By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Midwest City struggled to get their offense rolling Friday night against El Reno.
The Bombers finally built some momentum with a scoring drive early in the fourth quarter. Jaylan Woody muscled his way into the end zone from three yards out to give Midwest City a 14-13 lead with under 10 minutes to play.
Two plays later, the lead and momentum were back on the Indians’ side for good.
Standout running back Malachi Nicholson took a handoff around the right side and sprinted for a 78-yard touchdown run and a 19-14 lead.
“They took momentum right back,” said Darrell Hall, Midwest City coach. “It’s a matter of everyone doing their job and not letting the guy get outside. We need to set an edge and force him back inside and we didn’t do it.”
El Reno stopped Midwest City on fourth down and scored again on a play action pass to seal the 27-14 district win at Rose Field.
Midwest City had a tough time stopping the run. Nicholson, who rushed for a state record 521 yards the week before, ran for scores of 43 and 78 yards. The Indians finished with 332 yards rushing 47 carries.
“They didn’t assault us up the middle but got us with the run on the edge,” Hall said. “We failed to make the adjustment on the field.”
The loss drops the Bombers out of a tie for first place in District 5A-1. Elgin (6-0, 3-0) and Lawton MacArthur (6-0, 3-0) are the only unbeaten teams in district play. Midwest City hosts MacArthur Friday night in a key contest.
Midwest City stopped El Reno’s opening drive and then cashed in on their first possession of the night. Derrion Rodgers sliced through the middle of the defense and then raced outside for a 34-yard touchdown run with 4:12 in the first.
The Bomber defense stopped the next two drives by turnover on downs and an interception by Aiden Brown. But the Indians scored late in the second quarter to tie the game. On third-and-13, quarterback Elijah Fisher took a keeper up the middle for a 44-yard score with 1:45 left in the opening half.
The score was tied 7-7 at halftime.
On the first play in the second half, LaSiera LaViolette broke a 58-yard touchdown run that was called back due to holding. Midwest City couldn’t overcome the penalty and had to punt.
El Reno bolted in front on a 57-yard touchdown run by Nicholson. A blocked extra point made it a 13-7 score with 8:41 left in the third.
Midwest City responded with a lengthy scoring drive that carried over from the third to fourth quarter. Woody finally pushed it over the goal line. David Arriaga added the extra point for the 14-13 lead.
That lead wouldn’t last as El Reno found the end zone twice in the fourth quarter for the 27-14 win.
Woody finished the game with 106 yards rushing and one touchdown on 20 carries.
Keiwon Landrum and Brown each had nine tackles to lead the team. Rodgers had eight tackles, including one for loss, but missed the second half with an injury.