By Everett Brazil, III
The Newkirk Herald Journal
PERRY, Okla. — The Newkirk Tigers hit the road to Perry Oct. 17 for their third district game of the season, but the Maroon proved to be stronger, defeating Newkirk 55-0.
The game was held on a Thursday evening due to fall break on Friday.
Although the loss was a heavy one, there were a few positives in the game.
“Overall, there were some things that we built on, improved on, and unfortunately, too many of the same mistakes we’ve been working on pretty much the whole season,” said defensive coordinator Derek Bishop.
The team has made progress in stopping the opposing offense, and has made the teams overturn the ball numerous times.
“Our pass-rush is an area that was pretty good. We made six sacks and 10 tackles for a loss. We’re showing improvement with stopping the run, and putting them in third and long situations, which for us, is good,” Bishop said. “We’re getting better at tackling and rallying the football, getting multiple guys to tackle and finish the plays.”
The defense had trouble against the Maroon offense the entire game, as they have one of the best in the district.
“At times we showed a glimpse of looking pretty good defensively, we turned the ball five times forced by our efforts, but we had trouble covering the other team’s athletes. We’re just young and inexperienced,” Bishop said. “They are a pretty good offense, with the state’s leading passer.”
The offense was unable to score during the game, but that didn’t stop them from moving the ball a number of times and getting closer to the end zone.
“Overall, we did decent. We did some things well, and then we shot ourselves in the foot with penalties. We overcame pressure, we started to move the ball,” said offensive coordinator Bryan Dutton.
Part of the team’s problems on the field may be due to being small and inexperienced, starting players with less playing time then upperclassmen, but each game has helped the players improve in some capacity.
“We’re starting too many guys that don’t have a lot of experience, a lot of freshmen and sophomores,” Dutton said. “Overall, we’ve gotten better each week, we just still have not put many points on the board.”
The team received needed practice on Monday, even though it was fall break, which helped them prepare for this week’s game.
“We were excited about the off-practice, because we only had 10 players miss mandatory practice,” said head coach Graham Snelding.
The team travels to Chisolm High School, near Enid, this Friday and face a battle against another one of the best teams in the district.
“They are very physical, a big, athletic team. They’ll be a challenge for us,” Bishop said.
Dutton added, “They are the best team we’ve played so far, they are very physical up front. We’re looking for our guys to come out and play hard.”