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Playoff berths at stake make tonight's Pocola-Panama game much more exciting

October 26, 2012

If one visits the Pocola High School football fieldhouse, a clock is hanging on the wall which counts down the number of days, hours, minutes and seconds until the next Pocola-Panama football game. That clock will hit zero at 7:30 tonight when the two archrivals meet at Panama's George Ollie Stadium in a crucial District 2A-6 contest.
“They're on our minds 365,” said Rick Lang, Pocola's coach. “I don't let a week go by without mentioning Panama. It's a rivalry game, and we're in the district together. This is the type of game that sticks in your gut for 365. You can be 0-fer or coming in off a win. It's a rivalry game that every school should have. We're coming off a good win over Antlers. This is our last district game of the year, and we want to finish on a good note.”
However, tonight's game has more than bragging rights on the line for the Indians (5-3, 3-2 in district play) and the Razorbacks (3-5, 2-2). The winner likely will secure a Class 2A playoff berth.
“It's an important game,” said Brandon Ellis, Panama's second-year coach. “The rivalry stands off by itself, but there's playoff ramifications on the line — and that makes this game even more exciting. It's kind of like last year, when they [Pocola] was playing for a playoff berth, and we beat them. We've been looking forward to this game, but we have to take care of business.”
— — —
District 2A-6 Standings
Team District Overall +/-
Hartshorne-x 4-0 6-2 +60
Vian-x 4-0 8-0 +60
Wilburton 2-2 4-4 -3
Pocola 3-2 5-3 +1
Panama 2-2 3-5 -23
Hugo 0-4 2-6 -32
Antlers 0-5 0-8 -63
x — Clinched playoff berth.

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