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Oklahoma high school football playoffs: Classes 4A-3A-2A-A-B-C overview

Last season's state champions are in position to repeat in 2023
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Excitement looms as the Oklahoma prep football playoffs begin with first-round games scheduled for Friday. 

The potential for last year’s champions to repeat is there and so are the possibilities of rematches in the state championship games in Classes 4A and 2A, while the best chance of that happening in 3A would be in the state semifinals, which will be played on Nov. 24-25.

Oklahoma high school football playoff brackets released for all classes 

All state championship games are once again slated to be played at the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, marking the fifth consecutive year to be held there.

The Class 4A final is scheduled to be played at 7 p.m. on Nov. 30. The 3A final will be two nights later at the same time on Dec. 2.

The Class A final is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Dec. 9, with 2A to follow at 7 p.m. that evening.

Oklahoma high school football playoffs: Class 6A-5A overview 

Class 4A

Wagoner stunned Cushing, 24-21, on a last-second field goal in last year’s 4A final. The Bulldogs (10-0, District 4A-3 champion), unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in many state 4A polls, have been on a roll since, although they escaped the Tigers, 15-14, in a rematch on Oct. 6 at home.

They are loaded with experience from that team with guys like quarterback/linebacker Kale Charboneau, along with receiver Witt Edwards and tight end Alex Shieldnight.

Cushing (8-2, second in District 4A-3) has shown to reload with John Hillingoss having replaced the graduated Blaze Berlowitz. It is hoping for a rematch with the Bulldogs in the 2023 title game.

How Cushing QB John Hilligoss is determined to help Tigers write different ending in '23 

But both teams will face challenges on the road to get there.

Wagoner hosts Broken Bow (3-6) in the first round. Assuming it does not fall upset victim, the Bulldogs will host the winner of the Tuttle-Weatherford matchup in the second round.

Tuttle (8-2) would be the likely favorite and is the District 4A-2 runner-up. It has a longstanding tradition on the gridiron and is the breeding ground for former OU standout and 2003 Heisman Trophy winner Jason White.

Teams Wagoner could face in the semifinals are Ada (9-1, District 4A-4 runner-up) and Clinton (6-3, District 4A-2 champion), who are traditional football powerhouses.

And as much as Cushing hopes to be there, there is unbeaten Poteau (10-0, District 4A-4), who has Tulsa commit Dax Collins and has won its sixth straight district championship, and Blanchard (9-1, District 4A-2 champion) who look, at least on paper, to stand in the way. Those teams will be a challenge for Wagoner as well.

Other games in the first round on Friday night are Oologah at Ada, Bethany at Clinton, Cache at Blanchard, Sallisaw at Cushing, Miami at Poteau, and Newcastle at Elk City.

Class 3A

Oklahoma City Heritage Hall defeated Tulsa Metro Christian, 72-56, in the 2022 Class 3A final. Both teams combined for 128 points, setting a state record for the most points scored in a state championship.

Both participants are in the playoffs but can not meet in the final because of how the bracket has been set. The best chance of seeing the Chargers and the Patriots in a rematch will be in the semifinals.

Heritage Hall (10-0, District 3A-2 champion) has gone through its season unscathed while dominating most of its games, but got a challenge last week from Marlow in its regular-season finale. The Chargers ended up coming out on top, 35-28.

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Heritage Hall will host North Rock Creek in the first round on Friday. The winner meets the winner of the Verdigris-Berryhill game, which is also Friday, in the second round.

Other first-round games are Stigler at Tulsa Cascia Hall, Marlow at Metro Christian, Lone Grove at Perkins-Tryon, Checotah at Tulsa Holland Hall, Bristow at Tulsa Lincoln Christian, and Kingfisher at Sulphur.

The Patriots (8-2) finished as runners-up in District 3A-2 to Perkins-Tryon, who is on the other side of the brackets. The Demons (9-1) are a potential opponent for Heritage Hall if the Chargers, led by OU preferred walk-on commit Andy Bass, make it to the final.

Another is Lincoln Christian (10-0), the only other unbeaten squad in 3A. The Bulldogs are also loaded with weapons and have been battle-tested this season.

Lincoln Christian uses defense, especially brother act, to fend off Arkansas power Shiloh Christian 

Class 2A

With defending state champion Washington (10-0) and runner-up Oklahoma City Millwood (9-1) having most of its people back, it’s hard not to think of those meeting in the 2A final this year, especially when they have commits bound for Oklahoma, North Texas and Iowa State on their rosters.

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Washington, No. 1 in most 2A polls and the District 2A-3 champion, has dominated its foes all season long and has currently gone six consecutive games of pitching shutouts.

Millwood lost its opener to Heritage Hall, but has won every game since. Three of the Falcons' games were close, including a 22-20 win over Oklahoma Christian School (9-1) in Week 8, which gave the Falcons the District 2A-1 championship.

OCS will be a contender in the field, and the Saints are paired up with Meeker (6-4) and will host the Bulldogs on Friday. A win by the Saints and they likely travel in the second round to meet Washington, who plays at home against Lexington (5-5) in the first round.

