LAWTON — Del City football coach Nick Warehime stood on the Cameron Stadium turf last season and talked about turning things around.
Lawton High had just handily beaten the Eagles, who finished the season 1-9. Offseason workouts actually started the next morning, even though there were four weeks remaining in the 2011 season.
That paid off Thursday as Del City returned to Cameron Stadium and walloped No. 3-ranked Lawton MacArthur 41-18 to open Class 5A district play.
“What we're trying to do with this group right now is learn how to win, where they don't panic when things go against us,” Warehime said.
The Eagles (2-2) certainly failed to panic as they rattled off 20 points in the fourth quarter to stave off the Highlanders' third-quarter rally.
Del City quarterback Jon McBride was a big reason for that as he rushed for two touchdowns in the quarter. Safety Bryson Parker put the game out of reach by returning an interception for a TD with two minutes remaining.
MacArthur (2-2) started to mount an impressive comeback in the third quarter behind two touchdown passes from Ricky McCarty, including a 75-yarder to Gary McKnight Jr. on a reverse flea flicker that cut the deficit to 21-18.
But McCarty threw two of his four interceptions in the fourth quarter.
“The secondary came out and proved a point to everybody,” Parker said. “We proved we could play any team in the state and win.”
McBride finished 6 of 15 for 107 yards with two touchdowns to go along with his two rushing TDs. Both scoring passes went to Corey Lawrence, with the first being the most impressive. Lawrence turned the wrong way on a deep pass, tipped the ball with one hand and then caught it before striding into the end zone past the defender.
Del City running back Anthony Mason finished with 187 yards and one touchdown on 28 carries.
Del City has won two straight during a tough schedule that included 5A's No 2-ranked Tulsa East Central and Class 6A's Norman North and Midwest City. Still, it's not enough to satisfy Del City.
“We have, I think, higher expectations for ourselves,” McBride said. “We kind of let ourselves down the first two weeks, but coach got us back on track.”