By Jacob Sturm
Midwest City Beacon
That’s how many plays Carl Albert’s high-powered offense was able to run in the first half of the Titans’ matchup against El Reno in the opening round of the Class 5A Playoffs on Friday night.
In the Titans’ 49-21 win, the ball wasn’t in the Titans’ hands much, but that didn’t dictate the terms of the game. An opening drive El Reno touchdown took more than half of the quarter and kept the Carl Albert offense off the field. But it didn’t take long for the scoring onslaught to ramp up.
“It’s even more important, in a game like this whenever they can keep you off the field and they’re just trying to turn out first downs,” Carl Albert coach Mike Dunn said. “When our offense goes out there and they score as fast as they did… (I’m) just proud of all those guys.”
Kevin Sperry Jr. connected with Trystan Haynes for a 45-yard touchdown pass on the second offensive play for the Titans. Trynae Washington scored on a 9-yard fade into the far corner of the end zone on Carl Albert’s fourth offensive play of the game. Then Xavier Robinson got going with a 29-yard touchdown run halfway through the second quarter.
Regardless of the time of possession, Carl Albert’s offense was its usual self and went into halftime with a 28-7 lead against the run heavy El Reno offense.
“I think our guys are in good shape,” Dunn said. “We pride ourselves on having gas in the fourth quarter. And I think our guys, kind of like last week, I think our training took over in the second half, and we got the stops that we needed to get. Kids continued to play hard all night, and in a hard-fought, war-type of ballgame you better keep playing hard or you’re going to get embarrassed. Our guys, they buy into that and they played really hard in the second half.”
Sperry looked particularly comfortable, notching touchdowns of 45, 62, and 9 yards.
In his playoff debut with Carl Albert, Sperry looked the part.
“I think that what makes me comfortable is just our preparation throughout the week, and just knowing that I’ve got guys around me, and just trusting them each play,” Sperry said.
Sperry said the experience is only going to make Carl Albert better, and recognized that the team played well.
El Reno implemented a solid misdirection running game that effectively moved the football, but when the field shrunk, Carl Albert’s defense stepped up and made the key plays.
Which included a forced fumble and recovery as El Reno was looking to score points from the Carl Albert 2-yard line.
Even with extended action on the field, Carl Albert remained energized on each stop. In 5A football playoff games, that extra effort can be the difference.
“This first round in 5A is pretty crazy with the amount of really good games,” Dunn said. “I think the scores probably show that. I think it just shows that 5A football is a really good place (with) a lot of good football being played.”
Carl Albert takes on Collinsville in the second round of the playoffs on Friday.