The Oklahoma state high school football playoffs open tonight and LeFlore County is represented by Arkoma and Heavener.
Both county schools face tough openers as the two opponents are ranked in the top 10 in their respective classes.
Arkoma, which is 9-1 and finished second in C-4, hosts Covington-Douglas while Heavener travels to Stroud.
Covington-Douglas finished third in its district behind DC-Lamont and Timberlake, but is ranked sixth in the state and is the only team to defeat C-4 champion Webbers Falls, winning 40-14 in the second week of the season.
Webbers Falls bounced back from that loss and went undefeated the remainder of the year, defeating Arkoma to capture the district championship. All four playoff teams from Covington-Douglas’ district are ranked in the top 10.
Heavener enters the playoffs on a roll after winning its last three games to finish fourth in 2A-6. The Wolves downed Pocola, 21-12, last week to clinch the final playoff spot in their district after falling behind 12-0 early.
Stroud is 10-0 and ranked fourth in Class 2A while the 4-5 Wolves are not ranked. Heavener uses a strong rushing attack by junior running back Blake Smittle, who rushed for over 1,000 yards in nine games and got a big effort from receiver Shawn Bradley in last week’s win. Bradley caught touchdown passes of 26 and 85 yards for Heavener’s first two scores and Smittle closes out the scoring with a long run to clinch the win.
The winner of the Arkoma-Covington-Douglas game will face the winner of the Thackerville-Sharon-Mutual winner. Heavener or Stroud will take on either Wyandotte or Newkirk in the second round of the playoffs.