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SBLive Oklahoma final Top 25 football rankings: More dominance from Bixby puts Spartans No. 1

Spartans keep on winning after move up to 6AI; new 6AII champion ends No. 2

By Christian Potts 

Bixby photo by Michael Kinney

Thousands of games are in the books for another high school football season in Oklahoma. 

Memories have been made, and nine programs have walked off the field for the final times, toting a gold ball to add to their school's trophy case as state champions.

Teams throughout the state put up big seasons. Some were expected, while some caught many off guard.

Let's take a look back at many of these teams with this final listing of SBLive Oklahoma's Top 25 for the 2022 season. As with all seasons, these rankings are a bit tricky.

For example, a middle-of-the-pack Class 6AI school might well beat every team from Class 3A, but we tried to put together rankings to take into account the way smaller schools did in comparison to their division.

Here is how the Top 25 winds up.

1. Bixby (13-1, 6AI state champions)

Coach Loren Montgomery's Spartans answered all the questions in their first season in 6AI, dominating nearly all comers and avenging their only defeat - in the season finale to Jenks - by eliminating the Trojans during their playoff run.

The championship game, a 69-6 triumph against Owasso, was as dominant as any performance they put up all year as Bixby claimed a gold ball for the fifth consecutive season.

2. Stillwater (14-0, 6AII state champions)

The Pioneers wound up as one of only four undefeated teams in the state, doing so in Oklahoma's second largest classification and answering who would become the new 6AII champion after Bixby's move up to 6AI.

The combination of quarterback Gage Gundy and running back Noah Roberts, performing behind one of the state's best offensive lines, helped the Pioneers pile up big performances all season.

3. Washington (15-0, 2A state champions)

While the Warriors have made many deep runs in postseason during a remarkable stretch the last four decades, 2022 marked just their second state championship, taking the crown in a hard-fought, 17-14 victory against Oklahoma City Millwood.

Head coach Brad Beller adds a title as a coach to the one he captured in 1996 as the Warriors' starting quarterback.

4. Midwest City Carl Albert (12-2, 5A state champions)

By season's end, nobody was playing any better than the Titans, who rolled past McAlester, 49-7, in the 5A championship contest.

Carl Albert had playmakers all over the field, none bigger than junior running back Xavier Robinson, who torched opposing defenses for nearly 2,600 rushing yards.

5. OKC Heritage Hall (13-1, 3A state champions)

Led by the play of two-way star River Faulkner, Heritage Hall found its way back to the top of the mountain again in Class 3A for the school's eighth state title.

They continue to be one of the dominant mid-size programs in Oklahoma over the last couple of decades, and returning quarterback Andy Bass hopes to lead the squad to the same heights in 2023.

6. Tulsa Union (11-1, 6AI semifinalist)

The Redhawks raced to an undefeated district championship and likely had their eyes on a showdown game with eventual state champion Bixby.

But Owasso had other plans, taking down Union in a wild, historic, six-overtime 50-47 game in the semifinals that brought the Redhawks' campaign to a shocking end.

7. Wagoner (11-3, 4A state champions)

A remarkable, 24-21, come-from-behind victory in the 4A championship game against Cushing punctuated the Bulldogs' season.

After a 1-2 start and a 42-point loss later to Cushing, the turnaround put together by coach Dale Condict and his squad was one for the record books for this storied program.

8. Cushing (13-1, 4A state runner-up)

The Tigers had one of the best seasons in school history, but saw it come to a shocking end with Wagoner's last-second field goal in the title game.

They had a large senior class that included an outstanding two-way star in Camden Crooks, who recently signed with Tulsa, and quarterback Blaze Berlowitz, who already has signed with New Mexico State.

9. Fairview (15-0, Class A state champions)

The Yellowjackets capped off their perfect run through Class A by toppling a fellow unbeaten in Gore, 32-28, in the championship game.

This marks the third state championship for the Yellowjackets, who have made a rapid turnaround from going 2-8 and 3-8 as recently as just 2019 and 2020.

10. Choctaw (11-2, 6AII runner-up)

Choctaw saw multiple seniors sign with college programs last month following its run to the 6AII championship game.

While the season came up a game short in a 26-21 defeat to Stillwater, the Yellowjackets have established themselves as a year-in, year-out challenger in Oklahoma's second largest division.

11. Tipton (14-0, Class C state champion)

Tipton has been a longtime powerhouse in southwest Oklahoma, but few if any seasons have surpassed what the program did in 2022.

