Pioneer not worried about letdown against Olive

Pioneer's Caden Humphries carries the ball against Cherokee Friday, September 11, 2020 at Pioneer High School. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

The schedule may have Pioneer playing at District B-7 Olive Thursday night.

In reality, the Mustangs (4-2 overall and 1-0 in district) will be playing against their own standards of excellence.

The Wildcats — in their fifth year of football — are 0-5 overall and 0-1 in District B-7. They have been outscored 239-62 after losing to Barnsdall, 47-0 in their district opener last week. This is the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

"We've got to play Pioneer football,'' said Mustangs coach Gus Overstreet. "We have to make sure that we take care of business and do our jobs and make sure we play at our level and not at somebody else's level. District is a one-week season. We don't know who we play next week. All we are focused on is this week.''

Translated — not to let down after coming off a 68-34 win in their district opener over Garber last week.

"You can't take an opponent lightly in district play'' Overstreet said. "Any team can beat you on a given today. They are a young program trying to establish themselves.''

Olive lost at Kremlin-Hillsdale, 48-12 on Sept. 25, but scored the first touchdown on a 20-yard run by Jonah Johnson. Cale Bethel threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Cade Rusco.

Pioneer had perhaps its most impressive quarter of the season Friday against Garber with 30 unanswered points in the final period. The Mustangs trailed 34-30 late in the third period, but Ty Dennett began the comeback with a 24-yard scoring run, followed by a two-point conversion by Marzell Washington.

"Getting a win in district always makes for a good week,'' Overstreet said. "The boys did a good job of taking care of business. The Garber staff did a good job of game planning. They hit us in the mouth and we hit them in the mouth. We did an outstanding job of believing in what we were going to do — nothing fancy. We made them play our game. We played smash mouth football and we kept fighting until the clock ended. I was pleased with how the boys followed the game plan. We buckled down, started playing our game and got some stops and started rolling.''

The Mustangs rushed for a season-high 508 yards and had a season-high 545 yards in total offense. They had three backs with 100 or more yards — Leyton Parker (12 for 145 and three TDs), Washington (15 for 133, two TDs) and Dennett (16 for 117, three TDs).

Overstreet credited offensive linemen Eric Alatorre, Jacob Smith, Robert Newberg, Brandon DeLaTorre and Roque DeLaTorre for the accomplishment. It was the second time this season PHS had rushed for 500 or more yards in a game.

Parker, a Chisholm transfer, has scored 12 touchdowns. Dennett has 10 scores. Overstreet credited "the big uglies'' for those numbers.

Overstreet also praised Dakota Wingo, who moved back to fullback from tight end.

"He opened up a lot of holes, too,'' Overstreet said.

Parker, Smith and Newberg were Pioneer's leading tacklers in the game with nine. Parker and Dennett have been solid in the secondary with one-on-one coverages.

"Not too many people are going to burn us deep with those two guys on the field,'' Overstreet said.

Smith is back "to his normal cantankerous self'' after being moved back to nose guard from defensive end.

"He is doing his job in two-gap of finding the ball and tackling the ball carrier,'' Overstreet said. "All of his tackles are usually solo. That helps out the linebackers as well.''

Newberg and Wingo (three solo and three assisted) are establishing themselves at linebacker after being down linemen last year.

"They are starting to figure it out,'' Overstreet said. "I couldn't ask anything more of them.''

Garber's T.J. Bennett threw for 239 yards and two touchdowns — the most yards the Mustangs have given up through the air this season. He was 14 of 39 for only 36 percent.

"We had some mental breakdowns,'' Overstreet said. "The DBs did a good job of tackling in space. We gave up more points than we would have liked, but we came out with a win and that's all that matters.''

The win gave the Pioneer seniors a perfect 4-0 record against the Wolverines.

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