Caddo will take a two-game winning streak on the road tonight with a trip to tradition-rich Waurika. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Eagle Field.
Last week the Bruins, 2-2 on the season, squeaked by Ryan 26-24 holding on for the win after leading by 20 points in the second half.
” We played well in the first half, for the most part, and then went a little bit flat in the second half,” Caddo head coach Jeremy Proctor said. “They made some adjustments on defense and they had some big plays from their kids.”
The Cowboys, now 3-1, also put a clamp on Jaden Boyd who had helped put the Bruins well ahead by running a punt return 75 yards for a touchdown and dashing 48 yards for another score on a kickoff run back.
“They keyed on Boyd on offense and they shut him down with only 18 yards rushing,” Proctor added. “I’m just glad we have some other weapons.”
Ryan posed some physical issues that Proctor said Caddo was able to overcome.
“They outsized us,” he commented. “We just had to step up and play big.
“Drew Schoolcraft, Avery Brown and Jack Holbrook have been together for a year or two and they know each other. Matt Jenkins at tackle puts a lot of pressure on people. They are doing better and we are starting to click a little bit.”
Tonight’s opponent, Waurika, is also 2-2 on the year and the coaches pick to win District B-4. But the Eagles enter this week’s match up suffering through a two-game losing streak. After clubbing Temple and Grandfield by identical 52-6 scores, Waurika has dropped two straight games 26-20 to Empire, who petitioned down from Class A this season, and 80-32 to Snyder.
Caddo took last season’s contest 32-16 at Bruin Field.
“I think we match up with them about as equally as we can,” Proctor said. “Team speed is always an issue. I think we have more team speed than they do.
“They have a big, tall quarterback (Alan Nitka, 6-3, 175, junior) who can stay in the pocket or rush around and throw it downfield a little bit. They try to throw deep. But with little success so far.”
Nitka has thrown for 643 yards with nine touchdowns and three interceptions. The Eagles running game has been done by committee with Turner Mora (5-10, 175, sophomore) leading the way with 210 yards. In addition, Mora has thrown for a touchdown pass. Three additional Waurika players have gained more than 100 yards rushing through the first four games.
Proctor said the Eagles have been plagued by turnovers in recent losses. He also expects the Waurika defense to be better than what they showed in last week’s blowout loss to the Cyclones.
“They bring a lot of pressure at you defensively, ” Proctor said. “The quarterback (Nitka) plays defensive end and comes after you hard. Overall they don’t have a lot of size compared to Ryan who was massive. We have to be ready for everything that they throw at us.”
Key defenders for the Eagles are leading tacklers freshman cornerback Kevin Garcia and linebacker Seth Cathey (6-1, 190, senior) who both double as ball carries on the offense.
Takeaways, always a factor, have been mostly kind to the Bruins in the 2017. “”We have created more turnovers in the last four games than I have had in my career, probably, ” the Bruin head coach stated. “If that continues, we should give them some fits.”
The Bruins will be looking to take a winning record into next week’s B-5 opener at home against last year’s district champ Maud. A Caddo win would also stop a four-game road losing streak over the past two seasons.
“We will really find out about our character this week with another road game,” Proctor said. “It’s quite a distance (to Waurika) at a little over two hours. I think we are primed and ready for a big road win.”
+ Caddo’s Homecoming date has been moved to the final week of the regular season amid concerns about a possible Bruin fast pitch softball date at the Class A state tournament next week. The Bruins’ Homecoming and Senior Night festivities will now be held November 3 when Allen comes to Bruin Field.
+ Jaden Boyd is listed as probable for tonight’s game. He wasn’t at full speed last week. But, he still chipped in with the two special team touchdowns and five solo tackles plus a fumble recovery.
+ Holbrook and P.J. McClure picked up the slack in the rushing game in the Ryan game. The pair finish with 95 and 57 yards, respectively. Jenkins had a team-high eight solo tackles with Schoolcraft and Holbrook pitching in with six and five solo stops, as well.
Jim Reagan is Sports Director at KSEO/KLBC Radio in Durant
QB 2 Jack Holbrook
RB 23 P.J. McClure
RB 8 Cooper Manning
WR 7 Chisolm Booth
TE 17 Drew Schoolcraft
TE 16 Avery Brown
OL 24 Michael Creel
OL 71 Matthew Jenkins
DE 16 Avery Brown
NG 71 Matthew Jenkins
DE 17 Drew Schoolcraft
LB 3 Cameron McClain
LB 8 Cooper Manning
LB 23 P.J. McClure
DB 2 Jack Holbrook
DB 7 Chisolm Booth