HELENA, Okla. — After a season-opening road win, Timberlake will look to make it two-in-a-row when the Tigers welcome Ringwood to Helena for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Timberlake defeated 42-24 Covington-Douglas last week, but the victory didn’t leave the Tigers very satisfied.
“It’s great to win, obviously,” said Timberlake head coach Brian Severin. “But we turned the ball over way too many times. We had nine penalties … we had way too many missed tackles. So we feel like we were very fortunate to win because we were playing a really good team. And to play that sloppy and still come out on top, that's pretty lucky, pretty fortunate.”
Thursday night will be Ringwood’s season-opener, which head coach James Worley said will give the Red Devils an advantage.
“This is what we need,” he said Wednesday. “It’s going to help … Playing in Week 1 gives us an extra week to prepare.”
Ringwood will be taking a redesigned offense into Helena led by senior quarterback Reed Mason, who returns after suffering a dislocated elbow early last season. Mason was able to return to action by season's end. Worley said during the preseason that Mason's arm "looked" great during the off-season camps.
“We’re still very dangerous in the air,” Worley said. “We have several threats and … we are very dangerous with our spread game. It’s something to be respected, that’s for sure.”
The Red Devils run a spread, no-huddle offense which incorporates the run-pass-option (RPO). Worley said the Red Devils had a slow start during the preseason scrimmages but have progressed leading up to the regular season.
Since Ringwood is starting its season a week late, there isn’t much game film to go off of for Timberlake. Last year, the Red Devils were able to cruise to a 32-point win over Timberlake in Week 1.
The Tigers will be inwardly focused this week, especially when it comes to playing sound, fundamental football.
“Doesn’t matter what kind of offense you go up against,” Severin said. “If you don't tackle well, you're going to get beat. So we're going to work on fundamentals of tackling and just quit turning the ball over. Turnovers will kill you. And we can't do that anymore.”
Despite the miscues in its first game, Ringwood knows it must respect the Tigers.
“Timberlake is going to play hard,” Worley said. “They come out and they hit you, they line up right every time … They play well, and I give it up to Coach Severin because he gets his players to play above their talent level for sure.”
Timberlake freshman starting quarterback Merrick Judd had a solid start against the Wildcats, running for touchdowns of 22 yards and four yards. However, the freshman made a few “mental busts” Severin said.
“He's one of those kids that is pretty hard on himself anyway,” he said. “He'll get that corrected … he'll get better and better.”
Heading into the season, Severin said the Tigers needed to learn how to win again. A 2-0 start could help them continue to relearn the winning habit.
“Being 1-0 is great because practices are a lot sharper already,” the Timberlake head coach said. “Going 2-0 would be that much better.”
Canton confident after 1-0 start
If Canton can get a win against Geary Thursday, the Tigers will have already tied their win total from last season.
The Tigers welcome Geary for a 7 p.m. home-opener in Canton.
“There's a different feeling around this team,” said head coach Jeremy Brashears. “Even the coaches talked about that during the spring.”
The Tigers finished last season with a 2-10 record and capped off the year with just two wins against Geary and Kremlin-Hillsdale. Canton rolled over Geary 34-0 last season.
“Some of these kids got a little taste of success last year, didn't have a lot, but we steadily improved throughout the season,” Brashears said.
That success definitely spilled over into the 2019 season as Canton toppled Mountain View-Gotebo in a 38-24 season-opening road win. Canton’s starting defense held Mountain View-Gotebo to one touchdown.
“We went into that game with a point to prove,” Brashears said. “And I felt like we proved it.”
But Canton knows not to get ahead of itself.
“Every year is a new year. Every team is a different team (from last year),” Brashears said. “We’re proof of that, so you can’t take anything for granted.”