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Bethel, McLoud to play at home tonight in Week 4 of 2020 season

Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson
Bethel's Gage Nessel (10) and Gage Porter (3) pursue Little Axe's Andrew Hanna (18) during action last Friday night at Bethel Acres. The Wildcats, 56-0 winners in that game, are home again tonight against Christian Heritage.

COVID-19 continues to alter schedules for area football teams.

The 3-0 Prague Red Devils were scheduled to host Millwood tonight, but due to the affects of the pandemic, which hit one of Millwood's opponents (Douglass) a couple of weeks ago, the Falcons will be unable to play.

The 1-0 Seminole Chieftains, after having two games canceled due to COVID-19, will finally get back on the field in competition for the first time in three weeks as they are scheduled to visit undefeated Stigler tonight at 7 o'clock.

Other games set for tonight are: Tecumseh at Ada, Christian Heritage at Bethel, Heritage Hall at McLoud, Meeker at Kellyville, Chandler at Crossings Christian, North Rock Creek at Tulsa NOAH and Maud at Oaks Mission.

Tonight's contests are district openers.

Tecumseh (2-1) at Ada (1-1)

The Savages, winners of two straight, will hit the road for a tough District 4A-2 clash at Ada.

The kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at East Central University's Koi Ishto Stadium.

After a season-opening loss at Ft. Gibson, Tecumseh has reeled off two straight wins, including a 41-19 home decision over Elgin last week. The Savages were also 21-19 winners at home over Lone Grove.

Kane Ainesworth scored four touchdowns for Tecumseh last week against Elgin. Three came by rush while the other came on a 25-yard fumble return. Ainesworth finished with 101 yards on 12 carries.

Meanwhile, quarterback Monte Valois was 9-of-16 passing for 183 yards and two touchdowns of 39 yards to Dylan Graham and 48 yards to Jake Trice.

For the season, Valois has completed 31-of-49 passes for 507 yards and four touchdowns with only one interception and Trice has been Valois' top target with 14 grabs for 255 yards and two scores.

In the rushing department, Ainesworth had collected 259 yards on 35 rushes and has scored three touchdowns and has gone over the 100-yard rushing mark twice this year. Dylan Graham has netted 192 yards on 23 tries, Chad Wynne has 143 yards on 22 attempts and has scored two touchdowns and Gavyn Rogers has 127 yards on just 12 carries and has scored a TD.

Rogers and Graham also have one TD grab apiece.

Ada was shut out in its season opener at Ardmore (21-0) on Sept. 4. After a break due to COVID-19, the Cougars bounced back with a 28-0 home decision over Durant last week.

Maximus Rhynes has rushed for two of the Cougars' four touchdowns this season as he has netted 65 yards on only 10 carries. Earl Battles, who has 106 yards on 18 attempts, also has a TD.

Ada has attempted only 31 passes as Carter Freeland has completed 10 of them for 115 yards, but has been intercepted three times.

Defensively for the Cougars, Will Bailey tops the tackle chart with 16 while Andrew Hughes and Jarron Christian have each intercepted a pass. Dalton Weston has one quarterback sack for Ada while Nate Richardson and Cade Sliger combined for the other.

After tonight's game, the Savages will play on the road again next week at Tuttle.

Christian Heritage (1-2) at Bethel (3-0)

The Wildcats, off to a perfect start, will try to stay unbeaten as they entertain Christian Heritage in a District 2A-3 opener.

The Crusaders are 1-2 and coming off a tough 23-21 home loss to Mount St. Mary last week.

“They are really athletic. They have a 6-3 receiver and a 6-4 receiver,” said Bethel head coach Joey Ginn. “They are a lot like us offensively in that they like to run the spread. They're going to throw it a lot, but they're not as big as some of the teams we have faced so far.”

Ginn says Christian Heritage likes to run an odd stack – three down linemen, three linebackers and five defensive backs.

“They've shown that they can bring it defensively,” Ginn said. “Like on offense, they're not as big as what we've seen, but they're pretty athletic on defense.”

The Crusaders are just two years removed from being a state finalist in Class A. They lost in the title game to Tonkawa.

“They're going to be well-coached,” said Ginn.

Bethel is coming off a 56-0 home thrashing of Little Axe as the Wildcats limited the Indians to two yards of total offense.

