The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 5, 2013

Hornets stop Plainsmen

Enid News and Eagle

TULSA — The Enid Plainsmen spotted homestanding Tulsa Washington a 17-0 lead and were never in the contest, falling 23-13 at S.E. Williams Field on Friday night in a District 6A-1 contest that was not as close as the final score would indicate.

Earlier in the week, Enid head coach Steve Chard said the Plainsmen wanted to continue to establish the run following Raheem Mitchell’s breakout 253-yard performance last week in Enid’s 28-23 win over Bartlesville, while getting junior quarterback Frederick Lawrence back on track. They were unable to accomplish either against the Hornets’ defense, which frequently stymied the Plainsmen behind their two dominating defensive ends, Oklahoma State commit Jordan Brailford and Jonathan Wills.

The Plainsmen were held to 126 total yards, 80 of which came on their final touchdown drive that made it 23-13 with three minutes left when Mitchell scored on a 23-yard swing pass from Lawrence, one of the few offensive highlights of the night for Enid. Mitchell was held to 34 yards rushing, and Lawrence finished 7-of-21 for 80 yards. Mitchell led the team with 42 yards receiving.

While Enid struggled on the ground, the Hornets found running room, most of which came from surprise starter, sophomore tailback Justice Hill, who only carried the ball 13 times in the Hornets’ first four games. He surpassed that total in the first half alone, and finished with 195 yards to go along with a rushing touchdown and a receiving touchdown. Senior Deonta Owens, who started the first four games and had rushed for over 400 yards, did not play.

Hornets’ junior quarterback Cordale Grundy finished 12-of-22 passing for 171 yards. Senior placekicker Luke Beasley had three field goals on the night for Tulsa Washington.

The Hornets grabbed a 7-0 lead on their first possession, driving 82 yards on 10 plays as Hill caught a 17-yard pass from Grundy after Grundy scrambled, eluding Enid defenders. The Hornets’ scoring drive was aided by a 15-yard pass interference penalty on third-and-four that put the ball at midfield. The Plainsmen shot themselves in the foot again on a face mask penalty following a 17-yard run by Hill.

Enid had its only productive drive of the opening half on its first possession after the Hornets scored, starting at the BTW 49-yard line after a 36-yard kickoff return by Marshawn Mills. But the drive came to a sudden halt after a 12-yard reception by Aaron Beagle and a 15-yard Raheem Mitchell run to the Hornets’ 21-yard line, when Mills fumbled the ball away on a reverse, and the Hornets took over on their own 25-yard line.

Washington made it 10-0 on its next possession on Beasley’s 23-yard field goal that capped a 57-yard drive.

The Plainsmen managed only 49 yards of total offense in the first half, and the passing game misfired until late in the game with the receivers appearing out of sync with Lawrence most of the night. Several times Lawrence appeared to rush passes, harassed by the Hornets’ imposing defensive ends.

The Hornets made it 17-0 in the second quarter when Hill scored his second touchdown on a four-yard pass from Grundy on a drive that covered 91 yards.

The only thing stopping the Hornets in the first half were their own miscues and penalties as they were flagged for eight penalties, including an offensive pass interference penalty that wiped out a potential touchdown and forced a field goal attempt of 36 yards that was no good as the Hornets held a 17-0 lead at halftime.

Enid’s defense stiffened in the second half, allowing only a pair of field goals, but with the offense unable to muster anything significant, the Plainsmen were never able to take advantage of the defensive stops.

Enid got on the board for the first time in the third quarter on a 30-yard drive that started deep in the Hornets’ end of the field after a six-yard punt. A 15-yard pass interference call on the Hornets gave Enid possession at the Hornets’ 15-yard line. Another pass interference call on an incomplete pass to Alex Lofton in the end zone on Kejuan Marshall, set up Enid inside the 10-yard line and Raeshaan Finley finished up the short scoring drive with a 1-yard score to make it 17-6. Enid’s extra point attempt was blocked.

After the Hornets added a pair of field goals to go up 23-6 in the fourth quarter, the Plainsmen offense came to life, but it was too little too late as the Plainsmen moved smartly down the field from their own 20-yard line, finishing the drive on Mitchell’s 23-yard touchdown reception to make it 23-13 with three minutes left in the game.

Enid attempted an onside kick, but was unable to recover and the Hornets were able to close out the game.

Both teams were heavily penalized, with Enid being flagged eight times for 79 yards and Washington 12 times for 109 yards.

Plainsmen defensive end Caleb Harris had an effective game with some timely sacks and tackles for loss.

The loss dropped Enid’s record to 2-3 overall and 1-1 in District 6A-1. The Hornets raised their season mark to 3-2 and also are 1-1 in district.

Enid hosts Tulsa Union Friday in its next contest.