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Playoff battle of the birds reunites in Tulsa

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It has been just a handful of times the Guthrie football program has been underdogs going into any game much less a playoff game, but that will be the case when they travel up the turnpike for a second round game with Tulsa East Central.

The BlueJays (10-1) will face a tough challenge defensively when they take on the Tulsa East Central (7-4) offense that displays four offensive threats at the skill position.

The contest is set for 7:30 at East Central’s Eastside Sports Complex. A place that has been good for the Jays in the past, including a 2009 surprising 25-24 quarterfinal win. The ’09 Cardinals were riding a nine game winning streak. This season the Cardinals will be riding a 11 game win streak despite the 7-4 record on paper.

East Central was forced to forfeit their first four wins of the season after the school self reported a player violation after a player transferred to the school and did not sit out the required one year. Despite the four losses, East Central is yet to taste defeat on the field.

First year head coach Bobby Klink, who got the position following resignations from two coaches in a span of five months, has brought an offense that will show multiple formations and a winning mind-set.

Klink is a former Jenks running back that helped lead the Trojans to three state championships during his playing days.

Blaze Hastings

The Cardinals, once again, have star-power in wide-receiver and cornerback Stanvon Taylor, who committed to Oklahoma earlier this spring to play defense. In 2012, The Oklahoman’s No. 2 player in the state hauled in 51-catches for 793 yards and 11 scores.

Before you can direct the secondary’s attention to Taylor, the Cardinals will also line up Deontre Youngblood at the receiver spot. Youngblood has 24 catches for 523 yards and seven touchdowns.

On defense, Taylor and Youngblood have combined for seven interceptions as well to go along with being home run threats on punt and kick returns.

Getting those passes to them will be Trevaughn Cherry, who completed 11-of-19 passes in last week’s 38-14 first round win over Shawnee. The quarterback is completing 56 percent of his passes and has amassed almost 1,600 yards to go with 20 touchdown passes while being picked off 11 times.

The primary running back is William Goree, who scored four times and collected 184 rushing yards last week against Shawnee. On the year, he has gone over 1,100 yards and 17 scores.

Goree likes to run over the left side of the line of scrimmage behind tackle Antoine Brown, guard Fabian Garcia and center Tre Thompson.

The BlueJay defense will try to contain the big plays from an offense that has scored an average 41.6 points in their last five games. The 5A-4 district champion Cardinals were held to 13 points by Bartlesville in week two and 20 points to Claremore in week six.

A week ago in the 31-13 win over Lawton MacArthur, the Guthrie defense was stellar and almost perfect in the second half. Secondary members were constantly knocking down passes while the front seven was not able to get to the quarterback, but supplied continuous pressure.

Vincent Norris

The star power does not stop for East Central on defense.

The Cardinals will display linebacker Kimmie Carson, who recently announced he will play college football at New Mexico after hosting several offers. On the season, he has collected 1o1 tackles.

East Central has allowed three opponents (Del City, Coweta and Collinsville) to score above 26 points, but is holding opponents on the season to an average of 16.6 points per game.

The Guthrie offense averages 39 points per game, but equally impressive the Jays average 27 points when they played a top 10 game, including the game where they were shut-out by McGuinness three weeks ago.

Guthrie 4-0 against East Central

The BlueJays are 4-0, in which all have come in the playoffs, against East Central dating back to 2002. The Jays won their second round games in 2002 (27-13) and 2009. In 2007, the Jays won on the neutral field at Putnam City Stadium (45-14) and last year got the 20-14 win inside Jelsma Stadium.

Win streak on the line

Guthrie has won their last five playoff games which ties a school record (2007-08) and are 5-3 in true road games under head coach Rafe Watkins. Since 2002, Guthrie is 21-7 in the playoffs.

Dutton goes for school record

With last week’s win over Mac, senior Bryan Dutton joined alum’s Landry Chappell and Luke Davis with the most wins in a career with 43 wins.

The quarterback, who already holds all the GHS passing records, is 43-8 overall and is 35-3 in the past three seasons.

Watkins goes for win No. 120 at Guthrie

Watkins hopes his 120th victory at Guthrie comes on Friday night and not in 2013. Watkins 119-29 (.753) on the Guthrie sideline. His BlueJays are 31-8 in the month of November.

With last week’s win over MacArthur, the Jays have won at least 10 games in the past three seasons and now seven in 12 years.

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