OJFA finishes 32nd year with Red Dirt League championships
The Okmulgee Junior Football Association will enter this season – the 33rd in history – looking to duplicate its successful 2022 campaign.
In 2022, the Junior Bulldogs had all four grade divisions – 3rd-6th – earn postseason berths with two of those gridiron squads finishing the season with championship trophies.
For the second-straight season, the OJFA youth football program competed in the Red Dirt Football League out of Jones, OK.
The 2022 season got underway September 10 at home against the Prague Red Devils. The Junior Bulldogs began the 2022 campaign with a split decision against the visiting Red Devils with Prague taking the third and fourth-grade contests by margins of 12-6 and 14-12, respectively, while the Okmulgee squad began the season with decisive wins over their visitors in the final two games with the fifth grade blanking Prague 22-0, while the sixth grade handed the Red Devils a 42-14 setback.
The following week (September 17), the Junior Bulldogs welcomed the Cushing Tigers to historic Harmon Field for a Week 2 showdown. The host Okmulgee squad came away victorious in all four contests for their first sweep of 2022. The third and fourth grade Okmulgee teams earned their first wins of the season with victories of 30-14 and 14-6, respectively. The fifth-grade Junior Bulldogs improved to 2-0 on the season with their second-straight shutout win (42-0), while the sixth-grade OJFA squad notched its second-straight win of 2022 with a 38-0 shutout win in the final contest of Week 2.
The first road trip for the Junior Bulldogs took place on September 24, traveling to Perkins for a showdown with the Perkins Bandits.
Perkins took the third-grade contest by a 20-0 margin, while Okmulgee earned wins in the other three Week 3 games by margins of 6-0, 38-28, and 34-0, respectively.
Week 4 saw the Junior Bulldogs back on the road, traveling to McLoud.
The third-grade squad evened their record to 2-2 with a 24-10 victory in the opening contest, while the fourthgrade team fell to 2-2 on the season following a 20-0 setback.
The fifth and sixth-grade Junior Bulldog teams continued their winning ways with identical 38-0 victories in the final two contests at McLoud.
On October 8, the OJFA squads began a 2-game homestand, welcoming the Guthrie Bluejays to town for a Week 5 battle at historic Harmon Field.
The Junior Bulldogs came out of the showdown with a 3-1 record with the lone loss coming in the fifth-grade game – a 40-6 setback. The double-digit defeat was the first of the 2022 campaign for the Okmulgee fifth-grade squad.
The third and fourth-grade teams improved to 3-2 on the season with shutout wins (24-0, 34-0), while the sixth-grade Junior Bulldogs remained unbeaten in 2022 with a 38-6 decision in the final contest of Week 5.
The final home game for the OJFA squad came on October 15 against Meeker in a ‘Battle of the Bulldogs’.
The third-grade squad had the week off due to Meeker not fielding a thirdgrade team in 2022, improving to 4-2 on the year with a 15-0 forfeit win.
The other three Okmulgee gridiron squads sent their hometown fans home happy with onesided, double- digit, victories in the home finale. The fourth-grade Junior Bulldogs also improved to 4-2 on the season with a 32-6 decision against Meeker, while the fifth-grade squad rebounded from their loss to Guthrie by blanking Meeker by a 40-0 margin to improve to 5-1 on the year.
The sixth-grade Junior Bulldogs kept their unblemished regular-season record intact in the nightcap, routing the visiting Bulldogs by a 44-6 margin.
The final regular-season contest of 2022 for the Okmulgee program was a trip to Bristow on October 22.
The Junior Bulldogs closed out their regular-season schedule with a 4-game sweep of the host Bristow Purple Pirates. The third and fourthgrade squads began the road sweep with shutout wins – 16-0 and 22-0, respectively, while the fifth and sixthgrade squads also earned double-digit (30-14, 42-0) victories in the final two contests to complete the regular-season finale sweep.
The wins by the third and fourthgrade teams at Bristow earned the two Okmulgee squads a spot in the RDFL postseason in 2022.
The final standings in the North Division saw the third-grade team finish third, the fourth-grade squad finish fourth, the fifth-grade team finish second, and the sixth-grade squad captured the division championship.
The first-round of the RDFL playoffs began on October 29 with the fourthgrade team traveling to Meeker, while the other three OJFA squads began postseason play in Noble.
The Junior Bulldog program earned a split decision in its opening-round contests with the third-grade squad advancing to the semifinal round with a 12-0 victory over the host Noble Bears and the sixth-grade team moved one step closer to a perfect 2022 season with a 34-0 win over the Tecumseh Savages.
