By Michael Kinney
The Norman Transcript
This year’s Battle of the Big Cats features two teams seemingly going in opposite directions. Despite that, when the undefeated Southmoore SaberCats (2-0) and the winless Moore Lions (0-2) face off 7 p.m. today at Moore Stadium, it’s still a rivalry game on the line.
“It’s big for us,” Southmoore coach Jeff Brickman said. “We used to have that as one of our goals, the city championship, whenever I got the job. We don’t really have goals like that anymore. But all these guys went to junior high with kids either from Moore or Westmoore. It just gives them bragging rights if they are able to do that.”
After beating Westmoore last week in double overtime, the ’Cats need to take down the Lions in order to win that coveted city title.
However, the Lions will be looking to throw a wrench in Southmoore’s celebration plans.
Moore is coming off a 28-10 defeat to Norman High. Even though they have yet to secure a win, the team has made strides since the opening week.
“We showed improvement,” Moore coach Todd Watters said. “But still making too many mental errors in all three phases of the game and playing too high defensively. We are not playing as physical as we need to in every aspect of the game. Our effort was pretty good. There are positions that can improve in this area but, over all, we played hard.”
Lions quarterback Colin Webb played well in his first start under center, running 29 times for 92 yards and passing for 24 more. In two contests, Moore has accounted for 407 rushing yards. In Watters’ first year at the helm, it has dedicated itself to running the ball. The Lions have 93 carries compared to only 18 pass attempts.
Webb leads the ground charge for Moore. He’s rushed for more than 100 yards each game, despite not starting the opener against Westmoore.
“They run the veer option,” Brickman said. “We just have to make sure our defense has its keys as far as who has the pitch guy, who has the quarterback. They just have to make sure they stick with their keys. Making sure we play assignment football.”
Southmoore has been just as effective on the ground behind senior Karltrell Henderson and junior Jaelon Walker but has also been able to produce in the passing game. Quarterback Tre Edwards has put up big numbers and isn’t making the mistakes that plagued him as a junior.
“Southmoore is so explosive on offense that it will be very difficult to slow them down,” Watters said. “We need Southmoore to turn the ball over and make mistakes, and we will have to play a flawless game.”
But the ’Cats do not want to let the Lions hang around. With their pounding run game, if they can keep the game close, anything can happen.
“They play hard,” Walker said of the Lions. “We have to hit them and keep hitting until we get them down. It’s very important to get on top early. You really don’t want to give a team a chance to feel they can play with you. You have to come out and jump out on anybody you can.”