Currently riding a four-game winning streak, Caddo takes to the road tonight to meet Empire in a 7 p.m. District B-5 matchup.
The Bruins shook off a 14-12 halftime deficit last week to open league play with a 28-14 home victory over Maud. The win gives Caddo a 1-0 district mark.
Caddo’s defense pitched a shutout in the second half, earning praise from head coach Jeremy Proctor.
“We are averaging around two and half sacks per game,” Proctor said. “Avery Brown and Drew Schoolcraft, on the ends, and Matt Jenkins put a lot of pressure up the middle.”
The CHS coach also gave high marks to Jaden Boyd, Cameron McCain and P.J. McClure. Offensively, McClure and Boyd ran for 123 and 110 yards, respectively.
“They can spell each other on offense,” Proctor said about the pair. “I’m just glad we have a two-headed attack. Even if one is shut down, we have plenty of weapons to go around. Even Jack Holbrook (the Caddo quarterback) had 32 yards rushing. He is actually our second leading rusher.”
The Bruin coach also singled out the play of his offensive line including Brown and Schoolcraft, who rotate at guard and tight end, and Michael Creel at the other guard spot. Colby Henson (5-10, 280 pounds) out the offensive front at center.
“Creel (5-8, 165) is an undersized guy,” Procto added. “He would probably be our fullback, but we had to move him to guard at the first of the year. He has done a tremendous job. Coach (Shane) Millermom does a good job with the “O” line.”
Empire, 3-3, seems to be settling in as an eight-man team. The Bulldogs are down from Class A where they finished 0-10 last season. They own wins over Temple, Life Christian and Waurika. The losses have come at the hands of Cyril, Southwest Covenant and Allen. A 21-18 loss to the Allen Mustangs came in last week’s district opener.
Longtime coach Bruce Harrell has come over from Maud after a long stint with the Tigers. Harrell coached the Tigers for 11 years, winning five district titles while compiling a slick 83-36 record. He was won more than 100 games as a head coach and was also quarterback during the glory days of Wynnewood Savage football when James Allen, who starred at the University of Oklahoma, was taking his handoffs.
“He throws a lot at you,” said Proctor of his counterpart on the opposite sideline tonight. “They do a lot of shifting formations and motion. They try to get your head out of the game. The base plays they run are toss sweeps, quarterback bootlegs and stuff to try to confuse you.”
Leading the Bulldogs attack is junior quarterback Rodolfo Martinez (5-10,160). He’s definitely someone the Bruins will need to keep an eye on.
“He’s a lefty,” Proctor said. “We faced a left-handed quarterback last week which will play into our favor. He spreads it around to different receivers. He’s a scrambler. So we will have to box him in.”
Martinez’s top receivers are expected to be a couple of seniors in wide out Ethan Pannell, who will see time in the backfield, and tight end Lucas Contreras. Another senior, Devin Mitchell, has been an option carrying the ball.
Proctor will be looking to cut down on the mistakes that made last week’s win over Maud more difficult. The Bruins managed to overcome several costly penalties. Two infractions cost Boyd an 85-yard kickoff return touchdown and a 43-yard jaunt to paydirt.
“We went back and looked at film,” he added. “Some of those might be petty stuff. But you take away all the excuses. Most of the time the penalties on the line come from the players being lazy and not moving their feet and getting out of position. We are working on that.”
Tonight’s game is key for the Bruins district hopes.
“With a five-team district, it is a little easier to get in the playoffs,” Proctor said. “But no game is guaranteed and we are trying to get a win this week and next week (versus Strother). We are trying to get a home berth in the playoffs.”
Bruin bits: The Bruins have three players who have ran for nearly 1,100 yards this season. McClure tops the Caddo rushers with 400. He is followed closely by Holbrook with 392 and Boyd, who has still managed to run for 300 yards despite being hampered by injuries. Holbrook has also thrown for 530 yards with 69 receiving yards.
District check: Allen, B-5 favorite Maysville, and the Bruins all posted opening wins in district play. Maysville whipped Strother, 68-36, in the other district game last week. All three of the district leaders are 4-2 for the season.
Jim Reagan is Sports Director at KSEO/KLBC Radio in Durant
QB 2 Jack Holbrook
RB 23 P.J. McClure
FB 8 Cooper Manning
WR 7 Chisolm Booth
TE 16 Avery Brown
G 24 Michael Creel
C 77 Colby Henson
G 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 21 Jaden Boyd
DB 2 Jack Holbrook