By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
The signs have been there all season long for Porter’s Darius Steele to have a big game for the Pirates.
Last Friday it happened as the senior busted up the Liberty defense for 373 yards and four touchdowns while also catching a 46-yard TD pass from Dean Van Vors in Porter’s 38-15 win, earning him the Phoenix Player of the Week honor for week nine.
“He’s had some good games for us,” said Porter coach Ron Coppedge. “He’s had several games where he’s rushed for over 120, 150 yards but never could break them. Friday, we were able to sustain some blocks and get him free.
“We also noticed some stuff on film that we took advantage of inside. The line did a really good job for him this week and once he was able to get to the second and third level, he was able to make kids miss.”
Steele owes credit for Friday’s outburst to several factors among which were his view of the field and the play of the offensive line.
“I was just focusing on looking at the line,” Steele said. “I could get a wide view and look for cutbacks so I could get more yards. A lot of the linemen go both ways and this week they stayed on their blocks.”
Coppedge was also quick to point out that while the Pirates sit at 2-7 on the season, 1-4 in District A-8 and eliminated from postseason possibility, Steele and the rest of his teammates are still treating every game as meaningful.
“We’ve always been in tight games except for a couple,” Coppedge said. “We’ve always felt like at some point during the game we could be successful. They keep working hard, showing up everyday and doing what we ask them to.”
This is the first and only season that Steele will be in a Porter uniform, having moved to Porter from Jenks prior to the beginning of the season. However, Coppedge knows about his senior’s lineage, especially when it applies to the Pirates’ program.
“Basically, he’s a Scarborough,” Coppedge said. “We’ve had some of his uncles and a lot of that string come through here.”
At 5-feet-10 and 160 pounds, Steele has the speed and the size that fits into Coppedge’s offensive philosophy. Steele also feels his style can be taken to the next level.
“I’m sort of looking to play Canadian football,” he said. “Or doing some walk-on camps at some D-II or D-I colleges. I will evaluate at the end of the season.”
Week 9 honor roll
Darius Steele, Porter — Ran for 373 yards on 30 carries with four TDs and had a 46-yard TD reception as the Panthers beat Liberty 39-15.
Chandler Puckett, Hilldale — 10 rushes for 100 yards and a score and completed 15 of 21 passes for 181 yards and four touchdowns in Hilldale’s 57-0 win against Sequoyah.
Bradley Campbell, Hilldale — 8 catches for 149 yards and three TDs.
Seth Reheard, Hilldale — 11 rushes for 87 yards and two TDs.
Tristan Johnson, Fort Gibson — 7 rushes for 101 yards in a 41-0 win against Stilwell.
Anthony King, Muskogee — Four catches for 154 yards and three touchdowns in Muskogee’s 33-23 win against Putnam City.
Rylee Simon , Vian — Threw for 80 yards, including a 27-yard pass on third down to A.J. Rodriguez with 30 seconds left for the game-winning touchdown in a 22-15 win against Hartshorne. Simon also had 92 yards on 25 carries.
Seth Sandlin, Stigler — Threw for 316 yards on 12-of-21 passing, scoring three TDs in the process, and ran for 74 yards on 11 carries in a 63-16 win against Valliant.
Trace Jackson, Stigler — Ten catches for 106 yards and ran for two TDs on runs of 55 and 3 yards.
Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner — 11 carries, 199 yards and three touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 57-35 win against Tulsa Webster.
Dillon Dobbins, Haskell — Eight catches, 181 yards and three TDs in a 42-13 win against Wellston.
Brody Enkey, Haskell — 7 of 11 passing for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Darren Bollman, Porum — Ran for four TDs as Porum beat Cave Springs 48-18.
Wade Shanks, Gore — Threw for three touchdowns and passed for another in a 56-7 win against Haileyville.
This week's schedule
All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted
Panama at Vian
Hulbert at Ketchum, 7 p.m.
Bixby at Muskogee, 7 p.m.
Collinsville at Tahlequah
Wagoner at Vinita
Fort Gibson at Sallisaw
Westville at Hilldale
Locust Grove at Keys
Sequoyah at Lincoln Christian
Spiro at Checotah
Eufaula at Heavener
Idabel at Stigler
Mounds at Haskell
Talihina at Gore
Warner at Liberty
Porter at Foyil
Porum at Strother
Thackerville at Midway
Webbers Falls at Arkoma