“We played really well until the final 10 minutes or so,” coach Steve Barrett said. “Offensively we scored enough points to win, but it didn’t pan out as I thought it would defensively.”
Shawnee’s offensive balance undid the Bears on Friday. Forced between defending the passing or running game, the Bears focused on stopping the pass, and that allowed the Wolves to break several long plays on the ground.
Despite the setback, it was an encouraging year for Noble in Barrett’s third season back at the helm. The Bears improved their win total from last season, and lost several other games by a matter of a few plays.
“I think definitely we’re headed in the right direction,” Barrett said. “Going forward we’ve got to consistently be disciplined and play hard-nosed football to be successful. Our kids have acclimated to that and we’re continuously making improvement. There’s no reason we can’t continue to move forward.”
Turnovers the difference for Tigers: Just a few weeks after coach Greg Nation made a public declaration that his team needed to force more turnovers, the Tigers have responded in a big way.
A week after forcing three turnovers against Putnam City West, the eighth-ranked Tigers (8-2) did even better in an impressive 26-21 win over Lawton, intercepting quarterback Dallas Sealey once and recovering three Wolverine fumbles. The Tigers kept control of the game in the second half with timely turnovers, and sealed the game by recovering a muffed punt with a minute left on the clock.
“We made some big plays to finish the game,” Nation said. “We’ve gotten better at being active on defense and gang-tackling on plays.”
Penalties a concern? One bit of negative news out of Friday’s win is that NHS accumulated 11 penalties in the victory, totaling 101 yards.