Editor’s Note: This is a preview of the upcoming football game on Friday night, which could be changed.
Friday is Sept. 4, a day that has been on the Ponca City school calendar for a long time as the date for beginning the 2020 football season.
Wildcat football fans have been anticipating this season, hoping that Ponca City will resume where it left off in the 2019 season when their team finished 5-5 and just barely missed out on qualifying for the playoffs.
Traditional rival Enid is the scheduled foe and the game is set to begin at 7 p.m. in Sullins Stadium. But like everything else these days the ugly head of COVID-19 lurks in the background. Only a limited number of tickets for Friday’s game will be available.
According to Ponca City Public Schools information, seating for the game will be reduced 50 percent. Members of the football team, cheer team, band, Po-Hi Steppers and chorale will be allotted a certain number of tickets. There will be a limited number of tickets made available on a first-come basis at the 5th Street ticket booth. The ticket booth will open at 5:30 p.m. Those in attendance will be socially distanced and asked to wear a mask in common areas.
The game will be live streamed.
The pandemic has already affected Enid’s season. The Plainsmen were scheduled to open last week against Putnam City, but Putnam City withdrew at the last minute. Looking for someone to play Enid agreed to travel to Class 3A Madill and romped to a 63-0 victory.
On Wednesday, Coach Scott Harmon was happy with the Wildcats’ practice session.
“We had a very good Wednesday workout,” Harmon said. “The first offense and the first defense were sharp and that is a good sign.”
Harmon and his staff have viewed film of the Enid-Madill game and have made their assessments of the Wildcats’ first game opponent.
“The score (63-0) is a little misleading. Enid was ahead 21-0 in the third quarter. They were able to score late on some busted plays. One needs to take the final score with a grain of salt,” Harmon said.
“Enid has a strong arm quarterback (Blake Priest) and they like to take advantage of his arm,” Harmon added.
Priest reportedly has committed to play baseball at Oklahoma. He threw several touchdown passes in the game against Madill.
If Friday’s game comes off as scheduled, it will be senior night for the Wildcats. Because of the uncertainty of things, it was decided to recognize seniors early in the season.
“There are a lot of things on peoples’ minds these days,” Harmon said. “We are hoping the kids will be able to compartmentalize and focus on the game.”