The 2022 campaign came to a close for the other two OJFA squads with the fourth-grade team dropping a heartbreaking 6-0 decision to the Sulphur Bulldogs to finish 5-3 and the fifth-grade squad suffering a 44-20 defeat at the hands of the Noble Bears for a 6-2 finish.
The two remaining OJFA teams continued their postseason November 5 with the third-grade team traveling to Prague for semifinal showdown with the host Prague Red Devils, while the sixth-grade squad traveled to Cushing for a semifinal meeting with the unbeaten Shawnee Wolves.
The third-grade Junior Bulldog squad punched their ticket to the RDFL championship game with a 28-12 victory over Prague, while the sixth-grade Okmulgee team advanced to the title game with a hard-fought 50-30 win over Shawnee, handing the Wolves their lone loss of 2022.
The RDFL championships took place on November 12 at Prague with the third-grade Junior Bulldogs being matched up against the Perkins Bandits, while the sixth-grade OJFA squad squared off against the host Prague Red Devils.
The Okmulgee third-grade team held off a pesky Perkins squad to capture the championship with an 18-6 decision to finish the 2022 season with an 8-2 record.
The Okmulgee sixth-grade squad finished their bid for a perfect 10-0 season with a 42-6 rout of the host Prague Red Devils to hoist the championship trophy. In its 10 games in 2022, the Okmulgee third-grade team outscored its opponents by a margin of 149-74 – an average of 14.9-7.4 ppg, while the Okmulgee fourth-grade squad outscored its foes by a margin of 120-52 in eight games – an average of 15.0-6.5 ppg.
The Okmulgee fifth-grade team outscored its eight opponents by a margin of 236-126 – an average of 29.515.8 ppg.
During its perfect season, the Okmulgee sixth-grade squad outscored its 10 foes by a margin of 402-62 – an average of 40.2-6.2 ppg and won all seven of its regular-season games by an average of 35.7 ppg, while winning its three playoff games by an average of 30 ppg.
The Okmulgee Junior Bulldog youth football program is scheduled to begin its 33rd season of existence on August 26 with an opponent and site to be determined.
—- OJFA 2022 Season 3rd Grade
8-2 (5-2 regular season; won championship) Regular Season
Sept. 10 – Prague 12, Okmulgee 6 Sept. 17 – Okmulgee 30, Cushing 14 Sept. 24 – Perkins 20, Okmulgee 0 Oct. 1 – Okmulgee 24, McLoud 10 Oct. 8 – Okmulgee 24, Guthrie 0 Oct. 15 – Okmulgee 15, Meeker 0 (forfeit) Oct. 22 – Okmulgee 16, Bristow 0 Playoffs
Oct. 29 – Okmulgee 12, Noble 0 Nov. 5 – Okmulgee 28, Prague 12 Nov. 12 – Okmulgee 18, Perkins 6 — 4th Grade
5-3 (5-2 regular season; lost in 1st round) Regular Season
Sept. 10 – Prague 14, Okmulgee 12 Sept. 17 – Okmulgee 14, Cushing 6 Sept. 24 – Okmulgee 6, Perkins 0 Oct. 1 – McLoud 20, Okmulgee 0 Oct. 8 – Okmulgee 34, Guthrie 0 Oct. 15 – Okmulgee 32, Meeker 6 Oct. 22 – Okmulgee 22, Bristow 0 Playoffs
Oct. 29 – Sulphur 6, Okmulgee 0 — 5th Grade
6-2 (6-1 regular season; lost in 1st round) Regular Season
Sept. 10 – Okmulgee 22, Prague 0 Sept. 17 – Okmulgee 42, Cushing 0 Sept. 24 – Okmulgee 38, Perkins 28 Oct. 1 – Okmulgee 38, McLoud 0 Oct. 8 – Guthrie 40, Okmulgee 6 Oct. 15 – Okmulgee 40, Meeker 0 Oct. 22 – Okmulgee 30, Bristow 14 Playoffs
Oct. 29 – Noble 44, Okmulgee 20 — 6th Grade
10-0 (7-0 regular season; won championship) Regular Season
Sept. 10 – Okmulgee 42, Prague 14 Sept. 17 – Okmulgee 38, Cushing 0 Sept. 24 – Okmulgee 34, Perkins 0 Oct. 1 – Okmulgee 38, McLoud 0 Oct. 8 – Okmulgee 38, Guthrie 6 Oct. 15 – Okmulgee 44, Meeker 6 Oct. 22 – Okmulgee 42, Bristow 0 Playoffs
Oct. 29 – Okmulgee 34, Tecumseh 0 Nov. 5 – Okmulgee 50, Shawnee 30 Nov. 12 – Okmulgee 42, Prague 6