Meanwhile, quarterback Jesse Tucker threw six touchdown passes in completing 18-of-27 passes for 313 yards. Four of those TD passes went to Drae Wood for 15, 31, 45 and 18 yards while the other two went for 52 and 46 yards to John Gordon.

For the season, Tucker has completed 57.3% of his passes (55-of-96) for 859 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. Gordon leads the team in reception yards with 347 on 13 catches with four scores. Woods' 16 grabs top the squad for 289 yards and six touchdowns.

Corey Metscher has netted 101 yards on 21 carries and has scored twice through three games. Tucker has 21 attempts for 73 yards and two scores and Dez Loving has one rushing TD while carrying 14 times for 47 yards.

Defensively, senior LW Moore leads the squad with 49 tackles, including 23 solo-stops and two tackles for lost yards. Bronc Robbins tops the tackle for loss chart with 11 among his 30 stops. Mestcher has seven tackles for loss among his 28 tackles. Loving and Rowdy Story have posted five tackles for loss and three tackles for loss, respectively.

Gage Porters has two of the Wildcats' five interceptions with Harrison Thomas, John Allred and Metscher snatching one apiece.

Next week, Bethel will hit the road for a big district matchup at Washington.

Heritage Hall (2-1) at McLoud (2-1)

The Redskins, coming off a thrilling 34-33 road victory last week at Hartshorne, will face Heritage Hall to launch District 3A-1 action tonight at 7 o'clock.

McLoud fell into deficits of 12-0 and 27-13 in last Friday's game before rallying for the one-point win. Clint Campbell's 5-yard TD run with 4:20 to go in the game, tied it up at 33 before Hunter Ryan's extra-point kick made the difference.

Collin Gibson's 80-yard connection to Karson Cue finally got the Redskins on the board as they trailed 12-6 at halftime. McLoud even took a 13-12 edge in the third quarter on Gibson's 20-yard scoring pass to Coby Cardin.

Campbell later ripped off a 45-yard scoring dash to stay within striking distance and Campbell added an 11-yard run which led to a 27-all tie. Hartshorne went up 33-27, but was unable to get the 2-point conversion.

“We've got to eliminate turnovers. We had four and we've definitely got to cut them out,” said McLoud head coach Rusty Hall. “We kind of got over the hump after the week before. I was proud of our guys for doing that in a close game.”

Heritage Hall, ranked second in 3A, has a couple of NCAA Division I prospects is junior center/nose guard Melvin Swindle, who is 6-foot, 3-inches and 300 pounds, and senior quarterback/outside linebacker Robert Mbroh, who is being recruited as a linebacker.

Oklahoma State, Iowa State and Texas Tech are among those seeking the services of Swindle while Arkansas State, Air Force and Penn among those after Mbroh, a 6-3, 220-pounder.

McLoud will not have to deal with size as much as they will speed and athleticism of Heritage Hall.

“They're not as massive as they've been, but they play so stinkin' hard and fast. They're athletic and can run,” Hall said.

Seminole (1-0) at Stigler (3-0)

It seems like an eternity since coach Mike Snyder's Chieftains have gone head-to-head with opponent.

Seminole is scheduled to open District 3A-3 action tonight at unbeaten Stigler for a 7 o'clock kickoff.

“It seems like we're just starting the season. It will have been three weeks since we have played our last game,” said Snyder. “It has certainly tried our patience and the kids are getting tired of just practicing.”

It's all systems go tonight after the Chieftains have been sidelined for a lengthy time due to COVID-19.

Stigler hasn't played in two weeks but has managed to play three games prior and is coming off a 40-22 win at Eufaula.

“They have great skilled kids and they run it really well,” Snyder said. “They've got almost everyone back from last year and Heritage Hall beat them in the playoffs last year. They're a senior-dominated team and a lot of those kids are starters.”

Snyder is really impressed with senior linebacker/tight end Bruce Engle at 6-1, 210.

“He's a really good athlete,” said Snyder. “They play two quarterbacks (Darren Manes and Zane Oldham) and they're more of a run team than a pass team.”

Manes is actually the team's top rusher with 277 yards on 33 carries and five touchdowns. Manes has also completed 11-of-20 passes for 244 yards and three scores. Oldham is 15-of-25 passing for 375 yards and six touchdowns.

Braden Drewry is the Panthers' top receiver with eight grabs for 309 yards and six scores.

In order to get back in the swing, Seminole conducted a night time practice, underneath the lights, earlier this week.

