By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
The next two weeks could be historic for Kremlin-Hillsdale’s football program.
The Broncs, 2-1 in District C-3 and 3-3 overall, could put themselves in position to play No. 2-ranked Cherokee for the district title the last week of the season if they can upset Timberlake (4-2, 2-0) at home Thursday and Bluejacket (2-1, 3-2) on Oct. 25.
Of course, the Broncs probably would find themselves out of the playoff picture if they lose both games.
Kremlin-Hillsdale has not been to the playoffs since winning the Class B state championship in 2000 with a 13-1 record. They have had one non-losing season since then (5-5 in 2009).
“Every game is important to our program,’’ said Broncs coach Jeremy Breshears. “We’re trying to get the monkey off our backs. We’re still trying to learn how to win.’’
Timberlake and Bluejacket both have wins over DCLA (2-2), which beat the Broncs on Sept. 13, making both games a high priority in the district race. It’s a big priority for Timberlake, a half-game behind Cherokee in the C-3 race.
“We need to win to keep the momentum going,’’ said Timberlake coach Brian Severin whose team has won four of its last five games. “We have a chance to host a playoff game or two. This is a big one. Hopefully, we can keep playing like we have been.’’
Kremlin-Hillsdale had a three-game winning streak broken at 2-3 Tyrone (52-36) Friday. The Broncs’three wins (Bartlesville Wesleyan, Gracemont and Claremore Christian) have come against teams with a combined record of 2-15.
Timberlake’s four wins have come against teams with a combined record of 5-17. The Tigers’ two losses have come against 4-2 Ringwood (84-44) and 6-0 Sharon-Mutual (60-12).
Both teams have resembled roller coasters.
Kremlin-Hillsdale outscored opponents 150-6 in its three wins, but gave up 50 or more points twice in their three losses.
Timberlake scored 40 or more points in its four wins, but gave up 144 points in its two losses. Both teams already have won one more game than they did last year — 2-8 Kremlin-Hillsdale and 3-7 Timberlake.
“Timberlake is always a good team,’’ Breshears said, “but we’re an improved team as well. We can play with them.’’
The Tigers have lost two key defensive starters for the season — defensive end-guard Zeb McCollum (broken foot) and defensive back-flanker Braden Seaman (broken collarbone). Severin hopes to have guard Drake Young and linebacker Lane Fleming back for Thursday’s game.
“We have been moving people around,’’ Severin said. “Some years I haven’t had any injuries, but this year they have been dropping like flies. McCollum and Seaman were huge losses, but the other kids have stepped up. It hurts you, though, to lose that kind of experience.’’
Both teams have big play capability with the Tigers’ Jacob Henderson and the Broncs’ Andre Lizar.
Severin said turnovers could be the deciding factor.
Timberlake won last year’s game 48-30. The Tigers lead the series 5-2 with the Broncs’ last win coming in 2000, 34-12.
Breshears said Kremlin-Hillsdale made “too many mental errors’’ last week.
“Anytime you have a four-hour bus trip, it’s not ideal,’’ Breshears said, “but we didn’t play well. We have no excuses.
Breshears reports no major injuries.
The game can be heard on KNID (107.1 FM)
Wolverines face challenge
The District B-1 schedule-maker is not being kind to Garber, which, after being mercy-ruled by No. 2 Pond Creek-Hunter (46-0) last week, must host No. 1-ranked and defending state champion Laverne Thursday.
That’s not good news for a team with a three-game losing streak. Laverne is the third unbeaten team Garber has faced in the last four weeks.
“That’s the luck of the draw,’’ said Wolverines coach Mark Harmon. “It’s just the way the deal worked out. It’s a little bit rough on us. Laverne is tough ... definitely as tough as Pond Creek-Hunter.’’
Last week’s loss marked the first time the Wolverines have been shut out since a 50-0 loss to Cherokee on Sept. 24, 2010. The Chiefs would go on to win the state championship that year.
“Mentally, we’re good,’’ Harmon said. “We’re just working to get better, that’s all you can do. Pond Creek-Hunter is a really, really good team. I thought we actually improved in some areas, but you couldn’t tell it because of their speed and strength. We just treat this as any other game.’’
Harmon said he felt better the more he watched the films. The Wolverines went from “being horrible’’ the first time, to “being a little better,’’ the second to “seeing some more positives’’ the third.
“You just keep your nose to the grindstone,’’ Harmon said. “There are still several ways we can get into the playoffs. That’s what we’re shooting for.’’
Laverne, with three straight wins, leads the eight-man series 5-4. Garber beat the Tigers 30-26 in the 2008 Class B finals.t