Game Night Preview: Bethel at McLoud, Wolves to host McAlester in Saturday game

Brian Johnson, Sports Editor

   The ever-changing landscape of sports is at an all-time high.

    Such is the case with the high school football scene in Oklahoma as COVID-19 continues to play havoc with schedules and force cancellations and/or postponements throughout the state.

    It was announced Wednesday that Shawnee High School's home opener with Ardmore tonight has been canceled due to a positive test within the Ardmore football program. However, it was learned early Thursday afternoon, that the Wolves did manage to land a home game for this Saturday against McAlester at Jim Thorpe Stadium. The kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

    Senior Night for Shawnee has been moved to next week's home game against Carl Albert while Shawnee High School Football Hall of Fame festivities have been shifted to halftime of the Oct. 15 game against Tulsa East Central.

    This means the Wolves will play McAlester twice this season. This Saturday's game is a non-district contest while the Shawnee at McAlester clash on Oct. 30 will be a District 5A-3 game.

    Tecumseh was scheduled to host Seminole tonight in the annual Highway 9 clash, but that game was canceled due to some positive tests within the Seminole program. 

    Instead for the second week in a row, the Savages scrambled around and found a new opponent. Tecumseh will host Lone Grove at 7:30 tonight. Last week, Tecumseh was supposed to play at Perkins-Tryon but instead played at Ft. Gibson due to the same circumstances.

    Just proves high school football will be an ever-changing ordeal from week to week in 2020.   

Bethel at McLoud

    The Wildcats are scheduled to visit the Redskins tonight for a clash of Pottawatomie County teams at 7 o'clock.

    Both squads were successful in their openers. Bethel went on the road and claimed a 28-8 victory at Meeker while McLoud hammered U.S. Grant, 38-6.

    For Bethel head coach Joey Ginn, the win over the Bulldogs was keyed by the defense and on offense the play of quarterback Jesse Tucker was a major factor.

    “I was pleased with the defensive effort..the way we ran to the ball and made tackles,” said Ginn. “Anytime you can get six turnovers and only have one is a great thing. I like the way Jesse Tucker played in his first start at quarterback.”

    According to Ginn, absorbed a massive hit on the second series.

    “He kind of bounced up like it didn't phase him,” Ginn said. “He made good decisions in the run and passing game.”

    Tucker was 19-of-36 passing for 289 yards and a 44-yard touchdown pass to John Gordon. Tucker also ran for two scores of 1 and 14 yards.

    “John Gordon had a big game with eight catches for 159 yards,” said Ginn.

    McLoud, winless during the 2019 season, had a dominating performance in its opening game last week.

    “That was a big win for them,” Ginn said. “Their quarterback (Collin Gibson) is really good and we had played him the last couple of years when he was at Little Axe. Their center is probable one of their two best offensive linemen and their tailbacks are really good. Their No. 21 (Clint Campbell) is a kid that really stood out.”

    The Campbell-Gibson duo combined for 265 rushing yards as Campbell finished with 155 while Gibson netted 110.

    “It was good to start the season off the right way,” said McLoud head coach Rusty Hall. “I thought our running game was really good. We were right about 300 yards and averaged 10 yards a carry. Passing-wise, we did okay. We had a dropped touchdown pass in the end zone. But, overall I was really pleased.”

    Hall also praised the play of his defense.

    “Our defense played really, really well. We only gave up about 152 yards of offense (by U.S. Grant),” Hall said. “Our special teams and kickoff teams really did a good job of making tackles and getting after it.”

    As for Bethel, Hall is concerned about the Wildcats' size and big-play capabilities.

    “They are big up front and try to push you around,” said Hall. “Their two receivers (Gordon and Drae Wood) out wide can go. Our guys will have to key on them. In their backfield, (Corey) Metscher is a bruising, downhill runner and their No. 44 (Dez Loving) is a scatback. They both kind of compliment each other real well.”

    The Wildcats are scheduled to be at home for the first time this season next Friday night against Little Axe. McLoud is scheduled to play Harrah next Friday with the game possibly being moved to the next day, Saturday (Sept. 19).

Lone Grove at Tecumseh

    The Savages will entertain a newly-scheduled opponent in Lone Grove at 7:30 tonight. Senior Night festivities will take place prior to the game.

    Tecumseh, 0-1, dropped a 17-13 decision at Ft. Gibson, despite jumping out to a 13-3 advantage. Quarterback Monte Valois hooked up with Jake Trice on a 40-yard scoring pass to put the Savages on top, 6-3. Then later in the first quarter, Gavyn Rogers had a 40-yard scoring run and Kevin Dodd kicked the extra point.

    But Ft. Gibson pulled within 13-10 at the half and then went on top for good late in the third quarter.

    “We started the game really strong. We were physical and played great defense,” said Tecumseh head coach Ty Bullock. “We then started cramping and I felt like we lost some of our physicality at the end. But it was great test for us. Ft. Gibson is well-coached and disciplined. It was a good experience to get a lot of kids the opportunity to play.”

    Class 3A Lone Grove brings a 1-0 mark into tonight's action after being idle last week. Lone Grove won a 41-40 overtime thriller over Purcell two weeks ago.

