By Jacob Sturm
Midwest City Beacon
That’s the amount of first downs the Midwest City defense conceded in the opening half of play in the 55-6 victory against Altus on Friday night.
Altus (0-5 Overall, 0-1 in District 5A-1) had ample opportunity to string a drive together. First, the Bombers’ special teams unit misjudged the first Bulldog punt of the game and failed to recover after the ball ricocheted off the ground into the legs of a Midwest City player.
Before the first quarter was over, déjà vu struck with another punt falling kindly for the Bulldogs, resulting in another muff in Midwest City (2-2, 1-0) territory. All in all, special teams might not have favored coach Darrell Hall’s squad, but about everything else did.
That predominantly came from the defense, who responded with three and outs on every Altus drive until 6:18 in the second quarter, when first down number one for the Bulldogs came on a 10-yard scamper.
“What we saw is what’s been put in (place) in practice,” Hall said. “The past two weeks, we’ve been really good tacklers… Those things that the coaches put in place to get better at, we work at it and we see the results. And that’s a good thing. In my opinion, it was a shutout for my defense because we played, I think they were on our third level guys (by the end of the night when Altus scored with 59 seconds to play) and I’m glad that they got to play.”
Hall said the challenge at halftime was to be focused and do what the squad needed to do before letting the second and third string players get their reps in the fourth quarter.
When the Bombers’ offense got the ball they didn’t mess around, either. Kenneth Colston had three first-half touchdown passes (a 19-yard pass to Keion Hudson, another 19-yard pass to Devin Sissons and a 10-yard pass to Jaylan Woody) as the game rapidly became a route.
Woody also contributed two rushing touchdowns from inside the Altus 3-yard line in the first 24 minutes of action to force the Bulldogs to attempt to play catchup. Hall mentioned the Bombers preferred to run the ball heading into the game, but the efforts to stop the run opened up passing opportunities on a consistent basis. Colston capitalized well throughout the night when those opportunities came.
“They were definitely stacking the box,” Colston said. “They were trying to stop the run game, but I mean running with three backs, you can’t really stop that… With as good of an o-line that we’ve got, there’s no stopping that.”
There was also not stopping Colston once he got going, either. The senior passed for 219 yards and four touchdowns on 13/16 passing, along with making real strides in reading the defense.
“The first two weeks put me on track of seeing where I was and what I was needing to work on, and how to operate the offense,” Colston said. “… So, the first two weeks really enabled me to see my part in the film room, seeing what they did and how they did it. So, I just came out here and applied the film and practice to the game (and) it worked out great.”
Midwest City heads to Duncan (0-4, 0-1) on Friday night.