The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 2, 2013

Pioneer finds cure for blues: winning

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

WAUKOMIS, Okla. — A win is the best cure for the 0-3 blues.

Just ask Pioneer coach Kurt Myers about the affect of Friday’s 42-26 win over Snyder had on the previously winless Mustangs.

“It’s like night and day,’’ Myers said. “1-3 is way better than 0-4. The kids see us getting better and the attitude in practice is better. It’s very upbeat.’’

The Mustangs, Myers said, had been showing improvement over the last three weeks, but weren’t seeing any reward.

“The kids are seeing some dividends now,’’ he said. “Any win is important when you’re 0-for. It’s a big monkey off our back.’’

The Mustangs will try to rid itself of another big monkey on their backs when they host Cashion in a 7:30 p.m. kickoff Friday in their District A-3 opener.

The Wildcats have won the last six meetings in a series that extends to both eight-man and 11-man. The last three were routs of 65-35, 49-7 and 52-20. Cashion leads the series 12-9

It could be the last game between the two schools for awhile with Pioneer going back to 8-man for the 2014-15 seasons.

“The kids still get excited about it,’’ Myers said.

The Wildcats, who reached the Class A state semifinals last season, have been going through some growing pains.

Cashion fell to Minco 41-12 last week in its District A-3 opener. They fell to Okeene — who beat PHS 20-0 — 26-14 the opening week. The two wins have been over Central Sallisaw 34-14 and Luther 20-13.

Freshman quarterback Matt Harmon, who is trying to fill the shoes of All-star Ty Reasnor, sprained his ankle against Luther.

“The freshman kid has a really good arm,’’ Myers said. “They’re still Cashion. They’re good. They run the ball hard and they can throw the ball. They play defense. Nobody does a better job coaching than coach (Lynn) Shackleford.’’

Pioneer allowed a couple of long touchdown passes against Snyder, although the run defense was solid, Myers said. Linebacker Cole Hammack stood out.

The offense, which had been shut out twice in the first three games, showed some life against the winless Cyclones.

Chase Courter rushed for more than 100 yards and scored a couple of touchdowns. Buco Gray and Blake Gabriel caught touchdown passes from Collin Mason. Charles Clardy caught a couple of two-point conversion passes.

The offensive line of Dalton Snow, John Fuxa, Gage Baker, Cody Smith and Dominic Benitez had their best game as a unit, Myers said. Fullback Chris Faw Faw had a good game blocking.

“We put in a couple of new wrinkles and the kids handled it pretty well,’’ Myers said. “The offensive line was fantastic ... they have gotten better every week. Hopefully, we’re out of the offensive funk that we have been in.’’

The return of Gabriel, who missed the Okeene game with an injury, was a big plus.

“It helps our running game to have a receiving threat like him,’’ Myers said. “He’s so positive ... he’s like having a coach on the field.’’

Pioneer led the entire time, but had stretches where it allowed Snyder to get back in the game, Myers said

The key against Cashion, Myers said, will be “controlling the clock on offense not giving up the big play on defense.’’

“This is a good measuring stick for us,’’ he said. “We want to play hard and be able to compete against a quality opponent. We’re getting confidence. If we can score some points, we have a chance.’’

Cashion at Pioneer

Kickoff:   7:30 p.m. Friday

Records:  Cashion (2-2, 0-1)

           Pioneer (1-3, 0-0)

Series:     Cashion leads 12-9

Last:        Cashion won 52-20, 2012

Radio:     None