By Chuck Reherman
With a playoff spot sewed up, Southwest Covenant has one thing left to play for before the post season.
A share of the District B-3 title.
The Patriots will face Seiling in a 7 p.m. kickoff Thursday night at Patriot Field. The gave has been moved up a day to avoid the severe weather that has been forecast for Friday night.
The Patriots take a 5-3 overall record and a 3-1 district mark into the game. Seiling is 8-1 overall and 4-1 in the district.
A win would give the team a share of the district title in a three-way tie with Covington-Douglas and due to points the Patriots would go as the third place team. But, an Okeene win over Covington in the final game and a Patriot win would give SWCS the district title.
A win over Seiling will be a challenge. The Tigers have mercy-ruled their last four opponents, including Covington 56-8 and have played only one close game all season, a 40-36 win over Laverne, Seiling’s only loss came at the hands of Oklahoma Bible Academy 58-34. OBA had beaten the Patriots 48-20 in the season opener and SWCS loss 40-14 to Covington, their lone district loss.
“It’s fun to think that we can play for a share of the district title and even have a chance to win it,” Patriot head coach John Jensen said. “Of course there has to be a couple of big things happen, we have to beat Seiling, who is a very good team and Covington has to lose to Okeene. In football you never know and we will find out after we play the games.
“There was a lot of deciding factors that had us change the game to Thursday,” Jensen said. “With the visiting team being so far away, any delay would get them back really, really late. Plus we have band kids that are going to All-State tryouts and our cheerleaders are in their first ever regional competition Saturday and with the wet grounds, you don’t want a kid to slip and pull something a week before playoffs.
“We looked at the big picture to see what was best for everybody. Seiling was in full agreement, our administration was in agreement and the referees were in agreement, I don’t think they wanted to get wet either. The fans would have sit in their cars, we would have had to sit on the bus and the opposing team would have had to sit on their bus as well.”
Seiling will bring in a predominantly running team behind quarterback Kaden Manuel, who likes to keep the ball on the option play. He also likes to get the ball to Cody Pester at either runningback or wide receiver when the team does throw the ball.
The front line is anchored by Colten Bowen (5-11, 245) and Sam Pittman (6-2, 200), who both play defense.
Manuel is also a key figure on defense, playing linebacker.
“Seiling is a very good team,” Jensen said. “He (head coach Gary Manuel) has been working with this time for a while and has built them from the ground up.
“They are a very physical team and they like to run the ball,” he said. “They like the to the run the option, it is something we haven’t seen this year. It is not their predominant offense, but enough to be dangerous.
“They run that northwest 3-2 defense and they are good at it,” he said. “We will have to make some good catches this week in tight windows. The last couple of weeks have been big windows, but this is a better defense.”