The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

September 10, 2013

Trojans look for quicker start

By Bruce Campbell, Staff Writer
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Which Oklahoma Bible Academy will show up for the Trojans’ home football opener with Crescent at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Commitment Field?

Will it be the timid young team that trailed 28-0 at halftime against Chisholm last week?

Or it will be a team that gained confidence through the second half in cutting the lead to 28-22, before going down 36-22?

“We were two different teams,’’ said Trojans coach Mark Boyd. “We didn’t have anywhere to go but up. We played a lot better in the second half, and we’re going to try to build on that. With this team, you might see us make a lot of improvement, but still not be where we want to be.’’

Boyd said the Trojans were mentally tougher after halftime.

“In the first half, the kids gave a good effort, but they didn’t believe they could compete against a team like Chisholm,’’ Boyd said. “After the half, they were thinking ‘these guys are good ... but we can compete with them.’ They didn’t realize how good they could be.’’

OBA, to compete this week, will have to cut down on the turnovers (three) and penalties (65 yards) it had against the Longhorns.

“Take away the mental breakdowns and it’s a closer game,’’ Boyd said. “I was still more encouraged than frustrated.’’

After watching the films, Boyd said the OBA line played better than “he gave them credit for,’’ and “our conditioning wasn’t bad (only one Trojan had cramps).’’

“We had blamed the line for stuff they weren’t responsible for,’’ Boyd said. “We had some open receivers that we didn’t hit. Our timing has to get better.’’

OBA did have balance with 135 yards rushing and 130 passing. Chris Walker scored on runs of 33 and 78 yards. Preston Atwood hit Baylor Boyd on a 22-yard touchdown pass.

“Chris was a lot more effective once he decided to attack the line of scrimmage before getting outside,’’ said coach Boyd. “Once he gets in the open, he’s hard to bring down.’’

Crescent is having to replace District A-3 most valuable player, quarterback Preston Walker, who accounted for 3,458 yards and 50 touchdowns last season. Walker guided Crescent past OBA 43-12 in 2012.

The Tigers opened the season in impressive fashion with a 41-20 win over Newkirk Thursday. Crescent led 28-0 at halftime.

“They are not nearly as down as everyone said they would be without that quarterback,’’ Boyd said. “Their new quarterback (Damion Bledsoe) looks pretty good ,to be honest with you.’’

Senior running back Michael Cronister rushed for 993 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. Crescent has some good receivers and a big offensive line.

The Tigers remind Boyd of Class A power Fairview. They run a spread offense, but coach J.L. Fisher’s biggest asset, Boyd said, is his ability to adjust.

“The key for us is that we can’t give up big plays,’’ Boyd said. “They depend on big plays. We  have to figure out how not to turn the ball over and not to have so many yards in penalties. You can’t win games that way.’’

Chisholm, led by senior Bryce Stewart, rushed for 274 yards. OBA lineman Nathan Meier, who missed much of the preseason while on a mission trip, had a solid game, Boyd said.

Defensive back Adrian Moore, who had a big bust in the first half, came back to grade well after intermission.

“You could see the difference Nathan gave us,’’ Boyd said.

Crescent is a perfect 3-0 against OBA with wins of 54-22 in 2006, 22-7 in 2007 and 43-12 last season.

“This isn’t important for district, obviously,’’ said coach Boyd of the second non-district game. “It would be important for the kids’ confidence to win a game early.’’

OBA concludes the non-district season next week when it visits Class A power Morrison.

“It doesn’t get any easier,’’ Boyd said. “It might not help my job security, but a tough schedule like this helps us prepare for the district.’’