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BlueJays to play for district championship in OKC

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After an emotional win for the second time in three weeks inside Jelsma Stadium, the Guthrie BlueJays will face another tough challenge. This time Bishop McGuinness stands in the way for a district championship.

The top-ranked and undefeated BlueJays travel to third-ranked and undefeated Bishop McGuinness for a kick time of 7 p.m. The game will somehow decide the district championship with just two weeks remaining in the regular season.

A win for the Jays will mark their third straight district title. However, a McGuinness win may result in the Jays beginning the playoffs on the road.

Limited seating is available for Guthrie fans, who plan on making the trip to Oklahoma City. Related story: BlueJay fans traveling to McGuinness – heads up

The game can be heard on Triple Play Sports 105.1 FM and on Guthrie Sports Page.

For Guthrie senior Bryan Dutton, it may be one last chance of some redemption against the Irish, who handed him his first loss in high school. The Irish took down Dutton and the Jays in the 2009 season opener, 12-7, inside McGuinness’s Pribil Stadium.

Dutton, who has started every game at quarterback in his four-year career, is 41-7, including 33-2 in the past three seasons. He and the Guthrie offense will be challenged by the Irish defense, who are allowing only 124 yards of offense and 7.7 points a game.

The Irish, who will be making their 14th straight playoff appearance, are led by linebacker Nick Jeffreys on defense. The senior enters the game with 100 tackles, four sacks and two interceptions. A year ago, he piled up 147 tackles.

Jeffreys is joined by fellow linebackers Gray Gochenour and Danny Krenger, who combined for 122 tackles and five sacks.

The front line is led by defensive end David Love and Bobby Sweeney. Both have 64 tackles to go with their six-foot plus body frames.

The Irish defense has shut-out four of their last five opponents, although, none of those came against teams with a winning record. The BlueJay offense may be the most balance offense the Irish will have seen so far in the season.

Guthrie, who averages 44 points per game, averages 368 yards of total offense, including 209 on the ground. The Jays will attempt to put together sustained drives to help keep their defense fresh after last week’s intense battle with Deer Creek.

McGuinness on offense has weapons at quarterback, offensive line and receivers.

The offense, that averages nearly 500 yards, is led by quarterback Jacob Lewis, who is a multi-threat athlete. Through the air, Lewis, a converted running back, completed nearly 1,500 yards to go with 21 passing scores and on the ground he has used his 4.3 speed to add 11 more scores and 622 yards.

Lewis won the quarterback job over senior Will Harjo prior to the season. However, Harjo has taken snaps and has made the most of it by completing 48 of 68 passes for 731 yards, 10 touchdown passes and no interception.

Their primary target and home run threat is 6’3 Cody Chancellor, who leads Class 5A with 17 touchdown receptions. The senior has brought in 39 catches for 1,019 yards for an average of 26 yards a catch. The Irish quarterbacks like to throw it up and allow the big guy to come down with the ball. A year ago, he was good for 29 catches, 585 yards and nine touchdowns.

Tight end Love is another big target at six-foot-five. He has brought in 21 receptions for 264 yards and five scores.

The primary running back is six-foot-three Danny Krenger. The senior is a dual threat with 327 rushing yards and 259 receiving yards to go with a combine four scores.

McGuinness exhibits a fundamental offensive line and runs complicated blocking schemes for second year head coach Justin Jones.

Previous Games Between Guthrie and McGuinness

Guthrie Head Coach Rafe Watkins has a winning record against all schools he has gone up against except for Douglass (2-3) and Booker T. Washington (1-2). The ball coach has a .500 record against three other schools: McGuinness (2-2), Shawnee (5-5) and Altus (1-1). Watkins will be looking for his first win at McGuinness as the Jays head coach.

McGuinness 12, Guthrie 7 in 2009

Both teams scored their points in the first half after the Irish jumped out 12-0. The BlueJays had their shot to win the game, but a dropped pass near the end zone sealed the season opening win for the Irish.

Guthrie 21, McGuinness 3 in 2008

Perhaps the most anticipated and intense game in the Watkins era. The Irish entered as two-time state champions of 4A and winners of 28 straight against the 5A state champion and winners of 14 straight BlueJays. Before the game, a tribute was made for the late Ty Nichols, who passed away that summer.

Donte’ Foster had one of the most amazing one-handed catches and with the help of quarterback Keaton Callins helped led the Jays to a season opening win.

Guthrie 10, McGuinness 6 in 2005

The game was played in Langston and the Jays jumped out to a 5-1 start and eventually finishing 9-3.

McGuinness 14, Guthrie 7 in 2004

The only season a Guthrie team under Watkins has not qualified for post season play.

Categories: Guthrie Football
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