Hilldale comes in to Friday’s game at Checotah still unsure of its quarterback situation.
No problem, says Checotah head coach Chad Hendricks.
Just double up on the scouting reports.
“They do different things. One is more a runner than the other,” he said of juniors Melchesidech Porter and Johnnie Durossette. “But when you take it to your defensive philosophy, you prepare for everything.”
Last week, the Wildcats faced the wing-T attack of Keys and dismantled it, winning 41-14. They’ll see that unorthodox but seemingly increasing offensive scheme against district foes Idabel, Roland and Okmulgee.
So adjustments are inevitable.
“You install things in May and August to find that balance, knowing you’re going to see changes and have to adapt even on a weekly basis,” Hendricks said. “You just want your philosophy to be sound and make sure you’re lined up right.”
And Hendricks would be of no help in deciding who emerges as the guy. He’s examined them in both last week’s opener and the final scrimmage sessions.
“Against Tahlequah and Bishop Kelley they both had to go against two good Class 5A teams,” Hendricks said. “Last week it looked like they could have done anything they wanted. One runs the ball more, the other is a pure passer. You just break down film and want to be sound against anything you see.”
Porter rushed for 150 yards and three touchdowns. Durossette threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the 59-13 win over Claremore Sequoyah last week. Porter was 5-of-7 in the first half with one touchdown pass, a 19-yarder to Brayson Lawson. Durossette went long three times in the second quarter, 44 and 64 yards to Dylan Walker and 42 to T.J. Maxwell. They did not throw in the second half.
“Jay gives you the guy who can run you over,” said Hilldale coach David Blevins. “Johnnie reads defenses well and can throw a pretty good ball too.”
He hinted that a decision might work itself out against Checotah, which is much closer to Bishop Kelley and Tahlequah than last week’s foe for the Hornets.
“Last week, I think we played hard and were excited to play a real game. When your competition is tougher, you find out your guys real quick,” Blevins said. “They may both play well. We’ll see. I’m taking it day to day.
“But we’re in for a test for sure this week.”
That test will likely focus on a few key players for the Wildcats.
Dontierre Fisher, last year’s Phoenix Newcomer of the Year, rushed for 198 yards and two scores, and added a 76-yard TD via pass in a 31-28 Hilldale win in Muskogee last September. His offensive prowess overshadows some solid linebacker talent.
“There’s a lot of people who don’t have Checotah in their top 10 (in 3A) and I don’t know why,” Blevins said. “They’re a really good football team and super duper athletic in every position. Offensive line is really good, defensive line fires off the ball.”
“There weren’t many plays where we didn’t have nine kids to the ball last week. We have to get that kind of pursuit, go to our angles where we are supposed to go and when we get a chance, make sure we wrap up. If we don’t, we’re stumped. No. 6 (Fisher) is the real deal.”
Quarterback Jacob Barrett has committed to play receiver at Eastern Michigan next year. He’s a dual threat with quick feet. Brenden Dan is a rapidly developing receiver in his first season in football, delaying getting to the basketball court for a fourth season to follow the footsteps of his brother Drew, who is a wide receiver at New Mexico State.
Devin Brandt led Hilldale in tackles last week. He’s a flexible guy who plays all three positions up front.
“”We’ve heard (Fisher) is a good running back. We know (Barrett) pulls and he’s pretty quick too. We have to pound (Fisher) and keep everything regarding the run to the inside,” Brandt said.
“My deal is to be quick off the ball. I pride myself on that.”
Fisher’s objective on offense is obvious. His defensive play, however, may prove to be a difference maker.
“Light them up,” he said.
Kickoff is 7 p.m. Friday.