NORTH ENID, Okla. — When a team is struggling and in the midst of a losing streak, good fortune can quickly turn to misfortune. Such was the case for the Chisholm Longhorns (1-6, 0-4) football team last week.
Looking to break a 5-game losing streak, Chisholm’s fortunes seemed to have turned with a 14-0 lead at District 2A-1 foe Hennessey. However, on the doorstep of making it 21-0 on their first drive of the second half, the Longhorns coughed up the ball inside the 1-yard line and Hennessey assumed momentum and eventually emerged with a 15-14 win, extending Chisholm’s losing streak to six games.
“I would say it was closer to the 1-inch line,” said Chisholm head coach Joey Reinart on Thursday. “We fumbled into the end zone, which was the worst case scenario because now they get it back on the 20-yard line. That was a major, major, major turn of events there.”
The Eagles then proceeded to drive 80 yards to make it 14-7, a 21-point turnaround. The Eagles then scored again with 11:52 remaining in the game and converted a 2-point conversion to put away the Longhorns.
Chisholm outgained Hennessey 307-237 yards, but three turnovers helped negate what started as a positive night with Bryce Patton tossing a 4-yard touchdown to Liam Johnson and Luke Balenti scoring on a 4-yard run.
Reinart said the halftime talk focused on the fact the coaches felt the Longhorns should have had more than 14 points on the board and were getting after the team to fix some of their first half mistakes, particularly penalties that put Chisholm in long yardage situations, something that has haunted Chisholm throughout the season.
“Then you come out, get a chance to really go up 21 and feel good about yourself and then, boom, here it comes back the other way,” Reinart said. “Just completely deflated everything. So, it’s tough to overcome mentally, for sure.”
There were positives early on for the Longhorns.
“We try to change kids’ mindsets and get them in a mode where they’re attacking across the front and using some guys to block from the backfield that we’ve really not done a whole lot of before and it was working,” Reinart said. “It was something the kids bought into and we were able to be a little more consistent.”
The Longhorns move on this week now to face Blackwell Friday at 7 p.m. at Chisholm. The Maroons (4-3, 2-2) are coming off back-to-back district wins against Hennessey and Newkirk.
Junior running back Christian Mora has rushed for 736 yards this season and is averaging 7.2 yards per carry. Senior quarterback Nate Hindman has passed for 536 yards has a pair of solid targets in senior Tanner Botts, who has 501 yards receiving and senior Trevor Goodenough with 288 yards and five touchdowns.
Blackwell rolled up 458 yards in offense in a 46-34 win over Hennessey on Oct. 9.
“Their running back is a good player,” Reinart said. “Their quarterback does a really good job of scrambling for yards as well. It’s a two-headed deal there. They’ve got two really good wide receivers that are very good deep and in space. It’s going to be a little bit of a challenge.”
Reinart said due to being depleted (due to injuries), the Longhorns are going to back to the offense it ran at the beginning of the season.
“Just using a ton of jet sweep and a ton of power read and quick passing game off that, you know, the stuff we have been doing for several years now,” he said. “We kind of got away from that the last few weeks. ... Due to personnel and things like that, we’re just going to have to get back into that Chisholm offense and let it fly.”
Reinart said while the team is winless in district, it still has a shot at fourth-place, which remains a goal entering its game against Blackwell.
The series is tied 9-9, but the teams have not met since 2013. Chisholm won the last meeting, 8-6.
COVID sidelines Davis: COVID-19 continues to impact the football season and it hasn’t spared Chisholm’s coaching staff. Richard Davis announced on Facebook Thursday he is currently hospitalized due to COVD-19.
Davis, who many likely know as the head coach of the Oklahoma Flying Aces professional indoor football team in Enid, also coaches defensive tackles and slot receivers for Chisholm. He said in his post he has been fighting it at home for the past 12 days.
“I just want all of you to know I’m not spending one minute being scared,” Davis posted. “Now that I know I’m in a fight, well then by God I’m taking the fight to it. I’m attacking this way more than it’s attacking me, and I won’t go down without doing everything in my power to come out on top. I’ve got a very special bunch of people to get home to.”
“We’ve been in contact with him about every day,” Reinart said.
“Poor guy just couldn’t get over the hump of it, so I think it just now ran his body down so much that it sent him to the hospital. I hate that for him. He’s definitely a big help for us during the week and on Friday night.”
Reinart said Davis’ duties are currently being handled in a “combo” fashion among the coaches.
OSSAA playoff changes: Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association announced earlier this week that, due to the unusual circumstances this season due to coronavirus, it was opening the football playoffs to all teams. Reinart had mixed feelings.
“I’m kind of an old-school traditionalist kind of guy and I like the fact that the playoffs in football are something that is a huge goal for a lot of teams and I like the fact that when you’ve accomplished it, it’s a really big deal,” he said. “But, with extenuating circumstances this year and how things have gone, I think they had to do something like this to keep everything consistent and keep manipulation of games and things like that out of the equation.”