ENID, Okla. —
Revenge is supposed to be the biggest motivational force in sports.
How many times do you hear a coach moan how difficult it is to beat a good team twice in one season?
No doubt it will be a factor when Pond Creek-Hunter faces Laverne for the Class B state championship at 7:30 tonight at Milam Stadium on the Southwestern State campus.
The Panthers have been waiting for another shot at the Tigers since falling to Laverne 36-18 in a No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle at Pond Creek on Nov. 2.
But be careful if betting against the team that won the first meeting in rematches that decide state championships.
Recent history concerning area teams shows it‘s wise to go with the team which won the first time.
Of course, there are exceptions to the rule.
Take Hennessey a year ago.
The Eagles lost to Jones, 23-18 the second week of the season.
Twelve weeks later, Hennessey cut down the turnovers and played better defense in beating the Longhorns, 21-7.
That was a non-district game, which basically was an exhibition. Hennessey coach Shannon Watford said he scheduled tough non-district games to prepare his Eagles not only for a tough District 2A-1, but the playoffs.
Here’s how area teams have done in championship rematches.
• 2010 — 3A — Regular season — Heritage Hall 42, Kingfisher 14. Championship — Heritage Hall 28, Kingfisher 21.
• 2009 — B — Regular season — Garber 38, Canton 6. Championship — Garber 50, Canton 2. C — Regular season — Timberlake 56, Seiling 6. Championship — Timberlake 38, Seiling 16.
• 2008 — B — Regular season — Garber 30, Laverne 6. Championship — Garber 30, Laverne 26.
• 2007 — 3A — Regular season — Clinton 37, Kingfisher 34, 4 OTs. Championship — Clinton 21, Kingfisher 16 (the Red Devils scored the winning touchdown in the final seconds).
• 2005 — B — Regular season — Pioneer 14, Morrison 12. Championship — Morrison 20, Pioneer 0.
• 2001 — B — Regular season — OCS 33, Pioneer 16. Championship — Pioneer 48, OCS 25.
• 2000 — B — Regular season — Pioneer 52, Morrison 22. Championship — Pioneer 63, Morrison 14. C — Regular season — Kremlin-Hillsdale 16, Medford 13. Championship — Kremlin-Hillsdale 24, Medford 13.
• 1997 — B — Regular season — OCS 55, Pioneer 22. Championship — Pioneer 36, OCS 22.
In those 12 meetings, the regular season winner won eight times and the loser got revenge four times.
In 2001, Pioneer came into the regular season meeting with OCS without some key players.
In 2005, Pioneer beat Morrison the second week of the season.
Forget the revenge factor.
Today is a day to savor for area football fans.
For the fifth time since 2001, two teams from District B-1 are playing for the state championship.
It’s the third time in the last five years. Just wish the game was in Enid today instead of Weatherford.
One can understand the OSSAA wanting the two championships to be at the same place. Weatherford was the best neutral site for the Class C state championship between Forgan and Tipton and it’s probably more fair for Laverne not to have to play the Panthers in Pond Creek-Hunter’s backyard.
Get to the game, if you can. If you can’t, listen on KXLS. Enjoy the moment area 8-man fans, today is northwest Oklahoma’s day.
Campbell is a News & Eagle sports writer.