MIAMI — Kawlan Rogers of Bluejacket would love to finish up his high school football career on a winning note.
Rogers, who played wide receiver and defensive back for Ronnie Simmons’s Chieftains, will play for the Gold all-stars in Saturday’s Oklahoma Eight Man Football Coaches Association game at Red Robertson Field.
The Chieftains finished 10-2, with both losses coming against the Class C champion (Tipton, 50-0) and runner-up (Pond Creek-Hunter, 74-26).
“I am just hoping for a win so I can finish my high school career on a winning note,” Rogers said during a press conference-photo shoot Wednesday afternoon.
He said he was excited when Simmons told him that he had been selected to play in the game.
“I was real excited. I wasn’t happy that I was the only one from my school, but I was still very excited.”
The loss to Tipton came in the Class C quarterfinals.
The Tigers went on to squeeze out a 28-26 win over PCH in the title game at Weatherford.
Rogers finished 2016 with 39 receptions for 721 yards and eight touchdowns.
He snagged nine passes for 134 yards in the loss to Tipton.
Rogers also ran for a pair of scores against Regent Prep.
On his career, Rogers finished with 83 receptions for 1,697 yards and 17 TDs.
Defensively in 2016, Rogers logged 56 tackles and 14 assists while logging seven interceptions, one fumble recovery and four pass deflections.
“It’s a real honor to be out here,” Rogers said. “It’s nice knowing that I was good enough to be picked to play with these guys.”
This will be the third time Rogers has had a chance to play on the FieldTurf at Robertson Field.
The Chieftains faced Welch in 2014-15 in the Battle of the Bell in Miami.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 6 p.m. Gates open at 4 p.m. with pregame ceremonies getting under way at 4:30 p.m.
Tickets are $5 at the gate.
The Green holds a 7-6 edge since the current format was adopted in 2005.
The game, which started in 1973 and moved to Miami in 2003, previously had used East vs. West and Class B vs. Class C formats.
“It was a competitive game before with B and C and because of geographics,” said Mike Thompson, OEMFCA executive director. “By going odd (Gold) and even (Green), it allows some guys from northwest Oklahoma and some guys on the eastern side of the state to be on the same team. When we went with East-West, you were playing with some of the same people. You get to split those kids up and they get to make new friends.”
“I like the way we do it now with splitting because you have the C guys playing with B guys from different parts of the state.”
Throwing out a 44-0 by the Green in 2010 and a 50-20 win by the Green in 2014, six of the last eight games have been decided by a total of 48 points.
During that stretch, there was an overtime (Gold, 34-28 in 2009) and a two-point final margin (28-26 Gold in 2011).
A banquet — which was expected to draw a record crowd — will be held Friday night honoring the 80 players and coaches as well as the top players in the two eight-man classifications.
During the banquet at the Calcagno Family Ballroom in NEO’s Carter Student Union, 10 $1,000 scholarships totaling $11,000 will be awarded.
There also will be two $500 scholarships awarded to senior all-star cheerleaders.
Also, Bill Pingleton, who won back-to-back Class B titles at Pernell in 1982-83 will become the 51st member of the OEMFCA hall of fame.
He will be recognized at the banquet as well as at the half of Saturday’s game.
Jim Ellis is sports editor of the Miami News-Record. He can be reached at 918-542-5508 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mnrsportsguy