MIAMI — Miami’s oldest rivalry goes on hiatus for at least the next two years following Friday night’s homecoming clash against Pryor on Red Robertson Field.
The 7 p.m. game wraps up the non-district portion of the schedule for the Wardogs.
A homecoming parade will be at 4 p.m. in downtown Miami and coronation ceremonies start at 6:30 p.m.
Claremore Sequoyah, Jay and Tahlequah Sequoyah replace Hilldale, Verdigris and Pryor for the 2018-19 seasons.
Friday’s clash will be the 79th in a rivalry that dates back to 1925.
The Dogs have played Claremore 66 times (but none since 2013) and this will be the 65th meeting with Vinita later this season.
Miami and Pryor were rivals in the original Verdigris Valley Conference, and were charter members of the Six Lakes and Metro Lakes conferences.
MHS and Pryor played 45 straight years from 1949 to 1993. That’s when Miami dropped down to Class 4A.
There was a four-year hiatus in the rivalry from 1994 to 1998, when the schools played 16 straight years.
They didn’t play in 2004 and ’15 and this is the final year of a two-year contract.
Pryor has won five of the last six meetings to cut Miami’s lead in the rivalry to 48-31.
The Wardogs won the first meeting 12-11 in 1925.
Miami and the Tigers enter Friday night’s game with 0-2 records.
The Wardogs have lost 68-8 to Hilldale and 17-0 to Verdigris.
Pryor’s losses have been against Bentonville West of Centerton, Arkansas (49-13) and Wagoner (32-19).
“They are very big up front; the offensive and defensive lines are pretty big,” Miami coach Andrew Rice said. “I would say their ‘show guys’ (skill players) are similar to what we saw with Verdigris. They are a lot more efficient than Verdigris was on offense. They are going to get 3 yards on every play. We’ve got to stop the run and they’ve got a receiver, No. 12 (senior Will Considine) that we’ve got to be able to contain.”
He said the Pryor defense would be the same as what the Dogs faced last week, “they are just bigger up front. We’ve got to be able to match that somehow.”
The Wardog offense has sputtered, netting only 248 total yards. Of that, 255 have come via the pass.
“The turnovers kill us,” Rice said. Miami had four interceptions and a lost fumble against Verdigris and it coughed the ball u p xx times against Hilldale.
“We’ve go to do a better job with that,” Rice said, noting that finding an offensive rhythm is a must.
“There have been times, like in team camp or spring ball, when our offense gets a rhythm, it’s pretty hard to stop,” he said. “The problem is we haven’t been able to find that rhythm yet.”
The Wardogs finished with minus-42 yards rushing against Hilldale, but netted 35 against Verdigris.
Miami had 137 yards passing in the Hilldale game and finished with 118 against Verdigris.
“We have a bunch of guys who have bought in and are working their tails off,” Rice said. “We’ve got a great bunch of kids, then you add in that eighth-grade group, the future can be there if we keep everybody together.”