MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 22, 2012

It boils down to this: District 3A-7 title on the line when Hilldale hosts Sequoyah

By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer

— Both Sequoyah’s Brent Scott and Hilldale’s Chad Kirkhart had an inkling this game would have major implications.

When the Hornets of Hilldale and Indians of Sequoyah clash at Hornet Field on Friday night, they will play for the District 3A-7 championship in the game that headlines the area schedule.

“We’ve had this game circled for a long time,”  Scott said. “Coach Kirkhart does a heck of a job. He’s got a heck of a program. We’ve been keeping up with those guys through the paper. It’s going to be a good football game.”

Both teams are 4-0 in district after wins last Thursday night as the Hornets thumped Keys 48-0 and the Indians bounced Jay 48-26. Both also are 7-1 for the season.

To give the game a little more spice – as if didn’t need it already – the two squads are also ranked in this week’s Associated Press poll. Sequoyah inched up to No. 6 from No. 7 and Hilldale entered the poll for the first time this season at No. 10.

The mutual respect is quite evident.

“No question, they’re a good team,” Kirkhart said. “Both of us are where we want to be. You couldn’t draw it up any better than this.”

It’s not the first time a Kirkhart-led team has faced a team coached by Scott.

“He always puts a good team together,” Scott said. “He did such a good job when we played against him when he was at Haskell. Chad’s just doing the same thing at Hilldale.”

Two of the top players in the matchup include Sequoyah quarterback Brayden Scott and Hilldale running back Jamaul Cullom.

Scott has completed 90 of 151 passes for 1,379 yards and 26 touchdowns, while Cullom has rushed for 761 yards and 11 TDs.

Both teams also are looking to overcome a district championship drought with a win.

Hilldale has not won league title since 2005, while Sequoyah seeks its first championship since 2009 or when Brayden Scott was a freshman

With playoff berths clinched, this showdown doesn’t need any more hype.

“It’s two good teams battling for the same thing,” Kirkhart said. “That’s what it’s all about. You look at the schedule and who you are playing, you’re hoping that at the end you have a chance to win district.

“I know a lot of people didn’t think we would have a chance because we graduated 17 seniors. But it only matters what these players and coaches think and we truly believed we had as good shot as anybody at winning the district.”

The 3A-7 champion gets the fourth-place team from 3A-8 in the first round of the postseason.

“Winning district gives you a better opportunity in the playoffs,” Scott said. “A lot of teams had this goal, but it’s down to us two now.”