SMQ: Lawton at Del City
Here’s a look back at Friday night’s 30-7 Del City win over Lawton that kept 6A-1 bunched ultra-tight.
Lawton’s offense vs. Del City’s defense: The most eye-popping stat by far was Lawton QB Cody Miller’s rushing total: 11 carries, -77 yards. He was sacked nine times and his only non-sack carries were on a no-gain rush that resulted in a fumble and turnover on Lawton’s first drive of the game and a 1-yard gain in the third quarter. Miller was effective through the air, completing 16 of his 29 passes for 213 yards (and was intercepted twice), but getting time to throw was the problem.
The MVPs for Del City were definitely the front four (although its hard not to also include the linebackers in that). Del City got to Miller without a lot of blitzing and stunting, instead getting pressure with primarily a strong push from the front.
Most of Lawton’s offense came through Miller’s connections with receiver Tyrequek Zimmerman. When I went to Lawton a couple weeks ago and spoke with Randy Breeze, he’s been very complimentary of Zimmerman and it’s not hard to see why. Zimmerman caught seven passes for 144 yards and scored Lawton’s lone TD (a 62-yarder from Miller). Zimmerman’s speed definitely puts him among the top receivers in 6A but his strength is what makes him a special player. Zimmerman is the leam’s leader in the squat and it’s not particularly close. Deaquan Wojciechowski (say that 10 times fast!) also had a good night for the Wolverines, with 6 catches for 81 yards.
I know other than the sack total I haven’t mentioned much about Del City’s defense but those sack totals pretty much tell the tale. Lawton came in among the top rushing teams in the state and Charles Smith came in as one of the top rushers. But Smith had 12 carries for 8 yards. He was brought down four times for loss and four more times for no gain. His only gain longer than 3 yards (and Lawton’s only running play for more than 4) came on an 11-yarder in the third.
Del City’s front 7 defense was phenomenal and the Eagles D definietly has a case to make as the best on the West, or possibly even 6A overall.
Del City offense vs. Lawton defense: A lot of people on the game blog commented on the matchup between Lawton DB Carlos Nazario and Del City WR Chris McAlister as the best of the night and I’d be hard-pressed not to agree. Nazario did a good job on McAlister, especially late, but unlike at least one of the people who commented on the blog, I’ve got to give the edge to McAlister, because he finished with 8 catches for 89 yards and a TD (a 16-yarder in the second quarter that put Del City up 14-0). McAlister had four catches for 16 yards or more. In the second half, he had just two catches for 8 total yards but his first-half performance gives him an edge here.
Del City QB Chazten Gonzalez was certainly better than he was a week earlier against Edmond Santa Fe (a 13-12 Del City win). Gonzalez was 14 of 21 for 158 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for 107 yards and a TD (a 61-yarder). Gonzalez’s other top target, Donavan Dan, was held to just two catches for 27 yards but Gonzalez found five different targets against Lawton.
The big difference maker for the Eagles was the effectiveness of the run game. Inconsistency here has been Del City’s biggest downfall this season (besides special teams, which we’ll get to later). But it wasn’t an issue Friday night. Junior RB Greg Johnson had 12 carries for 102 yards, while Adrian Fletcher was also effective, with six carries for 41 yards (although most of that came on a 20-yard TD run in the first quarter and a 25-yard run in the second quarter.
Del City would’ve had close to 250 yards rushing if it weren’t for two wild snaps that cost the Eagles a total of 46 yards in negative rushing.
Special teams notes: The biggest thing here is Del City’s sometimes inability to get punts off. A week earlier against Edmond Santa Fe, the Eagles gave up three safeties, all on special teams and two on high snaps to the punter.
Del City’s special teams got off to a rough start against Lawton when the Eagles were forced to punt on their first possession. The snap, once again, went high and Lawton’s Sonny Puletasi recovered the fumble at the Del City 1 to set up what looked to be a Wolverines score. But Miller fumbled on the next play and Del City’s offense responded with a 99-yard drive that turned the momentum around.
Outside of that mistake, Del City’s special teams were pretty solid. They got off a 49-yard punt on their next try of the night and wound up getting their other two punt tries off as well.
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