TAHLEQUAH — If anything is confirmed through two preseason scrimmages, Muskogee High School will possess a good running attack.
The Roughers showed their strong ground game in taking a 21-7 victory against Tahlequah in a four-team scrimmage at Gable Field at Doc Wadley Stadium on Thursday night.
In the meantime, Hilldale coach David Blevins took solace in his team still giving effort despite losing 13-0 to Tulsa Bishop Kelley.
The scrimmage was the last tuneup for the three area teams.
Quarterback Ty Williams and running back Jimmie Coleman ran strongly to pace the Roughers’ running attack.
Coach Rafe Watkins was pleased with what he saw.
“We’re hanging our hat on our running game,” he said. “To me, if you’re going to win a championship, you’ve got to be able to run the ball and stop the run.
“That’s what some of my old teams did that won championships. Right now, we’re doing that.”
Williams dashed 40 yards for the Roughers’ first score with 12:28 remaining. Less two minutes later, Coleman had the scrimmage’s longest run for 74 yards with 10:09 remaining. Coleman’s TD increased the Roughers’ lead to 21-7.
As far as stopping the run, Watkins was pleased with the play of senior lineman Devion Williams.
“He came up and just dominated the last half of the game,” the MHS coach said. “He can’t be blocked. He’s just an animal. He really is. When he decides he wants to play hard, he can’t be blocked.”
Tahlequah’s lone touchdown came on Tate Christian’s 46-yard pass to Simeon Armstrong to start the scoring.
Hilldale, in the meantime, had trouble scoring. But Blevins stayed positive despite the setback.
“I liked it that we didn’t quit,” he said. “We’re a 4A and they’re a No. 2 5A team and we kept hanging in there with them. We’re looking for experience as we have a lot of young kids that need to get better.”
The Hornets had their bright spots.
Chance Johnson got his second interception in as many weeks and Darrin Hayes recovered a fumble.
Blevins said the battle at quarterback between Johnnie Durosette and Melchesidech Porter will continue.
“More than likely, we’ll go with two quarterbacks going into next week,” he said. “I’ll know more after I look at film.”
All three teams open their seasons next Friday.
While Tahlequah is home to Fort Gibson, Muskogee travel to McAlester and Hilldale plays at Claremore Sequoyah. All games kick off at 7 p.m.