By Michael Kinney
Mustang returns home this week with another big game on their schedule. After losing three straight games, the Broncos may need to run the table in order to earn a spot in the postseason.
But even with just three games remaining, coach Lee Blankenship says Mustang holds the cards to their own destiny.
“That puts us at 7-3 on the year and unless something crazy happens, a fourth-place finish in the district if we win out,” Blankenship said. “So we’ve got, which now is a home game or home field advantage for the first game of the postseason the way that 6A is now because the top six get into the playoffs. So yeah, everything is in front of us.”
As tough as the past three weeks have been, Blankenship pointed out that the Broncos have a chance to be in a similar position as the 2022 squad.
“Our team last year was considered an excellent team and they went 7-3 as well,” Blankenship said. “So for us to have a chance at that is huge. We’ve got to just battle through some adversity. We’ve been banged up a little bit down this stretch and trying to get guys healthy and get guys that are in some of our younger and less experienced guys that are having to step into certain roles, get them as much experience and as ready as we can by Friday.”
In order to run the table, it all starts Friday. MHS is set to host Norman High at 7 p.m. at Bronco Stadium.
However, Mustang doesn’t know if they will have the services of quarterback Trajan Williamson who injured his arm last week against Union.
Freshman Tyson Pogi replaced Williamson last week in the lineup. He could do the same if Williamson can’t go.
The Tigers (2-5, 2-2) are one game ahead of the Broncos (4-3, 1-3) in the District 6A 1-2 standings.
Tailback Devin Alexander is the focus of the Tigers offense. The senior is averaging 136 yards a game. He has racked up 819 yards and 11 touchdowns on 121 carries.
Quarterback Phoenix Murray can also sling the ball downfield. The junior has thrown for 1035 yards and eight touchdowns.
“They do a great job in the box. We expect them to try to stop the run. They’ve got one of the fastest running backs on offense that our defense will have seen this year,” Blankenship said. “Their quarterback is a playmaker.”
Dax Noles, who has committed to Oklahoma, may be Norman’s best all-around player. On offense, he has seen time at wideout, running back and quarterback.
But it may be on the defensive side of the ball that Noles makes his biggest plays for Norman.
“They’ve had a couple of stretches in their season that the ball hadn’t bounced their way either, but they’re super athletic,” Blankenship said. “We feel like we are a good matchup upfront on the Offensive line and Defensive line, which I’m excited to see. We felt like we’ve been a little outmatched at times, just in sheer size the last few weeks. But excited about that and it should be a really good ball game. They do a good job. We’ve had some knockdown, drag outs with Norman over the last several years, so it should be a good game.”