Phoenix staff reports

Coach Matt Hennesy said it Friday night — while Trae Cook’s debut performance as Muskogee's quarterback would get the majority of the press, the defense was ultimately the key to Friday's 22-16 win over Broken Arrow.

Shjuan Richardson’s fumble recovery and interception were two of the three BA turnovers. The fumble recovery came after Stacy McGee made the tackle from behind but Travon Brooks actually made the frontal hit that jarred the ball loose. Eric Howell and Colton Archer had eight tackles each.

“We made mistakes, but a lot of those are overcome when we meet our objective and that is to have 11 guys flying to the football,” defensive coordinator David Heath said. “Travon’s hit there early set the tone for the game. The turnovers were key and that was primary in our game plan, is to make them give up the football.”

The Roughers defense also held BA to 51 yards on the ground and will face a similar offensive style in Norman North on Friday. North is led by running back Beau Blankenship, who rushed for 132 yards on 12 carries and scored twice in a 42-23 win over crosstown rival Norman.

“He's a big strong, hard runner and stopping him will be our main objective,” Heath said.

Blankenship’s role became more key when North’s No. 1 quarterback, Tyler Tettleton, tore an ACL in an intrasquad scrimmage in August. The son of former major league baseballer Mickey Tettleton’s backup is Jake Damrill. Also in the North backfield is Chika Madu, the younger brother of OU’s Mossis, who actually played his high school ball at Norman High. The younger Madu carried six times for 21 yards, returned two kickoffs for 36 yards and four punt returns for 45 yards and scored twice on runs of 1 and 2 yards last week.

“Our speed on defense will be able to handle him, but Blankenship's strength and running style is my main concern,” Heath said.

Muskogee beat Norman North twice last season, 33-14 in week two at Indian Bowl and 38-10 in the playoffs in Norman. Heath's defensive starters did not give up a touchdown in either of those games.

— Mike Kays


Coach Don Hendrix knew after the game and watching the game tape only confirmed it for him.

The Hornets missed not having that second scrimmage. Mistakes they would’ve made in that scrimmage popped up in the Hornets’ 28-10 season-opening victory over Skiatook last Friday. The good news is the mistakes are “correctable.”

“They were little things like head placement in blocking or on defensive alignment when a player’s foot should’ve been to the outside instead of the inside,” Hendrix said. “There weren’t any glaring errors.

“If you make those kind of mistakes in the second scrimmage, you have time to correct them and talk to the kids. I wouldn’t say it was a totally missed assignments but only a slightly missed assignments. They kept us from being as successful as we wanted to be.”

Still, the Hornets were successful in the running game, rushing for 335 yards as a team and senior Zac Cox gained a game-high 147 yards on just eight carries. He scored on runs of 43 and 47 yards in the first half as Hilldale led 21-0 at halftime.

“Zac ran the ball well,” Hendrix said. “He’s deceptive. He’s just a big, fast kid. When he’s going up the middle with the ball, he’s pretty big, quick and mobile.”

Hilldale, extending its winning streak to six straight season-opening games, plays at Class 4A No. 1 Wagoner on Friday night. Wagoner opened with a 55-7 win over Fort Gibson as quarterback Durrel Parker ran for two touchdowns and passed for three more, all to Jermaine Sherman.

— Kenton Brooks

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