ENID, Okla. —
Oklahoma Bible Academy head football coach Mark Boyd’s preseason assessment may be coming to fruition.
“Conventional wisdom says it might be another year where we take some knocks, but that may not be true,” Boyd said
The Trojans (4-4, 3-2 district), picked seventh in a preseason poll in District A-1 after a 2-8 season in 2012, can clinch a playoff spot with a win at Hooker (2-5, 2-3) Friday.
“We may be a little ahead of schedule,’’ Boyd said. “Our seniors have stepped up better than we anticipated. They brought more to the table than we thought.’’
Adam Eaton and Randall Nessom moved to the offensive line turning what was a question mark in the preseason to a major strength.
Kristian Stitt, who sat out last season after transferring from Dover, has filled in nicely for running back Chris Walker, who has been slowed by an ankle sprain.
Adrian Moore, slowed by injuries last year, has given OBA a big-play receiver and has been a hard hitter at linebacker and safety.
Joel DeScottier has helped at a number of positions.
“Our seniors have been around, they have learned the tricks of the trade,’’ Boyd said. “They bring that attitude of we can do this.
“They gave us physical maturity. Kristian and Adrian aren’t very big physically, but they know how to hit. They know how to do some of the things our young kids haven’t had the experience of doing.’’
The Trojans are in fourth place by themselves at 3-2, a game ahead of Mooreland and Hooker. OBA, with a win, will have a chance to finish as high as second.
“Our goal is to make the playoffs,’’ Boyd said. “Once you do that, you start thinking of hosting a first-round game. We’re playing well now, so let’s make the playoffs now. There’s a lot riding on this game. We want to take care of things this week.’’
Hooker is coming off a 27-13 loss to Mooreland. The Bulldogs’ strength is a big offensive line and some good skilled players.
Taylor McBee is a solid running back. Hooker has two dependable receivers in junior Hunter Brown and sophomore Jaden Valles.
“They’re more physical than they have been in the past,’’ Boyd said. “They are a good team, but they aren’t the same team they were last year (when they beat OBA 20-14).
With OBA moving to a new district next year, this will be the final time the Trojans will be going to the Panhandle for at least two years. The longest trip next year will be to Watonga.
“That’s a lot different,’’ Boyd said. “Our kids are used to it. It’s been a good experience. We have good relations with the Panhandle schools. We have learned a lot about focus and preparation. You have to treat these trips like business trips. You have to have a routine to go out there, or you can get overwhelmed.’’
Boyd said preparation is a key to handling the long trip such as getting proper rest and nutrition throughout the week.
“You know hard it is to sleep on the bus,’’ Boyd said. “You make some stops so you don’t get lethargic.’’
Boyd said being in a Panhandle district was a financial hardship in chartering a bus, having to pay for two meals and losing money on the gate when you’re hosting a team from that far out.
The Trojans skip their usual Saturday morning film session after a Panhandle trip because they don’t get home until 3 a.m.
Boyd said the trip’s affect carries over to the next week.
“You’re tired,’’ Boyd said. “We gave the kids a day off the week after Texhoma because they were tired from the trip.’’
But Boyd is focused on the game Friday.
Hooker runs a 3-3 stack defense but “does a lot of things out of it.’’ They use a five-man front at times and have formations with one, two or three linebackers.
“We’ve got to stop their quarterback run game and we’ve got to find a way to score,’’ Boyd said. “If we do those things, we will win the game.’’
The Trojans had a slow start in last week’s 28-0 win over winless Turpin, leading only 6-0 at halftime, OBA came back to score 22 points in the second half.
Stitt had more than 100 yards rushing.
Walker, who has a high ankle sprain, is doubtful for Friday.
“An ankle sprain like that takes a long time to heal,” Boyd said.
Boyd has been especially pleased with the line play.
“The reason we have gotten better is they have gotten better,’’ he said. “We knew we had good skilled people. Our kids have been physical. People didn’t expect that.’’
OBA at Hooker
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. Friday
Records: OBA (4-4, 3-2), Hooker (2-5, 2-3)
Series: OBA leads 3-2
Last meeting: Hooker won 20-14, 2012