NORMAN — It still hurts Kiante Channel to think about. When the Westmoore senior reflects back on last year’s stunning 33-27 double overtime lost to rival Southmoore, he winces.
“Last year, the game still makes me mad,” Channel said. “We should have won.”
That is the type of intensity and animosity the Southwest Showdown has created. Even though it’s only five years old, the rivalry has quickly become one of the more entertaining in the state.
The sixth installment of the Southwest Showdown takes place at 7 p.m. today at Moore Stadium.
“It’s a big deal,” Southmoore’s Brandon Dick said. “City championship. You don’t want to have to worry about that extra of listening to people talking trash because you lost. There is more passion and emotion because you live with these guys in the same city. You just have to come out with all of it and perform.”
However, to call it a rivalry is still a stretch. The SaberCats have won four of the five previous meetings. That included three straight when the series began.
But regardless of who has won, or the score, the matchup has usually been entertaining, as have the subplots surrounding the games.
“I know originally when we opened up in 2008, all the defensive coaches at Westmoore came to Southmoore,” Southmoore coach Jeff Brickman said. “Now all those guys are gone. They are at OBU. I don’t know if there is as much animosity with the coaching staffs towards one another as there was back then. I just think it’s special because these kids know each other. They probably go to church together and grow up playing football together.”
For the players, the history of the rivalry is still fresh to them as are the reasons behind it.
“They have taken some of our good players,” Westmoore’s Deshawn Lookout said. “And we just want to get them back for leaving Westmoore. Show them that we are better.”