Stillwater News Press

High School Sports

September 13, 2013

Stillwater turns the ball over six times in loss to Midwest City

MIDWEST CITY, Okla. — Six is typically a good number in football — six points for a touchdown, a 6-yard gain is a pretty solid play — that kind of thing. As it turns out, six was unlucky for the Stillwater High School football team Friday at Rose Field in Midwest City.

That’s because that six stood for Stillwater’s sixth turnover — a fumbled punt with less than a minute left that allowed Midwest City to escape with a 28-22 win over the Pioneers.

“I lost count,” Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard said. “I didn’t know how many we had. It’s tough. We’ve kind of done it both ways. Last week, we didn’t do our part defensively and this week we had a lot of miscues on the offense.”

Stillwater (0-2) fumbled the ball six times, losing five of those as the offense seemingly struggled to get in sync all night. In fact, of Midwest City’s four touchdowns only one of them started in Midwest City territory — and that one was aided by a 49-yard pass.

“Every score they had tonight was on a short field, with the exception of one,” Barnard said. “On that one we had them in a dadgum third-and-long and they threw a deep ball and get us.”

Midwest City (2-0) struck first, capitalizing on Demeco Wright’s interception on the Stillwater 13-yard line. Seconds later Kameron Martin burst through the line for a 3-yard score with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

“We needed to dig down,” Barnard said. “Just because we’re in a short field doesn’t mean that we need to give up a score. It’s the same offense that we’re facing inside the 20-yard line that we’re facing at midfield. I think we just had a different approach defensively.”

After forcing Stillwater’s offense into a three-and-out, the Bombers offense continued to roll. Brendan Brown found Will Sunderland for a 49-yard strike, setting up Martin for a 5-yard score to give Midwest City a 13-0 lead after the missed extra point.

Miscues continued to hamper the Pioneers as a botched kickoff gave Midwest City the ball deep inside Stillwater territory. Less than a minute later Roscoe Gatewood weaved his way through the defense for a 13-yard score to extend the lead to 20-0.

“That first have we just had tons of penalties and got slowed down by all the commotion,” Stillwater junior linebacker Cameron Mayberry said. “The first half the emotions were crazy. We kind of had a wild first half, but we came out stronger in the second half and played our type of football.”

Down but not out, Stillwater started to get a little momentum — aided by a 28-yard reception by Brandon Prather. A few plays later, Braxton Noble split Midwest City’s defense for a 7-yard score, trimming the lead to 20-6 as the two team went into the locker room at halftime.

A fumbled on the opening kickoff of the second half again gave Midwest City a short field. Three plays later Gatewood scored from 11-yards out. KeSean Brown then ran the ball in on a botched extra point attempt to extend the lead to 28-6 with 10:20 left in the third quarter.

That’s where things started to turn around. Mayberry capped off a 10-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown to close the gap to 28-13 before Stillwater’s defense held the Bombers to three-and-out.

During the punt the ball sailed over punter Brendan Brown’s head before he kicked it out of the end zone for a safety.

“We put them in a tough position offensively and then we got the safety,” Barnard said. “I think our guys felt good. We were excited and fired up. We fed on that for a little bit and that’s kind of the way it goes.”

Fueled by the safety and a sudden surge by the defense, Stillwater again held Midwest City’s offense in check. Following another punt and a big third-down conversion, Mayberry bulled his way into the end zone for a second time from 3 yards out to pull Stillwater within — you guessed it — six, 28-22.

“I felt like that was a turning point in the game,” Mayberry said. “We definitely had momentum after that.”

Stillwater had it’s chance — forcing Midwest City to punt with just over a minute remaining in the game. But after having moderate success on punts most of the night, Stillwater couldn’t corral Brown’s high-arching kick near midfield, effectively ending the game.

“Those turnovers just built up,” Mayberry said. “The second half, we cut down on them. We gave ourselves a chance to win, but it just didn’t bounce our way tonight.”

Marlon McDonald led the Pioneer offense, rushing 15 times for 78 yards, while Brandon Prather had seven catches for 52 yards before leaving the game with an injury in the second half. Braxton Noble completed 14 of 23 passes for 129 yards and also ran the ball 12 times for 56 yards.

“Every score they had tonight was on a short field, with the exception of one,” Barnard said. “On that one we had them in a dadgum third-and-long and they threw a deep ball and get us.”

Midwest City (2-0) struck first, capitalizing on Demeco Wright’s interception on the Stillwater 13-yard line. Seconds later Kameron Martin burst through the line for a 3-yard score with 7:28 left in the first quarter.

“We needed to dig down,” Barnard said. “Just because we’re in a short field doesn’t mean that we need to give up a score. It’s the same offense that we’re facing inside the 20-yard line that we’re facing at midfield. I think we just had a different approach defensively.”

After forcing Stillwater’s offense into a three-and-out, the Bombers offense continued to roll. Brendan Brown found Will Sunderland for a 49-yard strike, setting up Martin for a 5-yard score to give Midwest City a 13-0 lead after the missed extra point.

Miscues continued to hamper the Pioneers as a botched kickoff gave Midwest City the ball deep inside Stillwater territory. Less than a minute later Roscoe Gatewood weaved his way through the defense for a 13-yard score to extend the lead to 20-0.

“That first have we just had tons of penalties and got slowed down by all the commotion,” Stillwater junior linebacker Cameron Mayberry said. “The first half the emotions were crazy. We kind of had a wild first half, but we came out stronger in the second half and played our type of football.”

Down but not out, Stillwater started to get a little momentum — aided by a 28-yard reception by Brandon Prather. A few plays later, Braxton Noble split Midwest City’s defense for a 7-yard score, trimming the lead to 20-6 as the two team went into the locker room at halftime.

A fumbled on the opening kickoff of the second half again gave Midwest City a short field. Three plays later Gatewood scored from 11-yards out. KeSean Brown then ran the ball in on a botched extra point attempt to extend the lead to 28-6 with 10:20 left in the third quarter.

That’s where things started to turn around. Mayberry capped off a 10-play drive with a 2-yard touchdown to close the gap to 28-13 before Stillwater’s defense held the Bombers to three-and-out.

During the punt the ball sailed over punter Brendan Brown’s head before he kicked it out of the end zone for a safety.

“We put them in a tough position offensively and then we got the safety,” Barnard said. “I think our guys felt good. We were excited and fired up. We fed on that for a little bit and that’s kind of the way it goes.”

Fueled by the safety and a sudden surge by the defense, Stillwater again held Midwest City’s offense in check. Following another punt and a big third-down conversion, Mayberry bulled his way into the end zone for a second time from 3 yards out to pull Stillwater within — you guessed it — six, 28-22.

“I felt like that was a turning point in the game,” Mayberry said. “We definitely had momentum after that.”

Stillwater had its chance — forcing Midwest City to punt with just over a minute remaining in the game. But after having moderate success on punts most of the night, Stillwater couldn’t corral Brown’s high-arching kick near midfield, effectively ending the game.

“Those turnovers just built up,” Mayberry said. “The second half, we cut down on them. We gave ourselves a chance to win, but it just didn’t bounce our way tonight.”

Marlon McDonald led the Pioneer offense, rushing 15 times for 78 yards, while Brandon Prather had seven catches for 52 yards before leaving the game with an injury in the second half. Braxton Noble completed 14 of 23 passes for 129 yards and also ran the ball 12 times for 56 yards.

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