Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY -- After hovering around the title picture for years, Deer Creek- Lamont finally punched through and claimed its first football Gold Ball in 2010. The Eagles have the target on their back, but the players to make a run at a repeat.
DC-LA brings back both members of a backfield that combined for 3,825 yards and 51 touchdowns on 610 carries. Senior Connor Kirby accounted for more than half of the yardage (1,975 yards), and is joined in the backfield by junior Jace Whitehead.
As a sophomore, quarterback Lawson Thompson racked up nearly 1,300 all-purpose yards and 17 passing touchdowns, despite the Eagles' heavy reliance on the ground game.
Shattuck was back in the state championship game a season ago, after having their six-year win streak ended at the hands of eventual champion Timberlake. The Indians should be in the championship picture yet again this year, employing their I-Form, trap-heavy offense.
Senior Aaron McCandless will handle the running duties for the Indians, while Daniel Rea returns on the offensive line to make room for the running game. The Indians won't be big on defense, but what they lack in size will be made up in speed with Korey Floyd (6-foot-2-inches, 175-pounds) and Branson Brown (5-foot-8-inches, 200-pounds) anchoring the three-man front.
The Claremore Christian Warriors managed just a 2-8 record in 2010, despite boasting one of the state's top passing offenses. They bring back receiver Derek Bell, who led the state in receiving yards a year ago with 1,436 and scored 21 touchdowns, despite weighing in at just 140 pounds. Tossing him the rock will be returning senior Jamison Reed, who went 187-of-358 for 2,711 yards and a whopping 41 touchdowns.
Tipton lost a nail-biter in the quarterfinals a season ago, falling to Covington-Douglas by six points. However, they return the core of that team and should make a run at another district title and a spot in the playoffs. As a sophomore, Josh Torres rushed for nearly 1,500 yards and 22 scores, combined with Chris Clark's 863 yards and 13 scores.
After a 9-3 campaign, the Timberlake Tigers return star quarterback Coy Strout, who was an all-purpose player. In 2010, he passed for nearly 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns, throwing just nine picks, in addition to more than 300 yards and 11 scores on the ground.
Running back/wide receiver Stetson Buller was all over the field for the Tigers in his junior campaign, racking up more than 1,000 all-purpose yards and 15 scores.
Defensively the Tigers are young and talented, brining junior Logan Campbell to the table, who brought in 89 tackles in 12 games for Timberlake.