The Woodward Boomers opened the season with non-district play against former district opponents in 4A, finishing 1-2.
District play opens for the Boomers Friday night when Bishop McGuinness visit Boomer Stadium.
District 2 was the best district in Class 5A last season. McGuinness and Carl Albert both met in the state championship, with the Titans beating the Fighting Irish 34-29 after losing the regular season meeting.
Carl Albert and Bishop McGuinness will again be favorites for the state title. Their meeting Oct. 6 at Carl Albert will most likely determine the district championship.
So where does that leave Woodward?
Well, the Boomers were one win shy of clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the district, but fell to Guthrie in that clinching game 41-14, and were defeated by Carl Albert in the final week of the season with every possible scenario working against them after their loss to the Blue Jays in Week 9.
Here’s how Woodward did in District play last season
Wins: Northwest Classen (47-14), at Lawton Eisenhower (37-23), Guymon (48-20)
Losses: at Bishop McGuinness (38-7), Piedmont (52-23), at Guthrie (41-14), Carl Albert (45-28)
Here’s a look at Woodward’s district opponents:
Sep. 22: vs. Bishop McGuinness
2016 Record: (9-1, 7-0) District Champion (5A State Runner-Up)
The Fighting Irish are looking like a true state contender again. Their wins have come against Del City (34-23), Bishop Kelley (42-21) and Enid (60-34).
Sophomore running back Dominic Richardson scored 3 touchdown and ran for 325 yards in their win over the Plainsmen. He will be the toughest test the Boomers run defense has seen so far.
The Fighting Irish have received some bad news, as offensive lineman and Georgia commit Owen Condon could be lost for the rest of the season with a torn lateral meniscus.
Last season, the Boomers were neck-in-neck with the Irish down in Oklahoma City, but a fourth quarter surge by McGuinness made it look like a blowout.
Can the Boomers play another solid defensive game and hang with this year’s Irish team?
Sep. 29: at Northwest Classen (Taft Stadium)
2016 Record: (3-7, 0-7) Finished Last in District
The Knights got off to a promising 3-0 last season, but lost every district game to finish 3-7. Woodward beat Northwest Classen easily 47-14 last season on Homecoming.
This season, the Knights enter district play 1-2 with a win over Seeworth Academy (23-2) and losses to OKC Centennial (29-0) and Hale (14-12).
Oct. 6: vs. Lawton Eisenhower (Homecoming)
2016 Record: (2-7, 2-5) Finished 6th in District
This was Woodward’s longest road trip last season, and they made the best of it. It was a 37-23 win that gave Woodward two-straight wins and optimism going into their matchup against Piedmont at Boomer Stadium.
The Eagles are off to an 0-3 start, losing to MacArthur (56-29), Del City (40-14) and Lawton (67-13).
Oct. 13: at Piedmont
2016 Record: (7-3, 5-2) Finished 3rd in District (Lost in 1st Round of Playoffs)
The Boomers came into last season’s matchup on a two-game winning streak and were looking for another big district win. Piedmont wound up winning 52-23, which was minor bump in the road for Woodward.
Offensively, the Wildcats have been kept in check for the most part.
Piedmont was held to six points in a 9-6 loss to Weatherford in Week 2.
The other two losses came to El Reno 27-14 in Week 1 and Noble 12-3 in Week 3.
Oct. 19 (Thurs): at Guymon
2016 Record: (2-8, 1-6) Finished 7th in District
It might be another long season in district for the Tigers. A win over Northwest Classen kept them from being at the bottom of the district.
Guymon finished non-district play with losses to Weatherford (35-14), Liberal (49-3) and Stratford, TX (74-0).
Woodward won last season’s meeting 48-20 on a Thursday night at Boomer Stadium.
The Boomers will travel to the panhandle for this year’s game, which again will be a Thursday night game with fall break following.
Oct. 27: Guthrie (Senior Night)
2016 Record: (5-5, 4-3) Finished 4th in District (Lost in 1sr Round of Playoffs)
Guthrie was that final team in the district to clinch a playoff berth, and it happened by beating the Boomers 41-14 at “The Rock”. A win over the Blue Jays would have put Woodward in the playoffs and Week 10 against Carl Albert would not have mattered.
Pending on what the district looks like in 5 weeks, this could present the same “win and in” scenario for Woodward.
The Blue Jays lost their first two games of 2017 to Enid (34-23) and Shawnee (27-13) but picked up a 48-0 win over Ponca City before their bye week, so they’ll be fresh for their district opener at home against the state champion, Carl Albert.
Nov. 3: at Carl Albert
2016 Record: (9-1, 6-1) Finished 2nd in District (5A State Champion)
McGuinness has Richardson, Carl Albert has Jason Taylor II at running back.
Taylor II, who plays both running back and defensive back, has verbally committed to Oklahoma State as a defensive player.
Last season’s game was over by halftime, as the Titans cruised to a 45-28 win.
The best case scenario for this matchup would be if these two have playoff berths locked up after Week 9.
The Titans went undefeated in non-district play with wins over Lawton (33-32), Ada (42-20) and Ardmore (28-12).
Once you move beyond Carl Albert and McGuinness, the final two playoff spots could come down to Woodward, Piedmont and Guthrie, much like it did last season with the Boomers being the odd-team out.
A 4-3 finish in district should be good enough for the fourth playoff spot in the district.
Every district game will be important, but circle the game at Piedmont Oct. 13 and senior night against Guthrie Oct. 27 as matchups that could have playoff implications.