It seems like every week has been a must-win game for the Yard Dawgz. Oklahoma City has had the toughest schedule in the arenafootball2 league.
But heading into Friday’s showdown at undefeated Spokane, it’s a little different. The Yard Dawgz are as healthy as they’ve been all season.
"I want to see how we match up with Spokane,” said coach Sparky McEwen
. "It’s going to be an extremely tough game. They’ll have a great atmosphere.”
Spokane has the league’s best scoring defense at 35.5 points per game. The game will also feature the two best quarterbacks in the af2: OKC’s Robert Kent
and Spokane’s Nick Davila
are No. 1 and No. 2 in passing efficiency and completion percentage.
Defense steps up
The last two weeks have been some of the best defensive efforts McEwen has seen by 5an af2 team.
Defensive back Travis Seaton
said that can be attributed to many things, most notably the mental mindset.
"We’re having fun again,” Seaton said. "We know it’s a business, but we’re enjoying ourselves again. We’re hungry.”
The defense produced 12 turnovers and 12 sacks in the last two weeks.
Staying fit, staying tough
To try to break the monotony of the season’s grind, McEwen has had the team practicing at Putnam West High School on certain days. The big boys (linemen, linebackers) practiced there Tuesday in 100-degree heat.
"We must be mentally prepared for this game,” McEwen said. "Practicing outdoors helps the guys stay mentally tough.”
OKC (7-5) is at Spokane (11-0) on Friday night at 9:05. The Yard Dawgz have won three in a row and are fifth in the National Conference. It’s the first meeting between the teams.