By BEN JOHNSON
In 2012, Rogers (Ark.) beat Tahlequah by only passing for 25 yards. Oh, and there was the fact that the Mounties ran for 386 yards on 34 carries against the Tigers.
Well, Tahlequah is set to square off with the run-happy Mounties again this season. The two teams will meet tonight at Doc Wadley Stadium at 7:30.
“They will run it about 99 percent of the time,” Tahlequah head coach Brad Gilbert said of Rogers. “They might put it up in the air about one or two times.”
In a Week 1 loss to Fort Gibson, Tahlequah allowed 202 rushing yards.
Against Rogers’ flex set and the triple option, Gilbert said it’ll be imperative to stay technically sound on defense.
“We have to play an extremely disciplined style of defense,” Gilbert said. “It puts a lot of pressure on the defensive side of the ball. We have to play assignment football, and that’s a tough assignment to go against any team like that.”
After falling behind 35-7 to Fort Gibson, Tahlequah rallied in the second half and was within nine points with 4:51 left. Tahlequah finished with 422 yards of total offense, with wide receiver Kourt McMillan hauled in seven passes for 235 yards and three touchdowns.
“Last week, we went to more of a hurry-up offense, and that got us going on offense,” Gilbert said. “This week, we know we have to control the clock because they are a very good offensive team.”
Keys looking for offensive success
In Week 1, Keys lost to Claremore-Sequoyah 37-7. The Cougars struggled to gain yards on offense, picking up 155 total yards.
Keys hopes to reverse that this week when it hosts Checotah tonight at 7:30.
“We’re looking for consistency on offense,” Keys head coach Gary Willis said. “We want to get into some sort of rhythm.”
Willis said yards were hard to come by in the first week of the season because of Claremore-Sequoyah’s dominance in the trenches.
“Give credit to Claremore-Sequoyah,” he said. “They dominated the line of scrimmage. This week, we have to get the running game going.”
Breaking down the Demons
It only took Sequoyah one quarter to post a 28-6 score against Beggs in 2012. The rest of the game was called off with impending storms approaching the Beggs area.
Sequoyah head coach Shane Richardson doesn’t foresee such a lopsided score this year when the two teams meet tonight at Thompson Field.
“We watched them on film,” Richardson said, “and they’ve got a lot of talent right now.”
Richardson, whose team blew out Sequoyah in Week 1, said his club will be in for a different type of opposing offense this week.
“Beggs is a completely different test than the type of team Okemah was,” Richardson said. “(Okemah) was more about winning the game up front and passing when they needed to.
“Beggs looks like they want to run a lot of formations on offense and mix up the run and pass. They can go fast when they want with the no-huddle.”