Tigers have donimated series
By Jim Perry
The foe’s foe remains the same.
Such is probably not good news for the visiting team.
Mannford will visit O’Dell Field on Friday for its first high school football game of 2016. The Pirates will play at Cushing for the second time in three games.
Cushing won 48-6 in last year’s regular season finale and beat the Purple Pirates for the fifth consecutive year.
Mannford, 15-45 the last half-dozen years, has a new coach in Richard Tuberville.
“This is an important season for us. With a new coach and a new district, we have to capture the magic and convince these young men and women that hard work pays off in the long run,” Tuberville said.
Mannford dropped into Class 3A this season. The Pirates have hopes of making the playoffs for the first time since 2009 in District 3A-5, which also features powers Berryhill, Claremore Sequoyah and Verdigris.
Both MHS and Cushing are 1-0. The Pirates took down Morris 22-12 in what Cushing coach Barrett Shupe called “a back and forth game.” Cushing riddled Perkins-Tryon 37-8.
Tuberville has installed new schemes on both sides of the ball at Mannford.
Junior quarterback Landry Wasson is an athletic player needed in a run-pass offense. Mikey Wells will join him in the backfield.
The Pirate defense will be more aggressive in 2016, Tuberville said. Blitzes will be the norm.
“If you’re playing for them and you’re not covering somebody man-to-man, you are blitzing,” Shupe said.
“They bring the house.
“That gives them a chance to make big plays but also gives us a chance to make big plays on our own.”
The defensive front is led by 220-pound senior Quinton Cook and 185-pound junior Connor Hayes.
Cushing’s offensive line in its opener against Perkins-Tryon showed grit. The Tigers put the game away with a 19-play, 10-plus-minute drive in the second half.
“That was so much fun,” two-way senior lineman Jared Hubble said. “There is nothing better than shoving it down somebody’s throat like that.”
“Nineteen-play drives don’t happen very often in Week 10, much less Week 0,” Shupe said. “That is something I’ll be proud of forever.”
The focus now is on Mannford.
Cushing has not lost to Mannford since 2008, when the Pirates won 35-14 at O’Dell Field. The Tigers lead the series 10-5 at both Cushing and Mannford.
The last few years have not been close. Cushing since Barrett Shupe took over as head coach has outscored the Pirates, on average, 47-15.
Each is 1-0 coming into the game. Cushing rolled Cushing was solid against Perkins. A long pass interception set up the Demons’ only touchdown. Cushing scored once on an interception return and used another interception to set up another score.
Cushing out-gained Perkins by a 5-to-1 ratio. The Tigers rushed for 277 yards and got 128 passing and three touchdowns from junior quarterback Kade Holderread, who made his first start.
Running backs Kory Wiley and Matt Yates combined for 181 yards from scrimmage. Wiley rushed for an even 100 yards, the same number Trey Morris had receiving.
Perkins had negative rushing yards until its final series of the game.
“We should have approached the game with a little less installed,” Shupe said. “But I think this team needs adversity; we need some things to go against us. We need things to rally around us.
“We have won some games in the past with huge scores but I’m not sure how much tougher we got from them.
“Tonight, we grew up a bit.”