“He’s an athlete and he just does a good job being a leader,” Miller said of Upton. Miller added that junior Gavin Pilgrim has been Upton’s go-to receiver, able to both stretch the field on deep passes and complete short-yardage routes.
On defense, junior Baylor Jenkins has starred as a linebacker. Miller said Jenkins played safety last year but moved up this season.
“He just has a nose for the football, so he’ll make a lot of tackles and be where he needs to be,” Miller said of Jenkins.
Like the Buffs, the Bulldogs use a 3-4 defense. Both defenses will get tested early and often today.
“You have to try to slow down their offense,” Miller said. “Their offense is very, very good, and when we’re on offense, we just have to try to move the chains, get first downs and keep the ball from them.”
The Bulldogs are 3-5 overall, 3-2 in the district. Bishop Kelley, which plays Memorial today, is also 3-2 in District 5A-3, and it’s likely Skiatook or Kelley will make the playoffs, but not both.
“The kids are playing really hard,” Miller said.
“We just try to perfect it each week.”
The Buffs, meanwhile, are 7-1 overall, 5-0 in the district. A win today and a Tulsa Memorial loss would mean a district championship.
“The last two weeks before the Bishop Kelley game, both those weeks were really good, and it just carried over,” Pratt said. “This week is another good week of practice, and if we have a good Thursday script tomorrow, I foresee the same thing.
“That’s what makes it, to me, a special group, is they know how to have fun while they’re still working hard. It isn’t a deal where they clown around. We’re able to get something done and still enjoy being there while we’re at practice.”