Earlier this year, not too many football prognosticators were not thinking that the Heavener Wolves and the Panama Razorbacks would be in line for the Class 2A playoffs — but they are.
Both teams will meet at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Panama's George Ollie Stadium for their playoff lives in a crucial District 2A-6 contest.
From Panama's perspective, the Hogs (1-7, 1-4 in district play), who snapped their 17-game losing streak last week with a 21-20 win over their archrivals from Pocola, need to win tonight and have Talihina lose out to Hartshorne tonight and Vian next week. Then, the ’Backs are in the playoffs just weeks after wondering when the losing streak would end.
“We have to take care of business, then we have to have help from Hartshorne and Vian,” first-year Panama Coach Brandon Ellis said. “If all the stars line up magically, we're in. It's crazy how this game works out, and how our district lines out. Certain people win and lose. Anything can happen. I told the guys at the start of the season, there were two goals I was wanting to achieve. The first was to improve our record from what it was last year, and we've already done that. The second one was to make the playoffs, and we have a shot at that. The boys understand that.”
On the other hand, the Wolves (3-5, 1-3) are in the same boat. If Heavener, winners of two straight after last week's forfeited win over the Tahlequah Tigers junior varsity, wins tonight and at home against Pocola next week, the Wolves are in the postseason.
“If we win out, we're in. We're kind of excited about it, and it feels good,” Heavener Coach John Thompson said. “If we play ball like we did against Talihina — go out and act like we want to win it — we'll be OK.”