By Michael Kinney
The Moore American
MOORE — Before the season began, coach Jeff Brickman promised his team would play a more physical brand of football this year. Southmoore made their coach was a man of his word in the season opener Thursday.
Facing 5A defending champion Carl Albert, the SaberCats ran for 289 yards as they rolled to a 37-14 victory at Moore Stadium. SMH had two runners rush for more than a 100 yards as they manhandled the Titans defensive front.
“The offensive line did a great job tonight,” senior Pierce Spead said. “I think we only had three negative plays. They opened a lot of holes for us.”
The fireworks started early for the SaberCats. On the first play from scrimmage, busted through the Titans line of scrimmage for a 65 yard touchdown.
“That first play was amazing,” Spead said. “I love that. The hole was wide open. (John) Ashcraft, he opened it up for me.”
On the very next drive, Dakota Troglin snatched a 23-yard TD pass out of the air on 4th down from freshman Conner Uselton. It gave the SaberCats a 14-7 advantage.
Southmoore’s defense did a good job of shutting down the Titan’s run game for most of the first half. They turned Carl Albert into a primarily passing team, which is not their strength. This allowed the SaberCat’s defensive line to pin their ears back and attack CAH quarterback Steve Thompson.
Late in the second quarter, Dunya Rice set up the Cats offense with a 48 yard punt return down to the Titans 17 yard line with 1:30 left. This led to a 16 yard Chris Nemecek field to give Southmoore a 17-7 halftime advantage.
Southmoore came out in the third quarter looking to impose its will upon Carl Albert. They fed runningback Jaelon Walker the ball and let him carry the offense down the field on a time consuming drive.
But it was Spead who cross the goalline on a six yard touchdown run to give the Cats a 23-7 lead late in the third quarter.
On Southmoore’s next possession, Walker made four defenders miss in mid-air before scampering for a14 yard TD run to start the fourth quarter. But the Titans responded when Dillon Lohr returned the ensuing kick-off 90 yards for a touchdown.
Southmoore led 30-14.
Carl Albert attempted an onside kick, but Tyler Rinaldi plucked it out of the air and returned for a 50 yard touchdown that put the contest away for the Cats.
Spead led all rushers with 131 yards. Walker added 114.
Uselton completed only a few passes in his first start. But he did enough to keep the Titans’ defense from stacking the line of scrimmage to gang up on the run.
“We are very, very tough to beat,” Spead said. “If anybody can stop that run, then we are going to dump it over with the pass. So it’s impossible.”
Southmoore and Westmoore will face off at 7 p.m. Friday with each team coming off convincing wins in their season opener. While the Jaguars took care of Moore for the 13th consecutive time, the SaberCats pounded defending 5A state champion Carl Albert.
The Southwest Showdown could come down to which team can make the most plays out of its passing game. With first year quarterbacks under center for both teams, they have turned into predominantly power running offensive units. Southmoore’s Pierce Speed and Jaelon Walker each ran for over 100 yards against the Titans while Westmoore’s Kieron Hardrick reached the endzone three times in Moore War.
But the Cats and Jags have shown they can make plays downfield when needed.
Southmoore freshman quarterback Conner Uselton and Westmoore junior Bryson Lee each tossed touchdown passes last week.
MOORE vs. NHS
Coming off its loss to Westmoore, Moore will look to regroup at 7 p.m. Friday when it travels down I-35 to Norman to face the Tigers.
NHS defeated Norman North last week 38-31 to move to 1-0 on the season.
The Lions will have to find a way to contain 6-foot-1, 230-pound Cade Parker. The Norman defensive end accounted for five sacks on North’s David Cornwell during the Crosstown Clash.
Moore was unable to establish tailback Ryan Lujan against Westmoore. He carried the ball 11 times for 15 yards in the 37-6 defeat. Moore will need to get its running game going if they are to take down Norman.
Michael Kinney Follow me @eyeamtruth firstname.lastname@example.org