Chieftains open district play with Bixby

Undefeated Chieftains open district play vs Bixby
Posted on 09/19/2018
Sapulpa Chieftains football team takes field against Claremore(SPS) - The real season begins Friday.

The undefeated Sapulpa Chieftains open district play against the Bixby Spartans (2-1) and as head football coach Rob Borgstadt said now is the time when teams begin positioning for the postseason.

“It’s nice to get off to a 3 and 0 start and you build that confidence,” said Borgstadt. “You can be 0 and 3, 3 and 0. It doesn’t matter now, because this is what decides if we get to the playoffs or not, so it’s a whole new season.”

Before that new season begins, it’s important to point out the improvement the team has made through the first three weeks and not minimize what those wins mean to boys, especially when you consider Sapulpa has earned just five wins in the past four seasons.

“In the past, I don’t know that we have believed, but now I know. These guys believe,” said Borgstadt.

“The culture has changed and we’re at the point where we need to be so I’m excited about what’s coming Friday night. I think it’s gonna be a good game and it’s gonna be exciting. Now, it’s gonna be tough, they’re really, really good but it’s gonna be different than it’s been in the past couple of years. I can promise you that.”

How different? In the past five years in the games the Chieftains have faced the Spartans, we’ve lost all five by a combined score of 257-68. But the team this year is playing up to the head coach’s expectations. And, they’re playing better.

“Last year we had the opportunity to make plays and we dropped balls or didn’t make the throw or the pass protection won’t hold up or we couldn’t just make that last person miss, you know? And now the kids that are carrying the balls are making all those plays. We’re catching all the balls and we’re making the throws and we’re making people miss and the first guy isn’t getting us to the ground, that’s a big difference.”

The proof is in the numbers. Through 10 games last season, Sapulpa averaged 13.2 points per game while giving up 34 per game. Through the first three games of 2018, the Chieftains have averaged 37 while allowing just 11.

“We played Claremore, East Central, and Edison and they’re pretty good football teams, but they’re not great football teams. They’re not Bixby or Booker T.”

The Spartans and Hornets have won the past four state championships in 6A-II, so they are the standard-bearers in the district. As the saying goes, you have to beat the best to be the best, and there’s no time like the present to take on that challenge.

“If you’re a football player, if you’re a competitor, and you’re supposed to be the dude, you’re supposed to be the guy that makes plays, this is what you want. You want Bixby right now, you don’t wanna wait on it. You wanna go out and you wanna compete.”

The chance to compete and the opportunity to prove they are as good as their record says they are is exactly what the 8th-ranked Chieftains want.

“In the minds of the people over at the school, the minds of the people in the community, they’re trying to figure out are these Chieftains for real,” said Borgstadt. “This is the first real test so we’re gonna find out Friday night if we’re for real or not and that’s what I told them, so they’re (the players) looking forward to it. They can’t wait.”

Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Collins Stadium and all home games are broadcast live on ChieftainTV’s YouTube channel and on 97.1 FM The Sports Animal.

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