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Jays, Cardinals play for state semifinal berth

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According to the preseason football polls it was supposed to be Guthrie and Tulsa East Central playing for the state championship. Instead, they will be playing in the second round of the 5A playoffs.

The last meeting between these two schools was in 2009 when the Jays brought back home a 25-24 win.

Guthrie will host Tulsa East Central for the first time in the Rafe Watkins era as the BlueJays and Cardinals play for the right to play in next weeks state semi-final game.

It will be the fourth meeting between the schools in the last 10 years with Guthrie winning two games in Tulsa (2002 and 2009) and one on a neutral field (2007).

Guthrie enters with a perfect 11-0 record while East Central comes in at 10-1 with the one hiccup coming back in week seven against Pryor (14-6).

East Central entered the season ranked No. 1 and Guthrie ranked No. 2.

Guthrie will play their final home game of the season regardless of the outcome. A place that the Jays have taken advantage of over the last several years. Especially in the playoffs.

The BlueJays are 9-1 in home playoff games since 2001 with the lone loss coming to Altus (21-0) in 2001, and are 5-2 in second round games, including 2-0 at home. Overall, Guthrie will enter Jelsma Stadium with a 15-game home win streak.

East Central advanced to the second round with a 28-10 home win over Booker T. to earn some revenge over the Hornets after losing to them in last year’s state championship game. East Central has played in the finals twice and the semi’s five times since 2003.

The Cardinals defense will be a key and has been all season. In fact, since week one, the East Central defense has not allowed more than 14 points in one game when they took down Tahlequah 61-14 in week eight.

The Cards will highlight junior middle linebacker Josh Herman in the 4-3 defense. Along side Herman will be Kimmee Carsen and Javonte Cross. Last year Cross was among the top tacklers with 195 and is in triple digits again this year.

At the defensive end spot, Damian Gibson, who has earned interest from Oklahoma and Arkansas, is physical with 97 tackles and four sacks on the year. Gibson and the front seven will try to contain a Guthrie offense that has been clicking all season.

Guthrie continues to flex their muscles with the running game led by senior running back Luke Davis. The senior leads 5A in scoring with 26 total touchdowns and over 1,200 yards rushing. Davis and the running game has benefited from the mature offensive line, that will be challenged by the size and speed of the Cardinals.

The rushing game for the Jays averages 275 per game, but the offense has proven to be balance with three-year starting quarterback Bryan Dutton. The junior has compiled over 2,100 total yards of offense with nearly 1,400 of that coming through the air.

Dutton’s quarterback counter part has not been to shabby this season.

Senior John McDavid has tossed 1,212 yards this season using multiple weapons at receiver and in the back field. Although, McDavid does not have the touchdown to interception ratio that Dutton has with 11 scoring touches and eight interceptions (Dutton has a ratio of 17-3), he will have the respect of the Jays secondary.

Much like Guthrie, East Central has shown the ability to be balance with the running game of Malachai Neal, who has rushed for 1,274 yards and eight scores. The senior averages nearly 9-yards a carry.

The game can be heard on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 Fm and world-wide on Guthrie Sports Page. The pregame show begins at 7:00 with the kickoff at 7:30.

Guthrie vs Tulsa East Central
2002 – Guthrie at East Central (2nd round) Guthrie 27-13
2007 – Guthrie vs East Central (semi finals) Guthrie 45-14
2009 – Guthrie at East Central (2nd round) Guthrie 25-24

First Round 5A Playoffs

Guthrie 53, Durant 7
East Central 28, Booker T. 10

2nd Round: East Central at Guthrie – Friday 7:30

McAlester 34, T. Central 13
Duncan 45, Ada 7

2nd Round: Duncan at McAlester – Friday 7:30

Lawton Mac 58, Deer Creek 28
Bishop Kelley 17, Coweta 14

2nd Round: Bishop Kelley at Lawton Mac – Friday 7:30

Pryor 31, Collinsville 26
Ardmore 21, Carl Albert 14

2nd Round: Ardmore at Pryor – Friday 7:30

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