A late rally by the McLoud Redskins wasn’t enough to prevent a 42-37 loss Thursday to the Mannford Pirates.

A late rally by the McLoud Redskins wasn’t enough to prevent a 42-37 loss Thursday to the Mannford Pirates.

The visiting Redskins scored 20 points after dropping behind 41-17 late in the third quarter. A late turnover proved fatal for McLoud on a fourth-quarter drive, said Eric Cardin, head coach.

“We were fixing to score another touchdown, but had another fumble,” he said.

Cardin said his squad hurt themselves during the game.

“There were too many turnovers,” he said. “We didn’t tackle well.”

The Pirates’ 24-point lead provided the hosts enough of a cushion to hold on for the win. Cardin said his team dug themselves into a hole.

“We started a comeback, but couldn’t quite get ourselves out of that hole,” he said.

McLoud was leading 17-7 heading into the second quarter. The Redskins got a boost from their running game early on, Cardin said, but Mannford’s running game led them back into the game and ultimately to the win.

Senior running back Tyler Gibson paced Mannford with 137 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. Senior quarterback Luke May added 88 yards on 15 carries to go with two rushing touchdowns.

Cardin said the Pirates used multiple option plays for Gibson and May.

“They’re a good team, but we didn’t tackle well or make plays,” Cardin said.

The coach added that he believes Mannford is good enough to make a run at the playoffs.

“They just got the best of us,” he said.

Cardin compared this loss to a 21-12 defeat to Glenpool back in Week 4.

“We let the game with Glenpool slip away from us,” he said. “This was probably a team we should have beat.”

Despite the loss, McLoud remains in fourth place in the 4A-2 standings with a record of 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the district.

With the win, the Pirates move to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in district play. Mannford is now tied with Glenpool for fifth place in 4A-2.

Looking ahead, the Redskins’ final three regular-season games are against the teams above them in the 4A-2 standings: Ada, Douglass and Harrah. Cardin said these teams are probably playing the best football in the district.

“We have a strong enough team to win all three games,” he said. “I wouldn’t count us out.”

The McLoud coach said his team might have been putting too much pressure on themselves.

“We need to play the game,” he said. “We don’t need to worry about the mistakes we’ve made.”

The Redskins travel to Douglass in Week 8. Kickoff is at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25.

Note: Report compiled by Matt Caban.