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Highlanders patiently waiting on the Jays to begin playoffs

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Guthrie and Lawton MacArthur concluded the 2011 high school football season and in 2012 they will begin the playoffs when the BlueJays hit the road for the 5A marquee first round match-up.

Photo By Shawn Ingle

It will be the third time in seven seasons the two programs have met with each team wining on a neutral field in the playoffs. Kick off is set for 7 p.m. at Lawton’s Cameron Stadium (directions). The game can be heard on Triple Play Sports Radio 105.1 Fm and world-wide at Guthrie Sports Page, including on smart phone and tablets.

Guthrie has won 23 of their last 24 games, including 9-1 campaign this season, and MacArthur has won 21 of their las 24 games, including eight in a row to end the ’12 regular season.

MacArthur earned the home playoff game by finishing second in district 5A-1. Del City took top honors for the district. For the Jays, they finished third in the toughest district in the class and among the tops in the state. Deer Creek and McGuinness finished ahead despite the same record as the tie-breaker came down to district points. Carl Albert was the fourth team to qualify from 5A-2.

The BlueJays claimed their third state title a season ago with a 24-7 win over Mac in the 5A state championship. In the process, it kept the Highlanders from winning their first state title when the 13-0 teams met at Boone Pickens Stadium last December.

Safe to say the Highlanders have that memory resting on their shoulder pads when the Jays touch ground in Comanche County.

In 2006, Mac took down the Jays 14-12 in a semifinal game at the University of Oklahoma. Carl Albert went on to win the following week for the title.

Darius Graham is tackled by a BlueJay defender in the 2011 state title game.

MacArthur has won 14 consecutive playoff games on the turf at Cameron Stadium. The last team to earn the road playoff win was back in 2002 when Carl Albert advanced on. This season, Mac is 4-2 at home with losses to Lawton and Del City. Meanwhile, the Jays are on the road to begin the playoffs for the first time since 2009 when they won both road games (Duncan and East Central) to advance to the semifinals. Overall, head coach Rafe Watkins is 4-3 in true road playoff games.

To go a step further with the success of the program, Mac has won at least one playoff game in eight of the nine seasons. Guthrie has won seven straight first round games and are 8-2 in the Watkins era.

The Highlanders are led by senior running back Darius Graham, who this season went over the 4,000 yard rushing mark this year. The six-foot, 228 pound physical back blitzed Ardmore last week for 301 yards and four touchdown scores in a 41-20 over the Tigers. He did that on just 19 carries.

In last year’s championship game, the BlueJay defense was able to hold the for sure Division I back to 57 yards on 15 carries, including 14 yards in the first half.

Graham runs behind an offensive line that averages six-foot and 237 pounds. Sophomore left tackle Colton Gilpen has proven to be a strong blocker up front, along with senior tight end Miguel Rosqrio.

Rosqrio and junior wide-out Adrian Gaines (5’3, 145), along with Graham, have proven to be the top playmakers for the 8-2 Highlanders.

Leading the offensive ship is quarterback Ricky McCarty. The 6’1 senior has gotten his chance to start this season after serving as a back up. He has helped the offense in averaging 31.5 points a game.

Similar to Guthrie, Mac lost a good part of their defense to graduation as they return four starters. Commanding the defense will be linebackers Jake Smith and Mitchell Fritts. The duo has helped hold their opponents to 15 points a game.

Senior shut-down cornerback Anthony Burris is likely to follow Guthrie wide receiver Donovan Jordan everywhere he goes.

The Mac defense will try to contain a BlueJay offense that average nearly 350 yards and 40 points a game led by four-year starting quarterback Bryan Dutton, who holds all GHS passing records and has been a part of more wins than any other Guthrie player (42 wins).

Class 5A Playoff Bracket – all games will be played on Friday night.

Carl Albert at Del City
T. Memorial at Claremore

Coweta at Bishop Kelley
Duncan at McGuinness

Ardmore at Deer Creek
Collinsville at McAlester
Shawnee at Tulsa East Central
Guthrie at Lawton MacArthur
Categories: Guthrie Football
  1. March 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

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