The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Sports

October 22, 2013

Smallish Moore plays big for OBA

ENID, Okla. — At 5-foot-9 and 150 pounds, Oklahoma Bible Academy’s Adrian Moore gets some stares when he tells people he’s a hybird outside linebacker-safety for the Trojans.

“They say you’re too small to play that,’’ Moore said.

Which fuels the hard-hitting Moore every Friday night.

“I have to show them with my pads that I can hit somebody,’’ he said.

“He’s one of those players who has a knack of knowing how to hit,’’ OBA coach Mark Boyd said.

Moore takes pride in the big hit.

“There’s too many to count,’’ Moore said when asked if one hit stood above any others, “but usually the good ones I don’t remember. Usually my friends have to tell me because my head is hurting after the play.’’

Moore, who leads the Trojans (3-4 overall, 2-2 in district) against winless Turpin (0-7, 0-4) at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Commitment Field, savors the chance to go after bigger running backs.

“You want to make a statement early,’’ he said. “Against most of the teams that we play, if you hit them hard, they’re not going to know what to expect the rest of the game. You set the tone.’’

Moore had something to prove when some Enid High friends told him they didn’t think OBA was not physically tough.

“They came and watched us play one time and they said ‘you guys can hit ... you’re not wimpy kids just because you go to a Christian school ... I definitely took that as a compliment.

“Being a senior puts things in perspective about how much time you have left. I try to be as mean as I can on the field while I still can.’’

Injuries put things in perspective too. Moore missed much of his junior season after fracturing an elbow on the first day of practice and partially tearing his Achilles in the middle of the year.

“It hurt a lot knowing I couldn’t be out there with them,’’ he said “I knew I could help if I could. The big thing was to get stronger so I could help them.’’

He did that in both his rehab and summer conditioning sessions.

“The weight room became my friend,’’ Moore said. “It had a big part in me being able to come back like I did. Being injured certainly makes you appreciate it more. There are a lot of kids out there that wish they could play, It’s a real good opportunity just to be out there.’’

Boyd said Moore “plays like a senior,’’ knowing his assignments and seldom making a bust. His lone fault might be being too aggressive at times.

“The injuries were a wakeup call for him,’’ Boyd said

OBA’s defense, which allowed an average of 36.1 points per game a year ago, has allowed an average of 18.6 points per game this season.

“This year we have been more focused on playing your role and doing what you have to do, and trusting your teammates,’’ Moore said. “That’s helped a lot.’’

Moore is his own harshest critic in the film room.

“I try not to look at the plays that I did right all the time,’’ he said, “I try to see what I could do better on plays that I messed up more on.’’

The Trojans are trying to stay in the playoff picture after tough back-to-back losses to A-1 co-leaders Texhoma (19-7) and No. 5-ranked Okeene (14-6).

“We’re growing as a team,’’ Moore said. “We can’t let the losses get us down. There’s always more games. We have to focus on Turpin right now.’’

Turpin has lost 24 straight games, but OBA had to work hard to pull out a 7-0 win over the Cardinals last season.

“Any team can win on a given day,’’ Moore said. “We don’t have too many games left. If we want to make the playoffs, we have to start winning.’’

A win would put OBA in control of its destiny for the postseason with key games remaining with Hooker next week and Fairview Nov. 8.

Moore doesn’t see a letdown from the heartbreaking Okeene loss in which the Trojans outgained the Whippets, 231-227.

“A loss is always tough,’’ Moore said. “We have been in all of our losses this year. We were only a couple of plays from winning. We can learn from that.’’

Moore has caught five touchdown passes from quarterback Preston Atwood this season. He said it benefits him as a receiver to know what the defender is thinking.

“I have good chemistry with Preston,’’ Moore said. “He knows my speed and strengths and does a good job of finding me when I’m open.’’

Denver Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker serves as an inspiration “because it shows you don’t have to be a big guy to catch the ball and make a difference.’’

He likes to remind Boyd of the practice the coach tried to do some first-hand instruction.

“He thought he could cover me one day, and I guess I proved to him that his playing days were over,’’ Moore said with a chuckle.

Notes: Running back Chris Walker is questionable for Friday because of leg and ankle injuries which forced him to miss the second half of the Okeene game.

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