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Northeast Area Football Preview – Verdigris and Oologah – Presented By Red Crown Credit Union

VERDIGRIS CARDINALS
Coach – TRAVIS EAST

OFFENSE
The Verdigris Cardinals are looking for revenge in the upcoming season. After a 9-2 record last season, they have the confidence to make another run in the postseason. The Cardinals are returning seven offensive starters from last year’s district runner-up team. The Cardinals are sticking to their spread formation, while balancing a run and pass game. Dylan White (6-0, 175, Jr.) comes off of a very successful sophomore season, producing 1,700 total yards and 19 touchdowns at the quarterback position, and is expected to post even better numbers this season. The offensive line, consisting of Yale Gray (6-2, 255, Jr.) and Mason Young (6-2, 220, Jr.) look to be aggressive whether it’s creating running lanes, or protecting the quarterback to create a successful pass game. Running back Caden Parnell (6-0, 170, Jr.) looks to add to his sophomore season success, where he rushed for nearly 500 yards and scored six touchdowns, along with 143 receiving yards and one touchdown. At the receiver positions, Evan Anderson (6-0, 165, Sr.) and Tyler Mitchell (6-3, 170, Jr.) look to bring experience to the field, both getting significant playing time the past season.  

DEFENSE
Along with their offense, their defense also brings back seven starters. The coaching staff expects Reece Roller (6-0, 205, Jr.) to be even better than a year before, where he posted 64 tackles, 22 sacks, and forced 22 hurries. “Reece has a motor that can’t be matched, and he never stops playing hard. He has worked hard all offseason to get bigger, faster, and stronger. He has a high character, high motor, and is a great teammate and leader,” head coach Travis East said. Roller isn’t the only one getting attention from his coach’s. The Cardinals also expect Izaiak Layton (6-1, 170, Sr.) and Anderson to contribute in big ways to the defense. The pair combined for five interceptions last season and over 80 tackles. At the linebacker positions are Michael Stump (5-11, 190, Sr.) and Parnell. Between the two of them, they tallied up over 100 tackles a season ago, as well as 19 tackles for a loss. On the line, keep your eye out for Gray who had 24 tackles last season and two sacks. 

9-3 – at Sperry

9-10 – vs. Miami

9-17 – at Victory Christian 

9-24 – vs. Jay

10-1 – at Berryhill

10-8 – vs. Inola

10-14 – vs. Tulsa Central 

10-22 – at Mannford

10-29 – vs. Holland Hall

11-5 – at Vinita

OOLOGAH MUSTANGS 

Coach – DARRIN WEGNER 

OFFENSE 

Leading the way for the Mustangs this season is center and defensive lineman Gabe Graizer (6-3, 270, Sr.). The senior is one of the top linemen in the class and with a strong supporting cast up front, the Mustangs look like a team that can control the line of scrimmage with ease. Coach Darrin Wegner enters his first season at the helm and is excited to see his team take the field. “We are very excited for the 2021 season. We have several starters returning on offense and defense and we have some younger players who we really believe are going to step up this season,” said Wegner. Collin Schrader (5-10, 255, Jr.) and Braden Langbehn (6-1, 210, Jr.) join Graizer up front. Running back Aidan Trimble (5-10, 195, Sr.) will benefit from having an experienced offensive line, but his hard running style can make up for any mistakes. AJ Streeter (6-0, 170, Jr.) is an exciting player at wide receiver and look for Joseph Griswold (6-0, 160, Jr.) to play both ways at wide out and defensive back. Griswold may also see time at quarterback as the coaching staff will spend spring ball looking for a QB to run the power spread offense. The Mustangs will be a run-first team, but they will mix in plenty of RPO’s and play action. 

DEFENSE

Seven starters returning to the defensive side of the ball for Oologah. This may be the strength of the team heading into the opener against Collinsville. Trimble will start at linebacker which is a natural position for him, and Nate Morrow (5-7, 170, Jr.) will play one of the outside spots. Both guys run hard to the ball and understand the linebacker concept. Up front look for Graizer in the middle of the defensive line with Brody Sappington (6-3, 220, Sr.). Schrader will help round out a talented defensive front. Streeter will start in the secondary as the coaching staff looks for guys to play the safety spots. Coach Wegner wants his defense to play fast. “We want to be simple but still multiple so our kids can fly around and play fast,” said Wegner. Another player to watch is Ashton Wright, a sophomore who could see plenty of time in the secondary for Mustang. The coaching staff which includes Ethan Roe as defensive coordinator, Chris Messner and George Peters are looking forward to a tough schedule ahead that includes home games against Grove, Skiatook and Wagoner with away games at Hilldale, Miami and Cleveland. 

9-3 – vs. Collinsville 

9-10 – at Claremore 

9-17 – at Hilldale 

9-24 – vs. Grove 

10-1 – vs. Skiatook 

10-8 – at Miami 

10-14 – at Catoosa 

10-22 – vs. Wagoner 

10-29 – at Cleveland 

11-5 – vs. Bristow 

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