Millwood will meet Crossings Christian (7-3) in its first-round game.

Other top contenders in the Class 2A field are unbeatens Prague (10-0), Idabel (9-0), Kiefer (10-0), and once-beaten Kingston (9-1), all winners of its respective districts.

Millwood could potentially see Idabel in the second round, and Kingston or Kiefer in the semifinals. Washington could meet Prague in the semifinals.

The other first-round games have Henryetta playing at Idabel, Kansas at Pawhuska, Frederick at Kingston, Alva at Chandler, Vinita at Kiefer, Heavener at Sequoyah-Tahlequah, Spiro at Prague, Rejoice Christian at Victory Christian, Chisholm at Jones, Lindsay at Davis, Sperry at Adair and Vian at Eufaula.

Class A

Fairview won the Class A championship and the way it has been rolling through the season, it appears it could repeat. But the Yellowjackets will face challenges from other teams who would like to have that gold ball, too.

The Yellowjackets (10-0) have won all of their games by blowouts en route to the A-1 district championship. Their smallest margin of victory was by 20 points, a 41-21 win over Alva on Sept. 8. Their last close win was 32-28 over Gore in last year’s state final.

Gore (8-2) was on an unbeaten run until losing to eventual District A-8 champion Central Sallisaw in Week 7, followed by a loss to Panama the next week. The Pirates finished in a three-way tie for second place with the Razorbacks and Pocola, but edged them out for the No. 2 seed.

Gore has also had to undergo a coaching change after Brandon Tyler, last year’s coach, left for Sallisaw. It may not be unbeaten as it was at this time a year ago, but it has adjusted well under Brandon Ellis, in his second go-round at Gore after previously having coached at Muldrow, and is still a contender for the Class A title.

A rematch of the 2022 Class A title game between Fairview and Gore could be in the quarterfinals.

There is also Hominy (10-0, A-5 Champion), a 2022 state semifinalist. The Bucks, along with the Yellowjackets, are now in the SBLive Oklahoma Top 15, and they could be the team ending up in the final challenging the defending state champ.

Unlike Fairview, Hominy has been in some close battles down the stretch, including a 23-20 win over Woodland in Week 9 for the district title, having shown resiliency in each.

Of course, there are unbeatens Central Sallisaw (10-0) and Minco (10-0, District A-3 champion), along with Apache (8-1, District A-2 champion) and Colcord (9-1, District A-7 champion).

Games slated for the Class A bracket on Friday are Hobart at Fairview, Crescent at Ringling, Morrison at Stroud, Fairland at Gore, Cashion at Dibble, Mooreland at Walters, Pocola at Colcord, Liberty at Woodland, Allen at Hominy, Panama at Wyandotte, Thomas at Apache, Hinton at Stratford, Quapaw at Central Sallisaw, Pawnee at Hartshorne, Elmore City-Pernell at Minco, and Mangum at Hooker.

Class B

Laverne (9-1, District B-1 Champion) is the reigning two-time champion and would like to make it three straight.

The Tigers' only loss this season is to Seiling (10-0, District B-3 champion), whom Laverne beat in the title game last year. The runner-up from ‘22, who is unbeaten, will also be aiming for the gold ball.

Other viable candidates for the title in Class B are unbeatens Dewar (10-0, B-5 champion) and Drumright (10-0, B-7 champion), along with once-beatens Turpin (8-1, B-1 runner-up), Oklahoma Bible (9-1, B-2 champion), Velma-Alma (9-1, B-4 champion), Tulsa Regent Prep (8-1, B-7 runner-up), and Weleetka (9-1, B-8 champion).

The first-round playoff matchups for Class B are Ringwood at Laverne, Cyril at Okeene, Quinton at Okeene, Wetumka at Yale, Covington-Douglass at Velma-Alma, Shattuck at Garber, Davenport at Drumright, Foyil at Caddo, Cave Springs at Dewar, Depew at Tulsa Regent Prep, Hollis at Oklahoma Bible, Southwest Covenant at Wilson, Barnsdall at Weleetka, Webbers Falls at Welch, Alex at Seiling, and Pond Creek-Hunter at Turpin.

Class C

Tipton is the defending champion in Class C and is on pace with a chance to repeat as it is unbeaten (10-0, C-2 champion). Another team that looks to be a contender is Timberlake (9-1, C-1 champion), who won it in 2021.

Other contenders are shaping up to be Wilson (Henryetta) (9-1, C-3 champion), Thackerville (8-2, C-4 champion), and Ryan (9-1, C-2 runner-up).

The first-round playoff matchups for Class C are Geary at Timberlake, Coyle at Maud, Paoli at Wilson (Henryetta), Tyrone at Ryan, Buffalo at Tipton, Graham-Dustin at Wesleyan Christian, Copan at Thackerville, and Mountain View-Gotebo at Waynoka.

Photo of Wagoner QB Kale Charboneau (with ball) by Michael Kinney

-- Mike Moguin | @SBLiveOK