, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

October 31, 2012

Roughers playing for pride now

— Call it the Pride Bowl, for a sense of postseason feeling that neither Muskogee or Bixby will experience.

Both teams will leave Friday’s game with some playing their final game of football, while others may extend that through college and the rest will head to off-season work. And in the end, it’s just the satisfaction of finishing with a win and also gaining a notch up the ladder in District 6A-2.

Is that enough?

“I think we match up well, and I know I’ve been wrong about that before,” Muskogee coach Josh Blankenship said. “I really expect a dogfight, but it depends on what group of teen-agers wants it more than the other.

“I mean they’ve had the same emotional struggles we have with the kind of season they’ve had and like us, they know this is their last game no matter what. It now boils down to the legacy you leave.”

After this week’s games, there’s only one team in Class 6A who will depart with a win.

Friday’s meeting between the Roughers and Spartans is the first since a 20-9 Bixby win in 1922, which marked the first-ever meeting between the two teams. Bixby moved into Class 6A this season.

Under Loren Montgomery, the former Jenks offensive coordinator who took over as head coach in 2009 when Allan Trimble was suspended in the wake of the school's penalties for using an ineligible player in the 2008 season, have gone 3-6 overall and 1-5 in district. Like Muskogee (1-7, 1-5), the Spartans’ only 6A-2 win came against Tulsa Edison.

“Loren’s an (offensive line) guy by trade and he’s going to find a way to run the ball on us,” said Blankenship.

Blankenship believes the core of that offense’s focus is in that of tight end/H-back  DeAndre Jennings, a 6-foot-1, 211-pound senior and the younger cousin of Oklahoma State receiver Tracy Moore, who Blankenship worked with as the Redskins’ offensive coordinator.

“The run game goes through him and they’re going to try and get him the ball,” Blankenship said.

Defensively, Guy Gaylor, whose brother Adam is the Broken Arrow defensive coordinator, runs a similar scheme as the Tigers’ 4-3 scheme but with a stand-up end who can end up as a linebacker.

“It’s the same thing as Owasso, so we’re familiar with it,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to attack it.”

Blankenship said he won’t use the contest with a look toward 2013 even though he made some changes down the stretch of last week’s 20-17 loss to Putnam City. Some of those were based on schemes and though he did not go into specifics, he didn’t pull quarterback Trevor Jiles on the basis of a late interception.

Quintahj Cherry, his freshman backup, went three-and-out on the next possession before leading the Roughers to a touchdown in the final minute for the final score of the contest.

“The only way I’m even remotely looking ahead is for the same thing I’ve done all season and that  was we need to win, that’s it,” he said. “I’m not playing anyone in particular, I’m not making personnel decisions on what I am hoping to get done next year.

“The only plan is to win and I’m not going to slight a senior because of my plans for next year. My plans are all about right now so our plans are to go win Friday.”

Text Only
Prep Sports
AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

     View Results
Featured Ads

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.