Around Oklahoma, there are many football programs that are synonymous with the word tradition.
Around Oklahoma, there are many football programs that are synonymous with the word tradition. The tradition usually stems from a long period of success, which is what the Ringling Blue Devils football team has been known for over the last 10 plus years. At 1 p.m. Saturday at Wantland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond, the Blue Devils will attempt to add another piece of hardware to their tradition rich history, as they play the Cashion Wildcats for the Class A state championship. Both of these schools have gone several years without claiming a gold ball, as the Blue Devils have four to their name with titles in 1989, 1992, 2003 and 2012. This contest marks the first time the Blue Devils have played for the big prize since 2013, when they were denied a repeat against Hollis. Saturday’s game will be the 11th time Ringling has appeared in the state football championship game. Cashion’s wait though has been a little bit longer though as the Wildcats haven’t hoisted the big prize since 1981, with their two previous titles coming in 1977 and 1979. While these teams might be separated by a few spots in the rankings with the Blue Devils sitting at No. 6 and the Wildcats at No. 1, they are more alike than one might think statistically this season. Through 13 games this year, the Blue Devils have averaged 36.9 points per game on offense while allowing just 5.1 points per game on defense. Cashion’s stats are just as solid as the Wildcats have scored 43.5 points per game while allowing just 9.3 points per game on defense. Ringling is currently 12-1 on the season while the Wildcats are a perfect 13-0. However, the Blue Devils are certainly no stranger to facing an undefeated foe in the playoffs, as they had to do so just last week in the semifinals against then No. 2 Rejoice Christian, who entered the game at an identical 13-0 record. Ringling eventually eliminated the Eagles at Noble High School by a score of 28-19. But Cashion also had to eliminate its own undefeated foe in Pawnee, as the Wildcats won their semifinal contest at Cushing High School by a score of 34-16. The last time these two teams met was in the semifinals of the 2015 season, with Cashion winning 32-6. Ringling managed to get the last word though in 2011 when the Blue Devils eliminated Cashion in the second round of the postseason 42-20. The win avenged a loss from 2010 when the Wildcats won 25-16 against Ringling. Cashion will bring its own strong running attack, led by T.J. Roberts, who totaled 137 yards on 23 carries last week with three touchdowns. As a team the Wildcats at 243 rushing yards on 34 attempts. Ringling will counter with its own one-two punch on rushing led by Kash Lyle and Ethan Johnson. Last week Lyle finished with 25 carries for 234 yards while Johnson had 11 carries for 88 yards. As a team, the Blue Devils finished with 47 carries for 361 yards.