PERKINS — The last time Perkins-Tryon won the Battle of Highway 33, Michael Culie was playing junior high football.

The Demons beat Cushing, 14-13, in double overtime in 2002 and claimed their fourth straight win in the series. The Tigers have won the last four meetings including last season’s 21-7 victory in Cushing. Culie, a senior at P-T, hopes to see that streak come to an end Friday at McIlvain Field.

“This is a big game and it’s my last chance to beat them,” said Culie, who leads the club in rushing (144 yards on 20 carries) and tackles (18).

Due to a sprained ankle, Culie was benched for most of the second half last week during the Demons’ 30-20 victory against Class 4A No. 5 McLoud but said he will return to action on Friday. This will mark the second straight week the 2A Demons have faced a 4A opponent.

Despite knocking off MHS and having a 2-0 record, P-T did not earn a spot in this week’s Associated Press poll. Meanwhile, the Tigers (2-0) topped area rival Perry, 28-13, and appeared in the 4A rankings at No. 10.

“In reality, all that matters at the end of the season is where we’re at in district play, not state rankings,” Culie said. “If we come out and win our games, they’ll put us in the rankings when they think we’re good enough.”

Senior Amnon Gosney added, “The polls really don’t matter. There are plenty of teams each year that aren’t in the Top 10 who could go to State.”

P-T will see a familiar face on the opposing sideline — former defensive coordinator Lance Hoggatt, who coached at P-T for 14 years before accepting the offensive coordinator position with the Tigers. He was promoted to head coach when former CHS boss Mike Wayland was named the new principal at Bristow.

Hoggatt admitted there is an advantage to competing against the school where he used to coach.

“It’s a benefit to know personnel, know who runs well and know which guys haven’t played a certain position in a while,” he added. “I don’t know if I’d call it an edge, but it gives you better insight that you wouldn’t have against a normal opponent.”

With a win Friday, the Demons would improve to 3-0 for the first time since 1999 — and it would be the first Highway 33 victory for the P-T seniors.

“I remember playing them the last few years and it was always heartbreaking coming off the field knowing we could’ve had it every time,” said senior Cread Helton. “With us being about 15 miles apart, you could say it’s almost as big as Bedlam.”

The Tigers are led by quarterback Barrett Ahrberg, who has completed 11-of-24 passes for 185 yards and three touchdowns, and tailback Dwayne Vaughn — the club’s leading rusher with 353 yards on 42 carries with five TDs.

Looking to rebound

Class C Coyle will face perhaps its toughest challenge of the season Friday when it meets No. 2 Ringwood on the road.

During their 50-6 loss to Covington-Douglas last week, the Bluejackets — who posted 58 points in their season-opening win against Agra — managed to earn one touchdown off a 47-yard run by junior quarterback Desmond Milton in the first quarter.

“We really hurt ourselves more than anything else with the interceptions and the fumbles,” said CHS coach Shane Weathers. “We gave up some big plays but other than that, we stayed right with them in the first half.”

CHS fumbled the ball seven times and accounted for four interceptions. RHS — who topped Waynoka, 30-22, last week — routed Weathers’ club, 62-26, a year ago.

Welcome home

First-year Agra will play its first home game on Friday against Springfield (Mo.) Christian, a home-schooled progam. The Bearcats earned their first win in school history last week, topping Cement, 38-18, on the road.

“Nobody expected us to get our first win as quick as we did, so everybody has been positive,” said AHS coach Rob Carroll. “I don’t think the kids really realize what an accomplishment that is to already have a win this early in their history.

“Our guys realize the tough task that’s in store for us (Friday). (Springfield) might be the best team we see all year.”

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