowns while also passing for 1,488 yards in 2012. He also hauled in three interceptions on defense, including one he took back 42 yards for a touchdown against Keys last season.
Looking ahead: Keys will play at home again, hosting Checotah on Sept. 13. Claremore-Sequoyah will be at home hosting Sallisaw the same night.
Hulbert at Yale
Where: Yale High School.
Nicknames: Hulbert Riders; Yale Bulldogs.
Coaches: Hulbert - Gary Riley (first season); Yale - Craig Ellis (fifth season, 13-29).
Rankings: Hulbert is not ranked in Class 2A; Yale is not ranked in Class A.
Series record: Tied 1-1.
Last meeting: In 2012, Hulbert beat Yale 29-6. Hulbert quarterback Chris Vance rushed for 218 yards and four touchdowns in the win.
News to know: Yale qualified for the Class A playoffs in 2012 but was eliminated in the first round by Warner.