The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

September 11, 2013

Pioneer visits Mooreland Friday

ENID, Okla. — Friday’s game at Mooreland will be a homecoming for Mustangs coach Kurt Myers in more ways than one.

Myers coached the Bearcats from 2004-07. It’s also Mooreland’s homecoming game.

“I have a lot of family around there so more people come watch, which makes it a little more nerve-wracking,’’ said Myers, a Woodward native. “I had four good years there. I have a lot of friends there.’’

Myers’ 2011 Pioneer team won at Mooreland 21-14.

Myers is not using being a homecoming opponent as negative motivation.

“We have been so many peoples’ homecoming opponent the last few years, it’s not that big of a deal to us,’’ Myers said. “We’ll mention it, but we won’t dwell on it. We just want to go out and play well.’’

Mooreland coach Frank Howard is worried about how his sophomore-dominated team will handle the distraction of homecoming.

“We’re just trying to have a couple of good days of practice,’’ he said. “We’re pushing them hard and trying to get better every day.’’

Mooreland opened the season in impressive fashion with a 27-6 win over Sayre. New quarterback Kyler Hensley, a converted wide receiver, scored on a 50-yard run. Hunter Miller had scoring runs of four and 11 yards. Blake Murray added a 11-yard scoring dash.

“Hensley is doing a great job leading us,’’ Howard said. “We have a pretty balanced attack with him. Both of our running backs have a little speed and can hit the hole pretty quick to give us some yardage.

“A lot of it was being in the right spot and working hard,’’ said Howard about his team’s early success. “We’re pretty young, but they are learning every day. They are fun to coach.’’

Myers said the Bearcats’ sophomores’ athleticism “supersedes’’ their inexperience.

“We’re ahead of where I thought we might be,’’ Howard said. “These kids have been in our system for four years (Howard is the junior high coach as well). A lot of it is them just doing what we’re telling them to do and go play. Having that consistency is a big thing.’’

Howard sees the game being decided at the line of scrimmage. Mooreland won last year’s game 42-15.

“Pioneer has some really talented kids,’’ Howard said. “We’re just hoping we can keep them corralled and hope they don’t break loose.’’

The Mustangs are trying to bounce back from last week’s 34-0 loss to Fairview. The game was tied 0-0 after the first quarter and Pioneer trailed only 8-0 late in the half.

Fairview scored three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the half, one coming on a pass interception.

“We played well for three quarters,’’ Myers said. “We made a lot of mistakes which cost us. Were not good enough to overcome mistakes like that.’’

The game, while a non-district contest, could be crucial for Pioneer. They are entering a killer stretch of games facing traditional powers such as Okeene, Snyder, Cashion, Watonga and Crescent in the next five weeks.

“A win would help our morale a lot,’’ Myers said.“We’re going to have to control the ball because they can score at any time,’’

Pioneer leads the series, 8-4.

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