By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Coach Todd Watters was not happy. After watching his Moore Lions get ambushed 35-7 by Putnam City North on Thursday at Putnam City Stadium, the first-year coach didn’t mince words on how he felt about his team’s performance.
“We played poorly,” Watters said. “We had some improvements since Week 1, and it didn’t seem we made any improvements since last week to this week. Disappointed with the outcome.”
The Lions (1-4, 1-1) were coming off their first and only win of the season last week when they throttled US. Grant. Even through the Generals are a struggling program, Watters had hoped to see his team come out against the Panthers riding the momentum from last week.
However, that was not the case, as Moore was held to 139 total yards. The majority of those came in the first quarter. Conversely, the Panthers pounded out 255 rushing yards.
“We responded well as far as the physicality,” Watters said. “We kept getting after them and hitting them. The kids didn’t give up from what we can see. We just had very poor tackling and very poor blocking. And that’s what football is. It showed on the scoreboard tonight.”
Moore got the ball first and did what it does best. Watters put it in the hands of tailback Ryan Lugan and quarterback Colin Webb and played power ball. They drove 75 yards in 6:45 and attempted only two passes. Webb concluded the impressive start with a two-yard touchdown run to give Moore a 7-0 advantage.
But the Panthers had the same game plan. They took five minutes off the clock as they got on the scoreboard with a John Simon touchdown pass to Ruben Carter.
The Lions’ Evan Sprayberry fumbled the kickoff return and the Panthers recovered on the 24-yard line. It led to another Panthers’ TD to put the home team up 14-7 in the second period.
MHS had a chance to add to its total when Derek Harris returned a punt 53 yards to the 15-yard line. They got to the 8-yard line and, with five seconds left, the Lions went for the touchdown instead of taking the field goal. The pass was incomplete and MHS trailed by 14 heading into halftime.
“They made some change on defense, and we didn’t execute the way we should have,” Harris said.
Along with turning the ball over three times, the Lions didn’t perform at the level Watters had expected and seemed to be reverting back to their old way of doing things.
“They have to do what they are coached to do,” Watters said. “The teams that lose and lose a bunch and that’s all they are used to do is losing, they don’t do what they are coached to do. They don’t believe in anything. They don’t believe in their coach, they don’t believe in themselves and they don’t believe in their teammates. That’s our problem.”
Moore hosts Eisenhower (1-4, 0-2)) Friday.