The Guthrie High School football program will be back on the gridiron following a bye week when they travel to Piedmont Thursday and begin district play.
The game originally scheduled for Friday was bumped up a day after school officials from Guthrie and Piedmont became aware of the weather forecast. Heavy rains are expected and could possibly lead to flash flooding in the coming days.
The Bluejays are enjoying their best start since 2014 with a 3-0 showing with wins over 6A programs, including Enid, Shawnee and Ponca City.
Piedmont limps in with a 1-2 non-district record, including last week’s 47-7 setback to the surging Noble Bears. The Wildcats dropped a 33-27 season opening loss to El Reno and picked up their lone win against Weatherford (21-10) in their only home game.
The ‘Cats are coming off a 3-7 season a year ago.
Piedmont returns seven starters in a run-happy offense but have play makers at the wide receiver position that Guthrie will have to stay in front of.
Senior Bryceson Henry is a deep ball threat, while 6’4 senior Jack Chester gives the ‘Cats a height advantage. The duo combined for over 500 yards and three scores in 2017.
The offense will go through the legs and arm of junior quarterback Dylan Hampton.
The running game has seen various running backs so far through the first three games. Sophomore Joey Mars and senior Connor Hawkins have been the primary backs. However, the Guthrie defense must prepare for last year’s starters who have not yet hit the field.
Junior Colby Matlock and junior Davontae Pickard combined rushed over 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.
Piedmont returns three on defense, including senior Baylor Hendren, who came up with four turnovers by himself in the upset win over then third ranked (Class 4A) Weatherford.
In total, Piedmont turned over Weatherford seven times on their home field for their first win over the Eagles since 2004.
Seniors Brady Thomas and Braden Culp give the ‘Cats experience at linebacker and safety.
Thursday night’s meeting will be the ninth meeting between Guthrie and Piedmont since 2006. The Jays lead the series 7-1. The lone setback for the Jays came in 2016, in which both teams went on to 6-5 records and first round playoff exits.
The game can be heard on Hot 93.7 FM with the pregame show beginning at 6:30 p.m.