Chika Madu isn’t necessarily headed to the University of Oklahoma to join his brother, Mossis, as a Sooner.
But he has the pedigree — and the talent — for Norman North to consider putting him in one-on-one situations opposite Muskogee receiver Jameel Owens and get positive results.
That matchup will be spotlighted as the Roughers and Timberwolves bring their 1-0 records to tonight’s 7:30 tilt at Norman.
Madu transferred from Norman High, where Mossis played before going to OU, where he now is in the running back mix for the Sooners. Chika wasn’t on the field when Owens had one of his more memorable nights of 2006, catching three passes of 21, 57 and 10 yards — all for scores — in powering MHS to a 33-14 victory. When the two teams met in the second round of the Class 6A playoffs last season, Owens had three catches for 88 yards in a 38-10 romp.
After a four-catch, 78-yard night in a 22-16 win over Broken Arrow, Owens is looking for more. And so is his coach, Matt Hennesy.
“I told our staff I didn't want to get comfortable with defenses putting two or three on Jameel,” the coach said. “Yeah, it leaves something else open, but I want to come up with some responses to that. And the thing of it was, he did make catches anyway, even with what the defense (Broken Arrow) showed us.”
Owens’ per-catch average in the opener was well into double-digits (19) but still off of what he got in both games against North — 29 and 27 yards.
But Scout.com’s top-rated player in Oklahoma wants a major-league breakout game.
“Coach told me he wanted me to get more involved and I want that,” Owens said. “But I know when people load up on me it’s going to leave someone else open. When they did that last week, that’s what happened.
“The main thing is we came out with a win and I felt good about my part helping the team. But do I want to make more plays? Of course.”
In the five-wideout scheme used often against Broken Arrow, Owens would be the lone receiver to one side of the field with four wideouts split to the other side. So there will be changes this week, especially with the team’s top running back, Vernon Scott, returning from a sprained knee suffered in scrimmage action three weeks ago against Sallisaw. With Scott on the field, that alignment would put him in the backfield instead of a lone back set in quarterback Trae Cook, unless of course, he is set wide.
The five-wide alignment caught the attention of the North players.
“We’ve been watching the quads on film,” Madu said. “We’ve got a nice little scheme for that.”
But for the most part, Madu confessed, he’ll be getting some help with Owens from a safety.
“I think it is going to be more of a double-team a lot more than one-on-one,” he said. “It could change. We don’t know exactly yet but it’s going to depend on the situation and the tempo of the game as much as anything.”
But Madu is looking forward to the challenge.
“He’s got good speed. He’s one of the fastest people I’ve covered,” Madu said. “But I’m ready. You’ve got to go in strong-minded and know what your assignment is. My assignment is him and I’m the type of player who is all for taking the big assignments.”
Madu is expected to be a bigger threat offensively, where his brother excelled and is still making a name for himself.
“We’re similar in a lot of ways,” he said of the sibling comparison. “We’re able to break down tackles and our cuts are alike. But he’s more of an all-around tailback and I’m more of a receiver. Of course, I’m smaller than he is.”
Which could impact where the 5-foot-10, 175-pounder goes to college, as well as how he matches up against the 6-4 Owens.
“A lot of people dwell on my size, but I know what I can do,” he said. “Some are playmakers and they’ve done that all their lives. That’s what I am.”
It must be said, however, that while Madu will be going both at cornerback and receiver, Owens will be resting while not running pass routes. And that, says Hennesy, multiplies his player’s edge.
“I just don't think they can put him on Jameel in single coverage on defense and not have an impact on how he's used offensively,” he said.
“That's a lot to ask of him, no matter how good he is. And I don't mean he's not a good player because he is. When he's on offense, you've got to be aware of where he's at at all times. He'll line up as a redceiver, he'll ine up in the slot and sometimes he'll line up in the backfield. And if he breaks one on you, he's gone.”
Owens is ambivalent about what he’ll see.
“He doesn’t impress me — I mean, I’m not scared of anybody,” he said. “You can put him... the whole team on me.”
This Week's Circulars
82, Admin. Assistant, passed Wednesday, April 1, 2020. Service held at a later date. Cornerstone Funeral Home - 1830 N York St., Muskogee, OK 74403
64, Mechanic/Owner of Unique Auto Repair, passed Friday, 03/27/2020. Service Info: 10AM, Friday 04/03/2020 at Greenhill Cemetery Pavilion. Cornerstone Funeral Home & Crematory
age 79, pastor of Wilson Chapel Baptist Church, passed away March 27, 2020. Visitation, Thursday, April 2, 2020, 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m., Precious Memories Chapel, House of Winn Funeral Home, 2200 Military Blvd, Muskogee, OK.
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