DEFENSE, SPECIAL TEAMS LIFT EL RENO
El Reno coach Shawn Mason knew the Indians defense would have to shoulder much of the load early in the season.
They did Friday night, with quite a bit of help from the special teams, as El Reno beat Woodward 30-7.
El Reno's Mason Archer blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for the game's first touchdown, Hunter Freeman returned an interception 22 yards for a touchdown and Justin Brown returned a punt 70 yards for another score as El Reno blew the game open in the second half.
“It's going to be a team effort for us,” Mason said. “We don't have any superstars on this team. We've got to have a guy here or a guy there making those plays and that's what they did last night.”
El Reno had just 158 yards of total offense, but Mason said he was encouraged overall by the group that has just two returning starters.
“We're going to have some mistakes here and there because of our youth but we did some good things,” Mason said.
OCS COMES FROM BEHIND
Oklahoma Christian coach Derek Turner called Friday night's 27-24 come-from-behind win over Metro Christian one of the biggest victories in his six years as the Saints head coach.
“That was probably one of the top two or three non-playoff wins,” Turner said. “It might have been No. 1. To beat a ranked team in the class above us, and a highly ranked team, a lot of people had them No. 1 in 3A and they might very well still win it. That is as a big a win as I can remember.”
Oklahoma Christian rallied with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. The first came when quarterback Austin Brooks hit Connor Sikes over the middle. Sikes slipped between two defenders and raced 60 yards for the score.
Then what proved to be the game-winning touchdown came with eight minutes left when cornerback Luke Frankfurt intercepted a pass and returned it 49 yards or a touchdown.
Brooks was 18 of 32 in the game for 257 yards and two touchdowns. Sikes caught four balls for 78 yards while Cole Peak had four receptions for 63 yards. Frankfurt rushed for 50 yards on 14 carries.
Metro Christian, which entered the game ranked No. 6 in 3A, missed what would have been a game-tying field goal with 25 seconds left.