The first three weeks of the high school football season is all about excitement. With rivalries and top-10 matchups, for some it’s the most important part of the year.
But for those with postseason aspirations, this week is the start of the real season. District action kicks off Thursday and Friday for teams across the state, including teams in the Moore School District.
Westmoore (1-2) will host Edmond Santa Fe Friday at Moore Stadium. The Jaguars are coming off an overtime loss to Norman North, which was their second consecutive defeat since opening the year with a victory over Moore.
"I think our guys will be ready to play," Westmoore coach Billy Langford said. "I expect our team to come out and play really hard and physical.
The Jaguars offense has gone through a transformation since the start of the season. In the opener, tailback Cody Feuerborn carried the ball 43 times. Since then, he has averaged less than 10 touches a game.
"The defense that the teams are playing forces us to throw the football," Langford said. "When teams load the box to take Cody away, we have to do a much better job of throwing the football."
Westmoore continued to rotate Lionard Fombe and Trevor Thompson at quarterback. Langford said the coaching staff will evaluate the quarterbacks daily and both will continue to play.
Moore (0-3) heads to Choctaw Friday to take on the Yellowjackets (1-2). Like MHS, they are coming off a tough defeat. They fell 42-22 to Putnam City.
The Yellowjackets are paced by quarterback Tanner Hessman. He has thrown for 320 yards on 230-of-51 passing. He has also ran for another 172 yards.
But it’s tailback Corey Bennett the Lions will have to stop in order to come away with a win. He’s averaging 125 yards per game to go along with three yards. It will be up to the defensive line to slow him down.
“Defensive line may be the stronghold of our defense,” MHS coach Scott Myer said. “They are playing well and when they play well it allows your linebackers to play well.”
Moore has relied on its run game the past two seasons to carry the load offensively. But they have begun to open up their passing game this year. Much of that is due to Corey Reeves, who had six receptions for 78 yards against Southmoore.
“Corey played his best game of the year,” Myers said. “We need him to continue to play into his abilities to be a potent threat for our offense.”
Myers is hoping this is the week the lions put it all together on offense.
“We still haven’t seen what this team is capable of,” Myers said. “Whatever it is that is holding us back, it is time to let it go and turn it loose.
Southmoore (3-0) may have the toughest matchup of the week as they take on Muskogee (2-1) Friday in the Indian Bowl.
The Roughers first, second and third option on offense is quarterback Victory Williams. The junior is averaging 104 yards through the air and 143 on the ground. Muskogee defeated Tulsa Central 21-12 Friday and Williams carried the rock 34 time for 127 yards.
The Sabercats’ coaches know they have their hands full with Williams. Outside linebacker d’Vante Henry will be key in keeping the speedy Williams under control. Henry has the speed to keep up with Williams, but his aggressiveness can sometimes get him out of position.
“You can’t lose contain,” Southmoore defensive coordinator Jason Melot said. “Have to keep him in front. We can’t do our own thing because he can go. They are very skilled athletes.”
But the Roughers will also bring a stingy defense with them. They have allowed a total of 48 points this season. Almost half of those came in a week two loss to Owasso.
Tre Edwards will get his second start of the season. While he completed only 4 of 7 passes against MHS, the sophomore knows he will have to do more in order to help the Cats start the district season off right.
“I played decent,” Edwards said. “I think I can do better. I’m trying to let that go by and focus on this week against Muskogee. I want to be smarter with the football. I want to carry out my fakes better. I just want to be more into the game.”