The first hurdle was cleared by the Wynnewood Savages in the opening round of the Class A playoffs last week after a win over Pacola. The next hurdle for the Savages is a huge one as they face off with the defending state Class A champ Pawnee.

“They are impressive,” Wynnewood head coach Todd Watters said. “They dropped off some from last year but they are still impressive.”

Pawnee is 9-2 this season with losses to top 10 Commerce and top ranked Tonkawa. They opened up defense of their Class A crown with a 55-14 win over Afton in week one.

Gerald Jones led the Pawnee offense last year as one of the top rushers in the state of Oklahoma.

Jones is gone but the Bearcats are just as explosive on the ground averaging almost 300 yards a game on the ground.

Manny Abington leads the offense with over 1,400 yards and 20 touchdowns.

“They lost the Jones kids but the tailback they have this year is impressive,” Watters said. “They have great skill position kids. Their quarterback and top receiver are coaches sons and are really talented. They run mostly out of the I but will run some one-back and no-back looks to spread out the defense.”

Defensively, the Bearcats will line up in a 4-4.

“They are very good on defense,” Watters said. “They have good size up front and they have good team speed all over the football field.”

The Savages will try and counter the Pawnee speed with some different formations and some misdirection plays.

Offensively, the Savages will continue to rely on Shane Dixon for the bulk of the carries whether he’s at halfback or quarterback.

Sophomore Dustin Ervin has stepped up to fill the void left by Dixon when he moved to quarterback to replace Russ Brown and has improved with each outing. Tanchez Calhoun has had his share of carries out of the halfback position and add in fullback Chase Miller gives the Savages a potent attack.

The offensive line has been solid all season and will have to be again this week if they want to advance on to the next round.

Kick off between the two teams in the top 10 game is at 7:30 p.m. at Savage Stadium.

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