By John Martin
The Carl Albert Titans moved ever closer to a coveted spot in the OSSAA Class 5A playoffs with a 49-0 drubbing of Lawton Eisenhower Thursday night at Jim Harris Field. The win upped the Titan’ winning streak to 16 in a row, 8 to finish the 2016 championship season and 8 in a row to open the 2017 campaign.
The win over Lawton Ike wraps up a slot in the playoffs, no worse than fourth, and a victory Friday night at Piedmont would move them even higher since the Titans own victories over McGuinness and Eisenhower, the other two teams with playoff berths clinched.
The fourth slot would be between Piedmont and Woodward, the two teams left on the Titans’ schedule.
But to win out, go undefeated and clinch the district title, the Titans would qualify for the rare privilege of hosting not one, but TWO playoff games.
Friday’s game against Lawton Ike promised plenty of fireworks and the Titans didn’t disappoint with freshman quarterback sensation Ben Harris connecting on 10 of 14 passes for a whopping 285 yards, including back to back bombs of 75 yards to Diego Richards and 83 yards to Jason Taylor to break the game wide open in the second period.
Richards had the breakout game of his senior season with 138 all-purpose yards including a pair of two-yard TD runs to go with his cross country bomb.
In limited action Rabbit Taylor had 115 yards in just 7 carries, including a thrilling 56 yard jaunt in the third quarter when he picked up a botched handoff with one hand, twisted and turned his way out of traffic and sailed into the end zone for the final touchdown before Mike Corley turned it over to the reserves.
DEFENSE SHINES. The Lawton Eisenhower boys must have felt like Halloween came early as Louis Cottone, Zane Alexander and Co. inflicted their own brand of torture on the Eagles.
Twice, Ike running back Kenneth Graham momentarily escaped the Titan clutches for long gains into the red zone only to be turned away both times to maintain the shutout. Jason Taylor chased him down once following a 46-yard gain to the 21. That one ended at the 17 when Jaedon Pool, Wiley Sellars and Colton Chappell sacked quarterback RJ Fisher on fourth down on the 13.
Two plays later, Harris and Richards hooked up for the 75-yard beauty.
Later, Graham got loose for a 62-yard scamper before Chris Veals ran him down at the two where the Eagles had first and goal. The Titan defense shuffled the Ike offense into back to back penalties, then Cottone and Karson Wagner chased Fisher out of the pocket
On third down, Graham blasted down to the one, but on fourth down, Cottone and Trajan Lands sacked Fisher all the way back to the 17, but only 16 seconds left before halftime.
Plenty of time for Harris and he spotted Jason Taylor over the middle near midfield and the OSU-bound speedster led a flock of Eagles into the end zone with an 83-yard beauty. Carlson made it 42-0 at half.
Jason Taylor and Pool combined to force a punt on Ike’s first possession and Harris engineered a 91-yard scoring drive in 11 plays featuring Rabbit Taylor running and Harris passing to Richards. Diego ran it in from the two for the TD. Jacob Carlson connected on the first of seven straight PATs.
Alexander grabbed the first of his two interceptions and buzzed down to the five setting up the short TD pass from Harris to Jason Taylor.
Then the touchdowns started falling like raindrops as Jason Taylor intercepted a pass setting up Rabbit’s first touchdown, and Harris connected on the cross-country heaves to Richards and Jason Taylor, all in a three-minute span late in the half.
Alexander grabbed a pass near the sidelines early in the fourth quarter as Tavion Robinson came in to replace Harris and Jaylenn Lewis, Montrell Britt and Landon York took over the running back slots.
Sophomores David Peters and Rico Windham then combined their defensive skills to keep the Eagles off the scoreboard.