Stillwater News Press

Sports

October 11, 2013

Pioneers fall apart in second half in loss to Booker T.

STILLWATER, Okla. —

There are nightmares and then there’s what happened to the Stillwater High School football team against Booker T. Washington Friday at Pioneer Stadium.

Losing a district game is tough. Losing a district game and possibly a quarterback for the season? Devastating.

That’s exactly what happened during the 41-13 loss to Washington Friday as Stillwater quarterback Braxton Noble went down during a scramble on fourth-and-4 at the Washington 42-yard line during Pioneers’ opening drive of the third quarter. No matter how hard the Pioneers tried, Stillwater (1-5, 1-2 in district) never could recover emotionally or physically, giving up 28 unanswered points in the second half in the loss.

“We just didn’t seem to come out of it after that,” Pioneer Coach Tucker Barnard said. “We lost a couple guys again, a linebacker and a safety. Another linebacker had a significant limp. Things just kind of went down hill.”

After playing even with Washington (4-2, 2-1 in district) for the first half, things deteriorated quickly after Noble’s injury.

The Hornets scored on four of the first five second-half possessions after Noble went down. Washington scored on nearly identical touchdown drives in the third quarter, the last a 19-yard strike to Arlando Johnson that gave Washington a 27-13 lead.

The Hornets added another touchdown with 10:17 left in the fourth before Hill’s second touchdown of the game — a 12-yard scamper — iced the game.

“I feel like our team came out kind of flat,” Stillwater junior Marlon McDonald said. “We weren’t as hyped as we were at the beginning of the game. We just need to work on our second-half effort. It’s always the second half where we struggle. Our second half has to be big.”

Washington grabbed the early lead, throwing the ball just one time in its opening drive and relying heavily on Deonta Owens. Owens capped a seven-play, 53-yard drive with a 1-yard score to give the Hornets a 7-0 lead with 8:47 left in the first quarter.

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