Stillwater News Press


August 17, 2012

Stillwater High struggles in first scrimmage

BROKEN ARROW, Okla. — Going against Broken Arrow, the defending state runner-up in Class 6A, Stillwater High School football coach Tucker Barnard knew his team was in for a challenge.

Now his team knows why Broken Arrow is a favorite to get back to the state championship game again this season.

“It was rough,” Barnard said. “Broken Arrow is a good football team and they showed us that tonight. They pretty much did whatever they wanted, and we did not have a lot of success on either side of the ball. We had a couple of individuals who played well and showed us some things that we didn’t know they’d be able to do, but basically we learned that we have to get better.”

Among those who did impress early and often were a pair of sophomores — quarterback Braxton Noble and tight end Will Fowler.

“I was afraid Braxton was going to be really jittery, but I felt like he held it all together early,” Barnard said. “He made some good throws and looked pretty solid.”

Noble may have been on Barnard’s radar after earning the first-string duties during the spring. Fowler, on the other hand, seemed to come out of nowhere.

“As a tight end, you’re not always the primary receiver,” Barnard said. “It says a lot about his ability and what he can do. ... He did a good job of finding openings and just sitting in them. For a sophomore to do that, that’s really impressive.”

The sophomore combination may have been the bright spots, but Barnard said there are some things that need to be addressed before their second scrimmage in Norman.

“We have a lot of experience on our offensive and defensive lines,” Barnard said. “I feel like they didn’t play the way they needed to play. Some of that may be a credit to Broken Arrow and some guys play both ways. We may have to limit them to playing either offense or defense, but we’ll find out in practice. I’m just going to challenge them to do better.

“I will know more after we watch the tape. But I can tell you one of our biggest problems was our pursuit of the Broken Arrow runners. That may have been because of the speed of Broken Arrow. We just have to adjust some things in practice.”

If there was one bright spot, Barnard said the team left with no injuries — minus the typical bumps and bruises.

“That may be the best thing about the scrimmage,” Barnard said. “We came out as healthy as we went in. We have a lot of little nagging injuries, but nothing too serious. It feels pretty good to know that we’re still healthy. That’s your biggest fear in these scrimmages — someone’s going to get hurt.”

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