Keys improves to 2-5 with a 1-3 district record after a dominant performance over Pocola. Keys showed its potential as a team after leaving Pocola Thursday night with a 63-14 win.
Cougars' running back Joel Scott, who is filling in for the injured Bryce Sanders, took the ball 60 yards to the endzone off a buck sweep during the team's first offensive play of the game.
"I thought Joel stepped in and did a good job spelling Bryce," said head coach Mel Maxfield. "Right now, we don't know the extent for how long he'll be out but I think Joel is a viable option."
Fullback Colby Nottingham later made a long 40-yard run to the house to give the Cougars an early lead. Nottingham scored multiple touchdowns in the game, quarterback Lane Taylor made a 50-yard touchdown run off an option play and the second-string unit scored at the end of the game. There's no doubt that the Cougars' offense found their stride against the Indians, but Maxfield believes the defensive effort was the key to the game.
"Our defense really stepped up and had a great night," said Maxfield. "Our front played a lot more aggressive than we had been and paid dividends. I just thought it was our most complete game of the year. We started fast and stayed fast."
The Cougars' defense made a safety and linebacker Shaymon O'Neal made an impact play. O'Neal forced a fumble, scooped up the ball and nearly took it to the house but was caught just before the endzone. Nottingham later punched the ball in from four yards out on offense.
Maxfield is proud of the effort the team put into Thursday night's game and would like to see that carry over to their next game against the Panama Razorbacks.
"You'd always like to carry the momentum of a good effort," said Maxfield. "I thought we had a good week of practice, with it being fall break our kids kept their focus and I think we had a good game plan and the kids really executed it well, but I was really pleased with our overall effort defensively. Hopefully, we can use the same formula for our next ball game."
The Razorbacks will travel to Keys Oct. 25 for the 7 p.m. kickoff at Jerry Hood Field. Panama is 3-4 coming off a 48-0 loss to Spiro. Panama also lost 28-7 the previous week to Pocola, their lone win of the season.