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Oklahoma high school football playoffs: Class 6A-5A semifinal overview

Defending champions for 6AI, 6AII and 5A all involved in action Friday

While most high school students around the state of Oklahoma have been off from school this week, a select few student-athletes have been hard at work preparing for the biggest day of the year, so far. 

One day after Thanksgiving, the semifinal round for Class 6AI, 6AII and 5A will highlight a full day of football around the state.

Oklahoma high school football playoff brackets updated for all classes 

In all three large-school divisions, teams will take the field Friday at various venues from Noble to Ponca City.

In Class 5A, defending champion Midwest City Carl Albert (12-0) will face Bishop McGuinness (8-3) Friday at 7 p.m. The game will be held at Noble High.

While Carl Albert was expected to make it this far, the Irish could be considered the surprise team in the playoffs. After losing their quarterback in the offseason, they have marched through the season under the radar.

Led by tailback JP Spanier and quarterback Damon Cochran II, Bishop McGuinness earned a spot in the semis after knocking off Midwest City and Bishop Kelley in the early rounds of the playoffs.

But the Irish will face a much stiffer level of competition Friday in the Titans. The two teams met in October, and Carl Albert came away with a 49-7 win.

The 5A other semifinal contest, which will also be held at Noble High, pits Del City (11-0) against Claremore (11-1). The game is set for 1 p.m.

Claremore clinched its spot after upsetting previously undefeated Elgin, 7-6, in the quarterfinals. The Zebras have outscored their opponents 477-277 this season behind an offense that only scored less than 21 points once.

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Claremore’s Braxton Etheridge has thrown for 2,599 yards and 30 touchdowns this season. Senior Gage Deckard has been Etheridge’s main target with 60 catches for 1,293 yards and 20 touchdowns.

Del City, which rolled through Guthrie in the quarterfinals, is one step from being exactly where they have wanted after losing to Carl Albert in the 2022 playoffs.

Since falling to Carl Albert, the Eagles have been focused on making it to the 5A title game with the hopes of facing the Titans again.

“We've just been at it, man. We were in the weight room, we were at it in the summertime,” Del City coach Robert Jones said. “We really got after it.

"I've been really tough on the kids, especially in practice. We've been going full pads, tackling to the ground just because I feel like we need to be tougher than we were last year.”

Del City 2024 ATH Braelon Adamah lets his all-around play do all the talking 

However, if the Eagles overlook the Zebras, they could find themselves back home watching the championship game again.

The four teams who made it to the 6AII semifinals should be familiar with each other. They are the same foursome who made it last year.

However, when Edmond Deer Creek (9-2) and Muskogee (9-2) meet up Friday in Ponca City, it will be the first time two programs will have played each other in the past two seasons.

Both of the Antlers' defeats came against Mustang and Edmond Memorial to start the season. But they have won eight straight since then.

Muskogee’s only two losses came at the hands of 5A defending champion Carl Albert and 6AII defending champion Stillwater.

Stillwater (9-2) and Choctaw (8-1) will face off at 7 p.m. Friday at Edmond North. The last time the two squads were on the same field, the Pioneers walked it off with a 26-21 victory and the 6AII state title.

However, both Stillwater and Choctaw have been completely different teams since that last encounter.

The Pioneers are riding a nine-game win streak since losing to Yukon in the second week of the season. The Yellowjackets' only loss this year came against Deer Creek. Other than that, they have scored 49 or more points in seven games on the season.

Both 6AII semifinals are scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

In Class 6AI, the quarterfinal round saw a clean sweep for Eastside area schools over their opponents from the Westside of the state. That means regardless of who wins it all for the 28th straight season, the champion in the state’s highest classification will come from the Tulsa metro area.

Defending champion Bixby (11-0) made quick work of Norman with a 59-20 victory. The Spartans will face Owasso (9-2) in Friday’s semifinal at Memorial Stadium in Sand Springs, starting at 1 p.m.

This will be the fourth time in the past two seasons the Spartans and Rams will have faced off. Bixby won the previous three by a combined score of 160-36. That includes a 69-6 beating in the 2022 6AI state title game.

While the Bixby and Owasso history is nice, it doesn’t compare to Jenks and Tulsa Union, who will face off in the second semifinal contest.

The Trojans (7-4) and Redhawks (10-1) not only play each other almost every year during the regular season, they have met in the playoffs a multitude of times over the past three decades. However, when both were bounced in the 2022 semifinals, it was the first time since 1996 that at least one of the programs did not reach the championship game.

Jenks 2025 RB/DL Hudson Ball adjusting quite well in second season with the team

In this year’s regular-season matchup, Jenks handed Union its only defeat with a stunning 31-24 victory after the Trojans started the season 0-2.

Jenks leads the overall series 45-24-1 and has won 13 of the past 18 meetings. 

Photo of Edmond Deer Creek quarterback Grady Adamson 

-- Michael Kinney | @SBLiveOK