No. 6 Rush Springs would like nothing more than to stay unbeaten after finishing its game tonight against Wynnewood.
But it will be a tough task.
The Savages will have the same intention when they come to Joe Tunnel Field tonight. They are also unbeaten and are No. 3 in the state Class A poll, which means Top 10 battle between two tradition-rich powerhouses.
The Redskins (5-0 overall, 1-0 in District A-5) once again will have to win without running back Weston DePriest, who was injured in the Sept. 23 game against Empire.
"He will be out for another two weeks, " coach Tim Beard said. "We're not going to rush anything with him."
What Rush Springs has done is move Colt Beard (5-11, 195 freshman), Beard's son, to running back and use Rusty Hargrove (5-10, 170, junior) at fullback. Freshman Holden Nichols is being rotated between the backfield and the receiving unit. He scored one TD in each passing, rushing and receiving in last week's 46-7 rout of Stratford.
Wynnewood (5-0, 2-0 in A-5) averages 36.4 points per game after a 31-0 win over Elmore City-Pernell last week. Rush Springs averages 37.8.
Trey Knowles (6-0, 210, junior) is the Savages' top running back, averaging 131.4 yards per game.
"He's a big kid," Beard said. "He runs good and is just a great football player. He's hard to tackle."
So how do you counter a back the size and ability of Knowles?
"We've just got to maintain gap responsibility," Beard said. "They like to run the Wing-T and a lot of misdirection, where you got backs going in opposite directions. We got to have a great defensive effort to stop them."
Jace Brown is also a legitimate threat as Wynnewood's quarterback. He is averaging 45 yards per game. But there is more to him than the numbers.
"He's a great high school quarterback," Beard said. "He doesn't panic. He's real elusive and we're going to have to contain him."
Knowles also plays linebacker, which means the Redskins must keep him away from their skill players.
There's a few other kinks for Rush Springs to avoid.
"No penalties, " Beard said. "We can't get off-schedule or off rhythm on offense with all the penalties. With DePriest still out, we're going have to step up our game."
Paoli at Alex
The Longhorns seek to stop a two-game drought when they host Paoli tonight. But it won't be easy with the Pugs coming in at 4-1 overall and 3-1 in District B-2, along with their first loss of the season.
The Longhorns (2-3, 2-2) will need to get big game production from their key offensive weapons in quarterback Reese Mitchell, running back Kenton Baker and wide receiver Alex Helm. Also, Michael Wilcox was a force last week with 97 yards on eight carries.
Statistical leaders for Paoli are Aaron Webster (132.8 yards rushing per game), Zach Zeandemange (61.8 yards passing per game) and Jerry Johnson (15 tackles per game).
Minco at Pioneer-Pleasant Vale
The Class A No. 4 Bulldogs (5-0 overall, 2-0 in District A-2) hope to match the 6-0 start they got last year before hitting a three-week stretch with Crescent, Cashion and Okeene.
They face an offense that excels with its passing attack.
The Mustangs (2-3, 0-2) have lost their last two games, both coming in routs. But they are not to be taken lightly.
The losses in their skid have come to Cashion, 49-7, and Okeene, 36-7, who are the other district powers.
Pioneer-Pleasant Vale is led by quarterback Derek Gabriel (6-2, 180, senior), who has passed for 765 yards in 2011.
Gabriel often throws to tight end Holden Hodges (6-0, 200, senior). The Mustangs have some other good receivers as well.
"They are probably the best tandem we have seen so far," Minco coach Clint Warren said.
"They probably throw the football really well. It's not difficult to watch them on film and see they are really good. They design a lot of routes to get the ball to the tight end."
Blanchard at Tuttle
The Class 3A No. 7 Tigers, 5-0 overall and 2-0 in District 3A-1, hope to keep roaring against the Lions.
Brock Lamle leads Blanchard (3-2, 1-0) in total offense, averaging 177 yards per game.
Bridge Creek at Anadarko
The Bobcats (1-4 overall, 0-2 in 3A-1) must travel to Class 3A No. 4 Anadarko, with the task of going up against Warrior running back Sheldon Wilson.