It’s not uncommon for teams to have to travel long distances in the playoffs.

It’s not uncommon for teams to have to travel long distances in the playoffs.

However, the No. 6 Ringling Blue Devils will have such an opponent at 7 p.m. tonight from Rick Gandy Memorial Stadium.

Following a 360-mile trip from the Panhandle region, the Hooker Bulldogs will take the field against the Blue Devils, as the second round of the Class A playoffs commence, with the winner earning a date next Friday night against either No. 3 Talihina or Hominy.

The second round home game will be a welcome sight for the Blue Devils faithful, who haven’t seen Ringling host consecutive playoff games since the 2015 season, when RHS made a run all the way to the state semifinals.

Last year the Blue Devils homestead in the postseason was cut short as Wynnewood stopped Ringling in the first round.

However, revenge was earned last week at home for Ringling (9-1), as the Blue Devils erased a 21-14 deficit in the fourth quarter to win 35-21 over the Savages.

As for the Bulldogs, they managed to take advantage of being at home last week, downing Mangum 26-13 in their opening round playoff game.

Ringling has also played Mangum this season, having defeated the Tigers 46-38 in Mangum on Oct. 19 in a non-district contest.

Hooker was the second placed team out of district A-1, and enters with an overall record of 10-1. 

The Bulldogs lone defeat of the season came against eventual district champion Thomas Fay-Custer 20-0 on Oct. 6.

Something the Blue Devils have going for them in the postseason, is a solid record when hosting consecutive playoff games at home.

Since 2004, Ringling has hosted two or more rounds of the postseason seven times, only losing in 2008 and 2009.

The Blue Devils have won five straight second round playoff games when being played in Ringling.

In order for there to be a sixth straight triumph this evening, the Blue Devils will have to stop a talented Bulldogs offense, led by junior quarterback Donovan Yarbrough.

This season Yarbrough has totaled 1,827 yards passing with 26 touchdowns and 11 interceptions on 102-of-188 passing. 

His favorite targets this season include senior Dawson Metcalf, who has 31 catches for 586 yards with nine touchdowns. 

Other prime targets for the junior are Karder Neville, who has 28 receptions for 514 yards and four touchdowns, along with Isahi Vargas, who is the third leading receiver on the team with 481 yards on 28 catches with eight touchdowns.

Hooker’s rushing attack is just as solid as the Bulldogs will bring with them a pair of potent running backs.

Leading the way is junior Tanner McBee, who has carried the ball 157 times this season for 981 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also has six or more games this season of 100 yards or more on the ground.

Nick Barrios will also be a threat for the Bulldogs rushing attack, as he has totaled 111 rushes this season for 625 yards with seven touchdowns, including three or more games of 100 yards or more.

Ringling however will respond with its own solid offensive attack.

The Blue Devils will be led by DeWyatt Cox, who totaled more than 200 yards of offense including 152 yards rushing with three touchdowns last week against the Savages.

Sam VanBuskirk also had a solid game under center for Ringling, finishing 4-of-10 passing for 11 yards. Ringling outgunned Wynnewood 346-314, including a 232-202 edge in rushing yards.