Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover wants his Wardogs to see the game of football played at a fast pace during their pre-season tune-ups.

They'll get that Friday night when they travel to the Muskogee Festival.

In the past, the Festival has been a multi-team scrimmage, but it will just be MHS vs. MHS this time. However, they will still use the controlled game format, with offenses starting from the 20-yard line.

There will be no rush or return on kicks and one coach will be allowed on the field.

“I am not real big on the game format for the first scrimmage, but since they are the host school, we're going to go ahead and go with it,” Risenhoover said. “I like the different looks you see. But the main thing to me is about the level of competition and the speed of the game.

“I always like to see in at least one of these scrimmages, and really both, see the game played real fast. We know we will get that when we play Muskogee. They will have good athletes at every position. We will see a high caliber football team.”

The Roughers, in their third season under head coach Matt Hennesy, have reached the 6A state semifinals for three straight years.

Noseguard Robert Thomas, a 6-2, 311-pound senior, has already committed to Kansas State.

Other key players for the Roughers include senior linebacker Erik Howell (6-2, 240), senior defensive end Matt Messer (6-1, 240); senior tailback-cornerback Vernon Scott (6-1, 180), senior safety Nico Cubit (6-0, 180); senior safety Jordan Brown (5-11, 195), and junior offensive lineman Jeremy Burton (6-4, 285).

Miami, which finds itself moving up to Class 5A for the next two seasons, will be short-handed since a number of regulars are nursing injuries.

The latest added to the list - junior back Jeff Meeks tweaked an ankle in practice Tuesday and senior lineman Curtis Chambers hurt a hand in practice Friday. Grant Longcrier and Josh White have been slowed in the pre-season by injuries.

“We will be thin,” Risenhoover said. “It's nothing major. Hopefully, we will see them all Week 1. If not, we definitely will have everyone full speed by the time we get to district games. We will hold some kids out that have nagging injuries, make sure they are ready to go when they really count.”

The Wardogs travel to Vinita next Friday for their final warm-up.

The season opener will be Sept. 5 at home with Wagoner.