Pioneer football

Pioneer’s Marzell Washington carries the ball against Seiling Aug. 28 at Pioneer High School.

WAUKOMIS, Okla. — Pioneer will be well-rested when the 7-3 Mustangs host 5-6 Drumright in a 7 p.m. Class B second-round playoff game Friday.

The Mustangs had a bye last week, thanks to winning the B-7 championship. Drumright, fourth in District B-8, advanced to the second round by beating Yale, Pioneer’s, B-7 rival, 46-28.

Pioneer benefitted from the time off, Mustangs coach Gus Overstreet said.

“I was skeptical of it at first,’’ he said. “I wish we could have kept playing (after beating Covington-Douglas 62-42 for the district championship), but the nice thing was that we were able to get healthy and we were able to work on things that needed to get fixed. We were happy to have a week off.’’

The Mustangs spent the week working primarily on “individual stuff,’’ Overstreet said.

“We hardly did any team things,’’ Overstreet said. “We worked on us and fine-tuned things and the boys responded well. We didn’t practice as long as we normally would. It was just a great week for us to leave on to play Drumright.’’

Pioneer prepared for both Drumright and Yale last week. Overstreet didn’t go to the game, but studied videos of both teams.

Drumright avenged a 30-0 loss to Yale on Sept. 4 to advance. Yale is the one of two common opponent of both teams. The Mustangs beat Yale 64-16 on Oct. 30. Barnsdall has beaten both teams — the Mustangs, 26-20 and Drumright, 64-18.

Drumright has bounced back from back-to-back 0-10 seasons to reach the second round.

The Bulldogs, Overstreet said, do a good job running the option, which Pioneer has not seen this season other than Cherokee. The Chiefs beat the Mustangs, 22-20 rolling up 270 yards on the ground.

“Their quarterback (Trenton Hall) knows when to pull it,’’ Overstreet said. “He runs really hard. If you don’t play sound defense, it can really hurt you if you don’t do your job.’’

The option is run much like the wishbone where the defense has to watch the fullback, quarterback and pitch man closely.

“We have to do our jobs or get hurt,’’ Overstreet said. “You have to focus on that and take away the options because that’s their bread and butter If the quarterback gets in his lane, he can be gone. He can make you miss. They are trying to ground and pound, but they can break a big one if you’re not in the right spots.’’

Pioneer, being in an eastern district, will have a different road to the playoffs than in past seasons when they were advancing in either B-1 or B-2.

“We’re seeing some different offenses and defenses which makes it fun and exciting,’’ Overstreet said.

Drumright runs a TNT defense going with both a 4-1 and 4-2 alignment. Overstreet expects PHS ground-and-pound style, which has averaged 358.2 yards per game rushing, to be challenged.

“They got some big boys up front,’’ Overstreet said. “Their front line gets great penetration. If you don’t shut them down, it can hurt you.’’

Pioneer is averaging 45.4 points per game and for the first time in the school’s 8-man history has scored 60 or more points four times in a season. The 2000 state championship team topped 60 points three times.

Overstreet, being an old lineman, credits those numbers to the Mustang “hog mollies’’ — Jacob Smith, Brandon DelaTorre, Robby Newberg, Sean Rich, Roque DelaTorre, Eric Alatorre and Sean Rich as well as fullback Dakota Wingo.

“That’s why our offense is doing as good as it is,’’ Overstreet said. “The open up the holes so the backs can run behind them. The backs get the glory but they wouldnt be there without them.’’

Leyton Parker has scored 17 touchdowns this season, followed by Ty Dennett with 13, Kaden Humphries with 11, Marzell Washington with seven and Rafael Torres with six.

The Mustang ground game went over the 400-yard mark for the third time this season with 450 against Covington-Douglas. That was 207 more yards than the Wildcats had allowed this season,.

Pioneer scored 40 points in the fourth period to break open a 22-20 game. Parker had 163 yards on 14 carries and two touchdowns while Humphries had 162 on 26. It was the second time this season the Mustangs blew open the game with a explosive fourth quarter. They outscored Garber 30-0 in the final period in a 68-34 win over the Wolverines Oct. 9.

“With our offense, you really don’t think about things like that,’’ Overstreet said. “You wanted to chew up the clock because Covington-Douglas is capable of scoring on any play if you don’t do your job. It was a weird feeling but it was a testament to the boys. They did a really good job of finishing that game. We got some big stops and we were able to capitalize. We didn’t turn ball over the ball and we were able to come out ahead.’’

This is the first-ever playoff meeting between Pioneer and Drumright, which like Pioneer had a long history in 11-man before going to 8-man. The Mustangs are 10-7 in second round games. If Pioneer wins, the Mustangs would host the Arkoma at Quinton winner next week.

Pioneer has asked fans to social distance and to wear masks. Fans can bring lawn chairs to sit on the track. The Mustangs have not lost a game to COVID-19 this season. District B-7 was able to play its entire district slate without an interruption.

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Campbell is a former sports writer and current part-time writer for the News & Eagle,

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Graduate of Oklahoma City John Marshall (1972) and University of Oklahoma. Been at News & Eagle since June 19, 1978. Previously worked at Oklahoma Journal, Midland, Texas Reporter & Telegram, Norman Transcript, Elk City Daily News

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