By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — It took four weeks, but Moore picked up its first win of the season Friday when it defeated U.S. Grant 54-16 at Moore Stadium. Coming off the thrashing it took the week before to Southmoore, it was a needed victory.
“It is very important,” Moore coach Todd Watters said. “Our kids need to be rewarded for their hard work. Our kids work very hard, and we are proud of their overall work ethic. But if we do not experience success, then it gets very difficult for the kids to buy in to the fact that hard work pays off.”
However, as excited as the Lions (1-3, 1-0 District 6A-2) were to finally taste victory, it came against a program that is struggling even more than MHS.
“It is hard to tell the amount of improvement because Grant is so down right now,” Watters said. “But I thought that Grant’s kids were better than last year, and they played hard. As for our kids, we also played hard and executed well over all. The degree of talent and effort of your opponent will always be major factors in your team’s ability to execute against them.”
Moore was able to run its offense with ease through the Generals defense behind a strong performance from the Lions offensive line.
“KJ Carrethers read the option well,” Watters said. “Canaan Cook and Austin Barrick stood out on the O-line. The O-line played well as a unit. Defensively, Tyson Neals stood out, as his technique continues to improve. Stephan Robinson had a pick for six. Tyler Buckles and Casen Haddox both had good games. Overall, the entire defensive unit played well. We are still having some assignment busts and not knowing where to align at times, so we still have a lot of room for improvement in all phases of the game.”
But Watters admits its hard to tell just how good his team played.
“U.S. Grant was just out matched against us,” Watters said. “They had to play several freshmen and sophomores, so it was like us playing their JV team. Coach Burgess is busting his tail to get things into place to build the program up and is doing a great job of it. I can see improvement in their kids. They will continue to get more competitive each year.”
Moore will host Putnam City North (0-4, 0-1) Thursday looking to extend its win streak to two games. It will also be their homecoming game.
“We have to continue to improve in practice,” Watters said. “If we improve in practice, that will result in better execution in games and therefore multiplying our chances of success and wins.”
Rankings update: Westmoore was the big mover in Class 6A this week, with Friday’s 37-29 victory over No. 8 Bixby keying a two-spot jump from No. 7 to No. 5
New entrants this week are No. 8 Yukon (3-1) and No. 10 Sapulpa. The Millers own wins over Norman High and Mustang and have only lost to Edmond Santa Fe, while Sapulpa defeated Putnam City last week to remain unbeaten.
Dropping out of the American’s rankings this week are No. 9 Southmoore and No. 10 Midwest City, both losers on Friday. Jenks (4-0) and Tulsa Union (2-2) still hold the top two spots, with 3-1 Broken Arrow and undefeated Lawton rounding out the top five.
District champs: The Southmoore softball team wrapped up its first district championship last week when it defeated Yukon Thursday. The SaberCats went 14-0 in District 6A-2 action.
Southmoore is 24-3 overall. One of those victories was a 10-0 shutout over Edmond Memorial last week. Katelyn Brown picked up the victory with the complete game shutout. She helped herself at the plate by knocking in five runs.
Brown picked up another win Monday when she shutout Mustang 8-0. She was 2-for at the plate with a homer and she improved to 17-1 on the season.
The SaberCats finish the regular season with a matchup with Moore Thursday at 6:30 p.m. before traveling to Chickasha Monday for a 5 p.m. contest.
Volleyball ending: The volleyball regular season is coming to a close next week. Southmoore’s last match will take place Oct. 8 at Broken Arrow while Moore travels to Yukon.
Westmoore has a match at Deer Creek THursday before closing out the regular season Oct. 8 at Putnam City North.
The postseason begins Oct. 10 with regionals.