The Tigers capped a perfect run through Class C by taking down unbeaten Waynoka, 62-36, behind a dominant rushing attack in the championship game.

12. OKC Millwood (13-2, 2A state runner-up)

The Falcons got to the brink of a state championship, falling just short against Washington in the Class 2A title game.

Rickey Hunt Jr. was a star at running back for Millwood and leaves big shoes to fill, but this is a program that competes year after year in the division and ought to again in 2023.

13. Jenks (11-2, 6AI semifinalist)

The Trojans bounced back from a slow, injury-riddled start to their season by finishing up strong, knocking off Bixby in the season finale to secure a co-district championship.

The Spartans avenged that loss in the 6AI semifinals, but Jenks returns a solid cast to chase another gold ball in 2023.

14. Coweta (11-1, 5A quarterfinalist)

The Tigers raced to an undefeated regular season and looked like a big challenger in 5A before falling to Bishop McGuinness in the quarterfinal round.

Mason Ford was a star in all phases of the game for Coweta, but he's one of a strong senior group that the Tigers have to replace to make a similar run in 2023.

15. Tulsa Metro Christian (13-1, 3A state runner-up)

Few teams in the state were more exciting offensively than the Patriots, who ran all the way to the 3A title game and then had a historic game in a losing effort, with quarterback Kirk Francis throwing for 626 yards in a 72-56 loss to Heritage Hall.

16. McAlester (10-4, 5A state runner-up)

The Buffaloes had a somewhat improbable run to the 5A finals after losing their best player, Erik McCarty, during a second-round victory against Piedmont.

But coach Forrest Mazey pushed his team forward and has things in line for another similar run in 2023, despite the loss of McCarty and a strong senior group.

17. Laverne (13-1, Class B state champions)

The Tigers repeated as champions in Class B, scoring a 36-28 victory against Seiling in the title game.

Few schools have been as consistent in the 8-man game over the previous couple of decades as Laverne, which claimed the fifth state championship in school history.

18. Gore (14-1, Class A state runner-up)

The Pirates had a historic season come up one game short in a 32-28 defeat to Fairview in the Class A championship game.

Still, coach Brandon Tyler and his squad had this community all-in on its unbeaten regular season and playoff run, averaging 55.7 points per game on the year and setting a state scoring record.

19. OKC Bishop McGuinness (11-2, 5A semifinalist)

The Irish made waves all season in Class 5A, with their only defeats coming at the hands of the two 5A state finalists - Carl Albert during the regular season and McAlester in the semifinal round.

They will return the likes of starting quarterback River Warren, among others, in trying to make another big run in 2023.

20. Owasso (9-5, 6AI state runner-up)

Bill Blankenship has coached many a great squad, including multiple state champions. But bringing the Rams back from a 1-4 start with eight straight wins and an appearance in the 6AI state title game marks one of the veteran leader's best efforts of his career.

Quite a few pieces return for the Rams in 2023 as well.

21. Grove (12-1, 5A semifinalist)

The Ridgerunners were among the surprises to many during the 2022 season.

After moving up from Class 4A to 5A, Grove went on an undefeated run through the regular season and the first two rounds of the playoffs before bowing out to eventual state champion Carl Albert.

22. Muskogee (10-2, 6AII semifinalist)

With a young nucleus led by sophomore quarterback Jamarian Ficklin, the Roughers have the look of a team that will be a major player in Class 6AII for the next couple of years at least.

After a 9-1 regular season, they bowed out to eventual state finalist Choctaw in the 6AII semifinal round.

23. Tulsa Lincoln Christian (11-2, 3A semifinalist)

The Bulldogs looked the part of a favorite in Class 3A most of the season before running into the explosive Metro Christian offense, leading to a wild 49-35 semifinal defeat.

Lincoln has big numbers in its program and figures to reload for another big run in 2023.

24. Hominy (13-1, Class A semifinalist)

Jaxon Woods was one of the state's top small-school performers from the quarterback position for the Bucks.

But this was much more than a one-man team, rolling to 13 straight victories with strong play on both sides of the ball before falling to eventual state runner-up Gore in the semifinals.

25. Waynoka (13-1, Class C state runner-up)

The Railroaders swept through all comers in northwest Oklahoma in a perfect first 13 weeks of the 8-man season.

Only Tipton, which took down Waynoka, 62-36, in the Class C championship game, managed to foil an otherwise dream season.