Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

December 6, 2012

Tradition rich schools meet in finals

Mike Arie
Pauls Valley Democrat — The two best teams in Class A are meeting in this weekend in the state championship game at Boone Pickens Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater.

The Ringling BlueDevils and the Wynnewood Savages are two of the most storied programs in southern Oklahoma. Wynnewood has six state titles to the credit in nine championship game appearances while Ringling has three in nine championship appearances.

Ringling last won the title 9 years ago in 2003 while in Wynnewood it has been 20 years, 1992, since they hoisted the gold ball. Last time Wynnewood won the gold ball was in Class 2A, that same year Ringling was winning their second gold ball in Class A.

Ringling’s tradition was built through the Gandy family of coaches. Current head coach Tracy has won a title as a player, as an assistant and is now looking for one as a head coach.

Both teams are riding long win streaks. Ringling lost to state finalist Davis in week one of the season and has now won 12 straight, while the Savages are a perfect 13-0.

They have played three like opponents during the season. Both defeated Velma and Healdton easily but both struggled with Wayne before pulling out road victories.

Both teams like to pound the ball at you with their running game but both also have the ability to throw the ball when needed.

Trey Knowles leads Wynnewood with 1,800 yards and 27 touchdowns. Curtis Rushing has 875 yards and 13 touchdowns to give the Savages a potent 1-2 punch.

Mix in quarterback Jace Brown who has over 2,000 yards through the air with 25 touchdowns to only 2 interceptions and the Savage offense is lethal anytime they touch the football.

Ringling will counter with an attack that averages over 300 yards a game on the ground. Quarterback Taner Richardson and do everything back Jackson Dillon lead the offensive attack.

Both defenses are equally tough with the same players that lead on offense leading the way on defense also.

Turnovers will be key in the battle as both teams will look to control the clock with their rushing attacks and look to strike through the air when given the opportunity.

The team that can win the turnover battle will likely win this evenly matched game.

Kick-off Saturday in Stillwater is 1 p.m.