Teams across the state started district play this week, and several competed in notable rivalries.
Here are some takeaways from Week 4 of the Oklahoma high school football season:
Edmond Memorial secures city championship
Queen’s "We Are The Champions" blared over the loudspeakers as the lights purposely flickered at Bulldog Stadium.
Edmond Memorial coach Logan Thomas gestured his players over to the Edmond Memorial homeside that was deep in celebration.
They were excited and for a good reason.
Edmond Memorial took down Edmond Santa Fe 28-7 at Bulldog Stadium. It was the first time Edmond Memorial (3-1) beat Santa Fe since 2014. And after a win over Edmond North two weeks ago, Edmond Memorial secured the city-crown. Sophomore quarterback David McComb threw for three touchdowns in the win.
“Being from around here,” Edmond Memorial coach Logan Thomas said, “this was something I never got accomplished as a player or as a coach. So, this is my first time to get to do this. I’m fired up for the boys.”
During the game, the Edmond Santa Fe (0-4) student section didn’t want Edmond Memorial to forget. On their sideline they hung a banner that stretched 15 yards, “2023 was in fourth grade last time (you) beat us.”
That streak has now ended.
Tuttle wards off Bethany’s comeback attempt to win district opener
Brady McAdoo’s teammates created all the room he needed on the first play of the opening drive.
Bethany’s outside linebackers couldn’t reach him. McAdoo credited Tuttle running backs Jake Tucker and Holden Conner for fulfilling their blocking assignments, paving the road for him as he ate up yards and zoomed into the end zone.
“All I had to do was make one guy miss,” McAdoo said, “and it was off to the races.”
Although the speedy sophomore gave the Tigers an electric start, they had to hold on through a tight finish. Tuttle walked away with a 40-34 road victory against District 4A-2 opponent Bethany on Friday night, spoiling the Bronchos’ undefeated record.
No. 3 Tuttle led 13-0 at the end of the first quarter, but eighth-ranked Bethany fought back.
With 10:20 left, Bethany senior Jaden Gilliland made it a one-score game with his two-yard rushing touchdown. Then on their final offensive drive, the Bronchos (3-1) reached the red zone. The Tigers (3-1) responded with stout defense, stuffing their rival for a loss of seven yards on third down before forcing a turnover on downs.
“I thought our kids were very resilient,” said Tuttle coach Brad Ballard. “When it got down there close, I thought we had several big stops. We had a couple in the first half, too, but the last one of course to win it and ice it, and then getting the big first down there and being able to sit on the ball and run the clock out was huge.”
Mason Dennis, Tuttle’s senior quarterback, completed 11 of 15 pass attempts for 221 yards and three touchdowns. He also provided two rushing scores.
McAdoo fueled the run game with 129 yards on 15 carries. Along with his 80-yard rushing touchdown to start the game, he hauled a 49-yard reception into the end zone in the second quarter.
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Tristen Russell, Jacobe Johnson shine in Mustang’s rout of Yukon
Yukon tailback Jesse Eakers broke through the middle of Mustang’s defense and had lots of space to work with.
A key play in the opening drive of the Canadian County rivalry game, Eakers hit the open field and likely thought he had a shot at scoring at one point.
But Mustang star and OU commit Jacobe Johnson didn’t let that happen. He chased down Eakers to prevent any further damage but did much more than that. Johnson got a hold of Eakers and popped the ball loose, and after a scramble, Mustang made the recovery.
The play set the tone for the rest of the matchup.
And Mustang went on to roll.
The Class 6A-I fifth-ranked Broncos defeated No. 10 Yukon 52-13 Friday night at Miller Stadium in Yukon.
Mustang quarterback Tristen Russell and Johnson, both seniors, led the way as the Broncos earned their fifth straight victory against their rival.
“It feels good to never lose to Yukon,” Russell said.
Russell was efficient throughout the night, completing 19 of 21 passes for 269 yards and four touchdowns.
Johnson, a wide receiver and defensive back, caught eight passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 42 yards and a score on four carries.
Tailback Jay Bedford and wide receiver Keegan Bass were a pair of other key contributors on offense.
Bedford had 18 carries for 100 yards and a touchdown, and Bass had seven receptions for 91 yards and a score.
The Broncos’ (3-1, 1-0 District 6A-I-2) defense was also impressive.
Yukon (1-3, 0-1) finished with just 259 yards. The Millers mainly relied on their rushing attack and had 49 attempts for 208 yards.
Eakers had 12 carries for 93 yards, while quarterback Logan Troxell went 4-of-9 passing for 48 yards and ran for 70 yards and a score on 18 attempts.
“The main thing with them is just stopping the run,” Johnson said. “We knew they weren’t going to be able to pass on us. We got really good DBs back there, so we knew if we just stopped the run, it’s going to be a rough night for them.”
The rivalry game was a little different this year. Typically played at the beginning of the season, the matchup was moved back now that Mustang and Yukon are in the same district.
But the atmosphere was as good as always. Fans on both sides packed the stands, creating an electric environment.
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Edmond North notches first win of season against Norman
Tanner Roof saw his team’s morale improve on Friday night.
The Edmond North football coach took in the scenery as players joined the student section’s postgame fanfare at Husky Stadium. After opening the season with four straight losses, the Class 6A-I Huskies started district play with a win, defeating Norman 24-17. The Tigers fell to 0-4.
Throughout the week, Roof shared the message of “playing for the guy next to you,” and the Huskies (1-4) embodied that motto. They scored early and controlled possession in the second half, shaving seven and a half minutes off the clock with a late offensive drive to seal the victory, he said.
“I was really proud of the offensive line and how they stepped up and kind of grinded it out to help us get the first win,” Roof said.
With support from the guys in the trenches, senior fullback/receiver Jonathan Sauer scored two touchdowns. Roof also complimented the defense for stopping Norman quarterback Tias McClarty, who ran for more than 100 yards against Stillwater the previous week.
The team psyche remains upbeat as the Huskies prepare to face city rival Edmond Santa Fe (0-4).
“Spirits were high this morning,” Roof said Saturday, “and it definitely boosted the confidence. Just looking forward to building from here.”
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Noble edges Ardmore in high-scoring thriller
Noble has been in lots of high-scoring affairs in recent years. The Bears’ district opener on Friday was no different.
Led by an nine-touchdown performance from senior quarterback Colin Fisher, Class 5A Noble defeated No. 10 Ardmore 60-56 at Noble Stadium.
Fisher, a lefty and Arkansas baseball commit, finished 18-of-28 passing for 354 yards and five touchdowns and ran for 82 yards and four scores on 11 carries.
Noble (3-1, 1-0 District 5A-1) and Ardmore were tied at 21 at halftime and had a thrilling back-and-forth battle after the break.
“It was just one of those games where we’d take the lead, they’d take the lead,” Noble coach Greg George said. “We would score, they would score. The defenses couldn’t get a stop. It went that way the whole second half.”
Ardmore (2-2, 0-1) had the ball last. Star quarterback and Illinois commit Cal Swanson, who is No. 19 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the state’s top recruits in the 2023 class, kept the ball on the final play and was brought down near the pylon.
“We were able to get a stop,” George said. “I guess there was a (holding) penalty on the play, too, so that kind of ended it anyway.”
Swanson had seven touchdowns, five passing and two on the ground.
Senior wide receiver Brandon Harper had another great game for Noble and had touchdown catches of 33 and 76 yards.
—Hallie Hart, James D. Jackson and Nick Sardis, Staff writer
This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma high school football: OKC area Week 4 roundup, OSSAA