Southern Nazarene football coach Mike Cochran blamed poor communication between coaches and players as a reason why the Crimson Storm blew a great chance to win its first game of the season.
SNU was on the McMurry 3-yard line and faced a fourth-and-goal with the fourth-quarter clock nearing zero. With the field-goal unit scrambling to take the field for a potential game-tying kick, quarterback Dylan Terry raced behind center, took the snap and spiked the ball to stop the clock.
McMurry gets the ball. McMurry wins 22-19.
“I've been a head coach for 135 games, and that will never happen again,” Cochran said of Saturday's game in Grand Prairie, Texas. “It wasn't Dylan — you practice for situations like that all week — it was just a confusing cluster of things that happened.”
Southern Nazarene had two timeouts to burn, too.
If the Crimson Storm tied the game with a field goal, Cochran said he felt SNU had a good chance to win overtime. Terry had perhaps his best game of the season, throwing for 274 yards and two touchdowns. The first-year starter was zoned in with receivers Sedrick Johnson and Jarod Martin. Johnson caught nine passes for 151 yards and two touchdowns; Martin caught five passes for 93 yards.
“I was pretty confident with the receivers we have that we could win,” Cochran said.
But SNU came home an 0-6 team and returned to the drawing board. The Storm plays Kansas Wesleyan (4-2) this Saturday in Salina, Kan.
“We've become a better football team, especially after the first-three weeks,” Cochran said. “We've worked on personnel issues, tried to start executing better. The kids are playing hard on both sides of the ball.”
*Here's something you don't see much from Central Oklahoma. Someone other than Josh Birmingham leading the team in rushing. Birmingham had 10 carries for just 17 yards Saturday against then-No. 8-ranked Northwest Missouri State, which likely boned up on how to stop the Bronchos' junior running back. Quarterback Adrian Nelson topped UCO rushers with 73 yards on 13 carries. The junior-college transfer throws a good ball, but once the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder takes off running, he's tough to bring down.
*Mark Gastineau, an Ardmore native and former defensive end at East Central U., was added to the New York Jets' Ring of Honor during halftime of the Monday night game between the Jets and Houston Texans. Gastineau played 10 seasons with the Jets; he joined fellow defensive linemen Joe Klecko, Marty Lyons and Abdul Salaam as the “New York Sack Exchange” in the 1980s. Gastineau twice led the NFL in sacks and finished his 10-year career with 107.
*NCAA Division II football can be tough — even for former Division I players. Former Oklahoma State quarterback Johnny Deaton has thrown 10 interceptions compared to six touchdowns this season for Northeastern State.
*Langston's game at 2 p.m. Saturday against Texas College will be televised by Cox 3. The game at W.E. Anderson Stadium will be the capper to Langston's homecoming festivities, and the Lions (3-3) will be favored to beat a struggling Texas College club (1-5). Flip a coin whether it's best to watch the game from the easy chair or in person. But nothing beats sitting in the stands to watch the LU Pride Marching Band. Guaranteed good stuff.
As a side note, two former pro football studs will be in the house — former Kansas City Chiefs running back Mike Garrett, now the Langston athletic director, and former Green Bay Packers linebacker George Cumby, who is Texas College's head coach.
*Bacone has allowed just 13 total points over its last three games. The defense has pitched two consecutive shutouts, including a 34-0 rout of Southwestern Assemblies of God (Texas) last Saturday. Bacone (4-3) forced seven turnovers, with defensive back Isaac Twenty intercepting two passes. And before you ask, yes, the Miami, Fla., native wears jersey No. 20.
*Panhandle State, coached by former Weatherford High and Texas Longhorns lineman Russell Gaskamp, will play an Oklahoma team for the first time this season on Saturday. The Aggies (3-2) will bus 385 miles from Goodwell to Muskogee to play Bacone. Panhandle State's previous opponents were from Missouri, Illinois, Colorado and Texas.
“We're excited to be playing our first game this season against an Oklahoma school,” Gaskamp said.
*Oklahoma Baptist had 85 players suited up for its first football scrimmage in more than 70 years on Saturday in Shawnee. The Bison also hosted 80 recruits.
BITS AND PIECES
*Bryan Byars of University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma was named Sooner Athletic Conference Defensive Soccer Player of the Week. The Drovers' goalkeeper posted his eighth and ninth shutouts of the season. No. 10 came Tuesday night, when third-ranked USAO beat Mid-America Christian, 1-0. Byars, a high school All-American from Putnam City North, leads the NAIA with 0.18 goals against average.
*Former Edmond North runner Hannah Helker is en route to becoming one of the top athletes in Oklahoma Baptist history. Only a sophomore — and already a five-time NAIA All-American — Helker was named Sooner Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week. She has won all three cross country races she's competed in this fall; she finished a 5-kilometer course in 17 minutes, 10 seconds at the recent Bison Invitational. Helker also competes in track and field during the spring.