The Chieftains were 21-12 winners over Harrah on Sept. 4 in their only game this season.

After tonight's contest, Seminole will be on the road again next Friday at Tulsa Webster.

Meeker (2-1) at Kellyville (3-0)

The Bulldogs will have a tough assignment in opening District 2A-2 play tonight at 7 o'clock.

Kellyville enters district play with the knack for putting points on the board...bunches of them.

The Ponies' three final scores this year have been 62-41 over Kiefer, 64-0 over Caney Valley and 72-21 over Mounds. The latter two teams are from Class A.

“They have a quarterback (Colton Ayres) who makes a lot of great throws and they have a good running back Tayver Thornbrugh who lines up in the backfield and goes out as a receiver,” said Meeker head coach D.J. Howell. “They like to get him the football anyway they can.”

Ayres has completed 87% of his passes (26-of-30) for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions. Thornbrugh has caught nine of those passes for 250 yards and six scores.

The senior tandem of Trevor Jones and Jeramy Hicks lead the Kellyville rushers. Jones has run for seven touchdowns while carrying the ball 26 times for 431 yards. Hicks has netted 348 yards on 29 carries while scoring four times.

Defensively, the Ponies like to apply pressure, according to Howell.

“They bring a lot of pressure on defense and try to force you into mistakes,” Howell said. “We've got to do a good job up front.”

Howell points to two critical keys in which he refers to them as A and 1-A.

“We've got to do a good job on the offensive line and blocking up front and we've got to protect the football and not turn it over,” said Howell. “Defensively, we have to make sure our eyes are in the right spots and we communicate with each other.”

The Bulldogs were idle last week after squeaking out a 25-24 victory at Purcell two weeks ago.

Meeker's Caden Wolford leads the team in rsuhing with 64 carries for 449 yards and four touchdowns this season. He also has four receptions for 52 yards and two more scores.

Quarterback Budgie Cameron has thrown for 377 yards and four touchdowns while completing 21-of-37 passes. Keavin Grady has nine catches for 147 yards and one TD and Ty Gabbert has three receptions for 110 yards and one score.

On the defensive side of the football, Wolford leads the Bulldogs with six tackles for loss, including five quarterback sacks. JJ Bloomer has five tackles for loss, including three sacks, to go with his team-leading 30 tackles. Brendan Alexander also has three sacks. Cameron and Grady have each intercepted a pass this season.

After tonight's play, Meeker will battle Lincoln County and Highway 62 rival Prague on the road next Friday night.

Chandler (2-1) at Crossings Christian (1-1)

The Lions are looking to successfully open District 2A-2 action on the road.

Chandler suffered its first loss of the season last week in a tough 28-27 home overtime loss to Beggs.

Meanwhile, Crossings Christian is coming off its first victory of the year, a 20-0 shutout of Casady last Friday.

The Lions are led this season by sophomore tailback Casmen Hill, who has carried the ball 58 times for 387 yards and six touchdowns. He has eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark in two of Chandler's three games this season.

Junior quarterback Kaden Jones has 25 carries for 148 yards and one TD and has completed 17-of-38 passes for 202 yards, with only one interception. Hill has seven catches for 72 yards and junior Jarin Greenfield has six receptions for 145 yards.

Defensively, Greenfield has two of Chandler's three interceptions this year. Senior Traydon Richardson and junior Drake Rodriguez have three tackles for losses and two stops for losses, respectively. Richardson and Rodriguez each have a quarterback sack as well.

Following tonight's play, the Lions are at home with Jones next Friday night.

North Rock Creek (0-4) at Tulsa NOAH

The Cougars seek their first win in school history tonight with a visit to Tulsa NOAH at 7 o'clock.

North Rock Creek was on the short end of a 40-0 score with Holdenville last Friday in its first home game ever.

The Cougars are at home next Friday night to take on the Oklahoma City Patriots at 7 p.m. at the newly-named Stan Beasley Field.

Maud (0-3) at Oaks Mission (1-1)

The Tigers will try to get on the winning track tonight as they visit Oaks Mission.

Maud, idle last Friday, was shut out by Dewar (45-0) two weeks ago while Oaks Mission dropped a 44-14 decision to Webbers Falls. The only win for Oaks Mission came on Aug. 28 in a 34-14 decision over Copan.

Tonight's game will be the District C-4 opener for both teams.

Following tonight's play, the Tigers will be at home with Midway next Friday night.