By Chuck Reherman
Southwest Covenant will make its first ever appearance in the Class C state semifinals on Friday night.
And, for the second year in a row, the Patriots will have to get past the No. 1 ranked team to earn a spot in the next round.
Southwest Covenant meets No. 1 ranked Buffalo in one semifinal at Ranger Field on the campus of Northwestern State University in Alva. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.
The No. 3 ranked Patriots come into the game with an 11-0 record after rolling past Tyrone 56-16. No. 1 ranked Buffalo is 12-0 and comes into their first semifinal after edging Medford 36-28 in the quarterfinals. It was the second time the teams had had (Buffalo won the first meeting 54-20 in the season opener.
The winner will play the Tipton-Pond Creek winner for the state final the following week at a site to be determned. Those two teams play at Southwestern State University in Weatherford Friday night.
Both teams will bring in high flying offenses and the game could turned into a shoot out. Buffalo has outscored their opponents 516-98 (an average of 46-8).
The Patriots are the most prolific scoring team in class C and one of the top scoring teams in the state. SWCS has outscored opponents 589-114 (an average of 62-10.
The teams do have common opponents. SWCS beat Medford 63-30 in their district game. Buffalo beat Tyrone 48-0 in their district game. The Bson also own a win over Pond Creek, 38-6.
“Buffalo is a very good team, they will definitely be the toughest team we will have played,” SWCS head coach Trey Cloud said. “They are a lot like we are, they have a very good offense and play solid defense. I am looking for this to be a very good game.
“Buffalo has some talented players in the backfield and has some big guys up front,” he said. “They do like to run the ball, but their quarterback can throw the ball very well.”
The Bison are led by quarterback Rollin Richard and coach Dusty Yauk’s attack revolves around his signal caller. Richard leads the team in rushing and scoring and can throw the ball with accuracy.
Richard has thrown and run for over 1,000 yards this season
The Bison also use three different runningbacks, Thad Wilkerson, Andy Lizardo and Brandon Bowles to balance out the attack. Bowles is also one of Richard’s favorite targets in the passing game.
The defense has been stout all season against a tough schedule. Seven of the 12 teams finished the season with at least a .500 record.
The Buffalo offense will face a Partriot defense that has recorded four shutouts and held two other opponents to one touchdown.
The defense has been led by linebacker P.J. Mills and defensive end Jesse Deason.
SWCS also has a strong secondary led by Trevor Kelly and Cole Shaw.
The Patriot offense has been led by quarterback Ben Webb, who has thrown eight touchdown passes in the two playoff games. Will Haas has been his favorite target and has caught all eight of those scoring aerials.
The running game is led by Trevor and Tyler Kelly, who have been a strong 1-2 punch all season long.
“The key for us it to go out and play our game,: Cloud said. “We need to excecute on offense the best we have all season. Buffalo will be the best defensive team we have played, so we need to come out and be aggressive on the front line and carry out our assignments.
“Defensively, we will have to tackle better than we did last week,” he said. “We did let Tyrone run the ball, but we need to do a better job at this this week. We also need to force some turnovers like we did last week.”
By Chuck Reherman