By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Oklahoma Bible Academy, which already has surpassed its 2012 victory total, tries to take another step up Friday when the Trojans travel to Texhoma with a share of the District A-1 lead on the line.
The Trojans and Red Devils are both 2-0 in A-1 with wins over Beaver (OBA 26-14, Texhoma 49-13) and Mooreland (OBA 19-13 and Texhoma 45-21). Both teams also are 3-2 overall.
The Red Devils were tabbed in the preseason as one of the district favorites along with Okeene and Fairview.
“We’re not putting a lot of pressure on them,’’ OBA coach Mark Boyd said . “This isn’t a do-or-die game as far as the district is concerned. We want to stay relaxed. If we stay relaxed, we play better. We just want to go out and play and see what happens. It doesn’t get any easier.’’
Texhoma exploded in the second half in winning last year’s game 54-6. The Red Devils rushed for 508 yards.
Texhoma will present a different challenge with Guymon transfer Jacob Test at quarterback.
Test, who was invited to the National Underclassmen Ultimate 100 last year, threw for 181 yards and three touchdowns and ran for 45 yards and a score against Beaver and had 174 yards passing and 73 yards rushing against Mooreland. He kicked a 40-yard field goal against Mooreland.
His favorite receiver is 6-foot-3 Nathan Knitig, who had four catches for 168 yards and a touchdown.
“They are like us, they like to spread it out,’’ Boyd said. “They run a lot of different sets. They’re trying to get you on defense not to line up right. If you don’t line up right, they’re going to take advantage of it and expose you.’’
This is one game, Boyd said, in which OBA might actually have a size advantage in the line.
“They are pretty good,’’ Boyd said, “but if we go out and play like we’re capable of, we’re just as good as they are. The key to the game is playing well for an extended period of time.’’
Slow starts cost OBA in their losses to Chisholm and Morrison. Boyd felt the Trojans took a big step in rallying past Beaver with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
OBA was able to seal the decision with a late touchdown drive.
“We did to them what Chisholm and Morrison did to us — we sustained a drive at the end of the game to put the game away,’’ Boyd said. “If we had been able to stop Chisholm and Morrison on those last drives, we would have had a chance to win, but we couldn’t do it. We still have a ways to go, but that definitely was big for us.’’
The long trip could play a factor. OBA will charter a bus and make stops in Woodward and Balko. They will get to the site earlier than usual to get acclimated to the Panhandle surroundings.
“It’s tough on high school kids to have to do that, but that’s the way it is,’’ Boyd said. “We tried not to get focused too early. We let them talk. We’ll watch a movie and maybe some game films. We have won out there in the past and lost out there in the past.
“We have to play an error-free game to be successful against a team like that. We can’t sputter. We have to convert third downs.’’
OBA quarterback Preston Atwood threw for 255 yards against Beaver, including a 90-yard touchdown strike to Adrian Moore.
“He’s getting better,’’ Boyd said of Atwood. “We need to do better on the short passing game, but he’s seeing things better. He took a beating Saturday night, but he stood in and took it.’’
Chris Walker, who missed the previous two weeks, rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Baylor Boyd, slowed by a leg injury the past three weeks, made the key play on defense when he forced and recovered a fumble in the end zone while blitzing from his cornerback spot. That gave OBA the lead for good. Baylor Boyd later recovered another fumble when Kristian Stitt fumbled after intercepting a pass deep in Beaver territory.
“That was the most important play of the game,’’ coach Boyd said. “Baylor has a knack for being around the ball.’’
The Trojans forced a season-high four turnovers — three interceptions and a fumble recovery. OBA has forced 10 turnovers in its three wins.
“The defensive line and linebackers really played well as a group,’’ coach Boyd said. “That was a big win. If we had lost, it wouldn’t have killed our playoff hopes, but it definitely helps.’’
The game had a different atmosphere after being postponed the night before because of weather conditions.
Boyd had experience before with weather delays. He even let some players sleep while the decision was being made when to play. OBA didn’t change its routine Saturday with players reporting at 5.
“They handled it well,’’ Boyd said. “It was a little bit like a playoff atmosphere. Maybe this is something we can draw on down the road.’’
OBA at Texhoma
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Records: Both teams are 3-2 overall and 2-0 in district
Series: Texhoma leads 3-2
Last meeting: Texhoma won 54-6, 2012