STILLWATER, Okla. —
When the Pawnee Black Bears met the Morrison Wildcats last season, they were trying to understand the system and concepts of their new coach Marlon Houston. With a season under their belts the Black Bears expect a much more competitive result at 7:30 p.m. Friday night in Pawnee.
“We’re excited about the opportunity,” Houston said. “We are ready to go out and compete.”
Morrison routed Pawnee 40-2 in Morrison last season. The Black Bears’ points were scored because the snap went over the Morrison punter’s head and out of the end zone. Morrison coach Cory Bales said he expects to see a different Pawnee squad.
“They are a lot more comfortable with what they are doing,” Bales said. “I expect it to be a hard-fought game.”
Bales said his team struggled in the first scrimmage but improved in the second.
“We gave up a lot of scores and didn’t move the ball well in the first scrimmage,” Bales said. “The second one was a little bit better. Offensively the passing game isn’t quite where I want it.”
Sophomore Jordan Quinata will be entering his first season as starting quarterback replacing Kyle Collins. Bales said he thinks the running game will do fine.
“Jordan will be able to do similiar to Kyle on running the ball,” Bales said. “He might be able to finish off some runs better. Jordan and (running back) Scotty Van Dorn will be a good one-two combo.”
Houston said it will come down to basics for his team to have a chance against the Wildcats.
“We have to keep from making turnovers, create turnovers on defense, win special teams and convert on offense,” Houston said.
Bales said his defense has to dictate what Pawnee can run.
“We cannot not let their big threats get open,” Bales said. “Browning Nicolet and Marlon Houston (Jr.) are good threats and they are older. We have to stop the run. We have our work cut out for us.”