    Lone Grove was supposed to play Comanche tonight.

    “They have a dynamic offense with a real good running back-quarterback duo,” Bullock said. “Defensively, they're physical and fast, but not really big. We'll have our hands full.”

    Bullock said many of his players, particularly his seniors, were disappointed in not being able to play their rival Seminole, but were pleased to find that a replacement game is being conducted.

    “Lone Grove was nice enough to come play us. This is an opportunity we're not going to waste,” said Bullock.

    Following tonight's action, the Savages are scheduled to be at home again next Friday against Elgin at 7:30 p.m.

Prague at Stroud

    The Red Devils seek a 3-0 start to the season in battling one of their Lincoln County rivals in the Stroud Tigers at 7 o'clock tonight.

    Prague crushed Henryetta, 38-0, at home last week as the tandem of tailback Trevor McGinnis and quarterback Trip Davis each gained over 100 yards. McGinnis finished with 116 yards on 15 carries while scoring a touchdown and running for four 2-point conversions. Davis netted 107 yards on 15 tries and had a TD.

    “I thought our defense played really, really, really well. We were very sound on defense,” said Prague head coach Mike Hedge. “Offensively, our execution could've been better, but our effort was there. Our effort has been good both weeks this season.”

    Stroud has gotten off to a rough 0-2 start to the season.

    “They have really young kids and they had many graduate off last year's team. They are kind of like we were last year,” Hedge said. “They're big and physical. They're well-coached.”

    One other thing that has pleased Hedge through the first two games has been the Red Devils' ability to display depth.

    “We have some freshmen who have come along and will play through the course of the season,” said Hedge.

    The Red Devils are scheduled off next Friday and return to play on Sept. 25 at home against Millwood to open District 2A-2 play.

Meeker at Purcell

    The Meeker Bulldogs, off to a 1-1 start to the season, play on the road for the first time this season against the 1-1 Purcell Dragons.

    Meeker, after beating Stroud 45-7 at home two weeks ago, dropped a 28-8 home decision to the Bethel Wildcats last Friday.

    The Class 2A Bulldogs picked up their only touchdown late in the game off a Caden Wolford 11-yard run. Meeker scored two points off a safety in the first quarter.

    “We didn't play well. You go back to the turnovers. You can't turn the ball over that many times. We've got to clean that up,” said Meeker head coach DJ Howell. “The turnovers killed drives and gave them extra opportunities. Last week, we had some stuff happen which you usually see in scrimmages or fall camps. Bethel has a good football team.”

    Purcell is coming off a 35-28 road victory at Class 2A Lindsay a week ago. The Class 2A Dragons opened the season with a 41-40 home overtime loss to Class 3A Lone Grove two weeks ago.

    “Purcell has a good quarterback and they have good schemes both offensively and defensively,” Howell said. “They have good guys on the line of scrimmage. We're going to have to play well. They like to throw the football and they're very good at throwing it. Their quarterback has the ability to pull it down and run with it as well. They're very sound in what they do.”

    The Bulldogs are scheduled to be off next Friday before launching District 2A-2 competition on Sept. 25 at Kellyville.

Chandler at Bristow

    The Class 2A Chandler Lions, coming off a 48-0 season-opening thrashing of Lincoln County rival Stroud, hits the road for the first time this season by paying a visit to Class 4A Bristow for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

    The Bristow Pirates dropped a 19-15 decision at Cushing last Friday night.

    Meanwhile, Chandler received 143 yards rushing on only 10 carries from Casmen Hill, who had touchdown runs of 70 and 7 yards and added a 95-yard kickoff return for a score. Hill also caught four passes for 53 yards in that contest.

    Lion quarterback Kaden Jones was 7-of-11 passing for 99 yards and three touchdowns of 11 yards to Spencer Clagg, 21 yards to Jarin Greenfield and 20 yards to Ashton Yates.

    Chandler is back home next Friday night against Beggs at 7 o'clock.

North Rock Creek at Konawa

    The North Rock Creek Cougars play their third straight road game with a visit to Konawa tonight at 7 o'clock.

    North Rock Creek, 0-2, was on the short end of a 41-0 score at Crescent last Friday night.

    Konawa, 1-0, upended Keyes (Park Hill), 22-7, last week. It was the Tigers' season opener after the Elmore City-Pernell game was cancelled two weeks ago.

    The Cougars play their first home game next Friday against Holdenville at 7 p.m.

Dewar at Maud

    The Tigers, 0-2, seek their first victory of the season tonight by playing at home for the second straight week against Dewar at 7 p.m.

    Dewar, out of Class B, is off to a 2-0 start, eclipsing the 50-point barrier both times this season. Dewar hammered Southwest Covenant, 54-16, two weeks ago and thrashed Regent Prep, 52-18, last Friday.

    Maud, out of Class C, dropped a 64-28 decision to Fox last week. Tiger quarterback Bryce Bodkin threw two touchdown passes of 2 and 28 yards to Jerry Daubert. Romeo Pitbull had a 1-yard TD run and Jace Diaz returned a kickoff 70 yards for a score to end the game.

    Maud is idle next week before playing at Oaks on Sept. 24 to open District C-4 action.