Home > Guthrie Football > BlueJays, Highlanders to decide 5A state championship

BlueJays, Highlanders to decide 5A state championship

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For the second week in a row, the Guthrie defense will be challenged by an elite offense and the BlueJay offense will try to stay consistent. Both will determine a state championship.

The BlueJays travel to Stillwater, Friday morning, for the Class 5A State Championship when they take on the Lawton MacArthur Highlanders. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m. inside Boone Pickens Stadium.

It will be the first game Guthrie has played in the month of December under head coach Rafe Watkins, and the fourth day game. In the three previous day games, the Jays are 2-1, including 2-0 this season.

Both teams will enter with perfect 13-0 records and have been labeled as the top two teams all season in the state’s second largest class. In addition, both were 7-0 at home, 5-0 on the road and 1-0 on a neutral field.

Not only have Guthrie and MacArthur been good this year, but the two programs have been part of the elite over the last several seasons.

Guthrie, who won their first ever state title in 2002, has played in the state semifinals five of the last six seasons and reaching the finals in two of those years while capturing the 2007 championship. For the Highlanders, they have been in the semis, or finals in seven of the last nine seasons, and will look for their first ever football state championship come Friday.

The last meeting between the two schools was in 2006. MacArthur jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead and held on to a 14-12 state semifinal win at OU.

This season, MacArthur blew by 11 of their 13 opponents. In week two against in-town rival Lawton, the Highlanders played their most competitive game and winning 21-14. In the next competitive game, the Highlanders took down Duncan 28-7 in week seven.

In the playoffs, MacArthur stormed by their three opponents by a combined score of 151-44 by defeating Deer Creek (58-28), Bishop Kelley (31-14) and Ardmore (56-2).

Lawton MacArthur Offense vs Guthrie Defense

Supplying much of the Lawton Mac offense is junior running back Darius Graham (6’1, 219). Graham, who is a sought out Division I recruit, is averaging over 7-yards a carry and has run for 1,643 yards this season. The nearly 1700 yards is the best in 5A. To go with the rushing yards, Graham has added 21 rushing scores.

Lawton Constitution Photo

The power running back will run behind an offensive line that measures out six-foot and 253 pounds, but Lawton Mac has proven to be a balance offense with the passing game.

First year starting quarterback Tayor Chasteen (6’0, 165) has been great considering he was following one of the best Highlander quarterbacks in school history. The senior has thrown for 2,229 yards to go along with 29 passing scores.

Chasteen has two big targets in seniors T.J. Turner (5’6, 158) and Quinton Paras (6’3, 215). Paras can line up as a receiver, or at tight end while Turner has brought in 51-catches for 724 yards and eight scores. The two other primary receiving targets will be junior Malcom Batchelor (5’11, 155) and sophomore Barry Williams (6’3, 168).

As explosive as the Highlanders defense has been, the BlueJays will be tallest task on the defensive side of the ball, and particularly the run defense.

Guthrie continues to be the best in stopping the run by allowing just 53-yards per game. While it will be challenged tremendously, the BlueJay defense will rely heavy on their front seven to contain Graham and the Highlander offense.

Underclassmen Trevor Blassingame, Vincent Norris, Conner Howard and Richard Brothers are joined by senior Zach Brown on the front line and behind them are the senior linebackers Landry Chappell and John Clark. The front five have combined for 31 sacks.

Chappell leads 5A in tackles (151) and sacks (12) and has more stops in GHS school history while Clark will go over 100 tackles this season despite missing two games.

Guthrie Offense vs Lawton MacArthur Defense

Whether it was a game winning drive in the last five minutes (Carl Albert), or needing a score just before half, and then turning around and setting the tone in the third quarter (McAlester). The Guthrie offense have made plays when they have needed to.

The Guthrie offensive line has been a steady force all season long.

The Guthrie offense has proven how much a running game can do to other teams mind-set by moving the ball while staying patient, but the moment a team gets caught the Jays can go down field in a hurry.

The BlueJays averaged over 400 yards of offense and continue to be the top rushing team in Class 5A with 276 yards per game. Perhaps, what makes the offense so tough is the leadership from a veteran offensive line and playmakers such as Luke Davis, Bryan Dutton and Kai Callins.

Davis, a four-year player, is not all into stats and numbers and he does not have to be. They speak for him, including 30 total touchdowns with 24 of those coming on the ground. Not to mention 81 tackles on the other side of the ball.

Dutton came up big last week in the win over McAlester with two big touchdown tosses, but showed his running ability in key situations. He finished with 260 yards of offense to help push the Jays into the championship game.

Guthrie will go up against a Highlander defense that has not allowed many points over the last two seasons. In 2010, they held their opponents to 14 points a game and this season to just 12-points per game.

Although the defense has not shut anyone out this season, they have held six of their opponents to 9-points or less.

The Highlanders, who return eight starters from a 10-3 team a year ago, are led by their middle linebacker Austin Payne (6′, 209). The senior has piled on over 100 tackles in each of the last two seasons.

Another name the Guthrie offense will have to deal with in the front seven is senior defensive end Dewayne Sanford (6’1, 186).

In the secondary, the Highlanders have senior cornerback Michael Thomas (6’0, 215) that will likely end up being on the Class 5A first team defense. Thomas’ big frame makes it hard to go up against.

Game Broadcast

The game can be heard locally on Triple Play Sports Radio 1051. FM and world-wide on Guthrie Sports Page. Pregame coverage begins at 10:30.

Fox Sports and Cox Communications will televise the game beginning at 11 a.m. Cox customers can view the game on channels 37 and 722 locally while Dish Customers can find the game on channel 444.

Categories: Guthrie Football
  1. Darrell Bradley
    December 1, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    BlueJay offense will try to stay consistent?
    Guthrie offense have made plays when they have needed to?

    Rushing yards 3,588 / 276 avg. 1st Passing yards 1,681 / 130 8th

    Total yards 5,269 / 405 avg. 2nd Points 534 / 41 avg. 2nd

    We were 2nd in yards and points to a McAlester team we just outgained and outscored.

  2. December 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    If Guthrie can stay consistent with the numbers they have put up this season against Lawton Mac then they will very likely win the game, and the offense will need to continue to make plays against a tough defensive team.

    This is defintely the biggest challenge of the season.

    Lawton Mac is a very talented team and have scored more points then both McAlester and Guthrie.

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