When visiting the Pocola High School football fieldhouse at John Carter Field, on the south wall is a digital clock which has been counting down the days until the rivalry game between the Indians and the Panama Razorbacks.
Now, that clock will read just mere hours until kickoff of tonight's installment of the rivalry game, which will begin at 7:30 p.m. tonight at John Carter Field.
â€śI've been told about it all year,â€ť first-year Panama Coach Brandon Ellis said. â€śI've never been a part of it, being at Gore. I've played Pocola, but it's not an intense rivalry. They've told me the implications of this rivalry. It's a true rivalry. You can throw the records out.â€ť
â€śIt's always been that way,â€ť Pocola Coach Rick Lang said about the rivalry. â€śRecords don't mean anything. I think it's good for small schools to have a rivalry game, and Panama is ours. I told the kids that records don't mean anything. Rivalry games are good. Last year, when we beat Panama, it got us going. I know we've been in a little tailspin lately, but last year's win over Panama really got us going. I told the kids that I don't want them to have their season turn around from beating us like it did for us last year.â€ť
Both teams enter tonight's game after losing District 2A-6 contests last week.
Panama lost 57-7 to No. 4 Vian. But the Hogs (0-7, 0-4) actually had a stronger performance against the Wolverines than the week before in losing 59-7 to the Hartshorne Miners at George Ollie Stadium.
On the other hand, the Indians (4-3, 1-3) suffered a come-from-behind victory by the Miners, who beat them 24-19 last week.