Chieftains, Sandites to meet in Hwy 97 Rivalry

Chieftains, Sandites to meet in Hwy 97 Rivalry
Posted on 08/25/2021
Sapulpa vs. Sand Springs 2020(SPS) -- The longstanding Highway 97 Rivalry will meet new traditions when the Chieftains face off with the Sand Springs Sandites Friday in the Chieftains football season opener.

This will be Head Coach Tim Holt, Jr.'s first season opener with the Chieftains since being named to the head coaching position earlier this year.

Coach Holt is quite familiar with the old rivalry, telling Tulsa's Newschannel 8 he remembers beating the Sandites twice when he played for Sapulpa in high school.

As for Friday's match up, he says the Chieftains are ready to reclaim Highway 97 bragging rights.

"The atmosphere is going to be unbelievable, these kids know that. Our seniors have played in it for a couple of years now," said Coach Holt. "It's always one of those games that goes right down to the wire. It's what high school football is all about."
 
The Chieftains fell 21-17 to the Sandites in 2020, with the Sandites taking home the first ever Highway 97 traveling trophy-- a metal HWY 97 road sign State Rep. Mark Lawson (Sapulpa) procured from the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. Rep. Lawson assured drivers no signs are missing along the Highway between Sapulpa and Sand Springs. ODOT donated a surplus sign.

The Highway 97 Rivalry has a storied history.

Friday's game will be 95th time the two football teams have played each other since 1922! Several years were skipped early in the 99-year-old rivalry, and Sapulpa met Sand Springs in the playoffs in 1997.

This game is an important one for Sapulpa to hold on to its lead. Even though the Sandites have the traveling trophy now, the Chieftains claimed 45 victories in the Highway 97 Rivalry since 1922, with the Sandites standing at 44. 

Highway 97 Rivalry Trivia:
  • Five games ended in ties (1933, 1935, 1953, 1954, 1962, and 1964)
  • The Chieftains' longest winning streak was 2001-2005
  • In 1922, Sapulpa won 36-0, but the largest Sapulpa victory was in 2001 when the Chieftains won 60-19.
  • The last time the Chieftains won was in 2019 at Collins Stadium when Sapulpa beat the Sandites 31-19.

  • The Chieftains Community Kickoff will be held Thursday, August 26, at 6:00 p.m. in the parking lot of George F. Collins Stadium. The new community pep rally tradition will feature food trucks, carnival games, and activities for the whole family. The community is invited to come out and celebrate the Chieftains football teams and cheerleaders and meet the Ping Pings and Little Chiefs. The Big Blue Band will play a preview of what they've been working on for the season.

    Friday, the Chieftains head up Highway 97 to grab back the traveling trophy. Kickoff is at 7:00 p.m. at Charles Page Memorial Stadium in Sand Springs.

    The game is the Ford Game of the Week. It airs on the Cox Contour app or channel 3/93 on Cox. It will also stream on YurView for a fee of $7.99.

    Related media coverage:
    Sapulpa Times: Friday Night Preview

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