Midwest City Downs Stillwater In Tale Of Two Halves
The Stillwater Pioneers walked off the field on Friday night with their heads hanging low after a 36-27 loss-their first of the
season-to the Midwest City Bombers.
It was very much a tale of two halves. All 36 of the Bombers' points came in the second half.
The Pioneers were able to maintain their lead for the majority of the half. With 3:58 left in the game, they succumbed to pressure
for the first time.
MWC plowed its way into the end zone and then again for the 2-point conversion. For the first time in the game, the Bombers
MWC earned 388 of its 535 yards in the second half, the majority of which came on the ground.
"I said before the game the team that was able to run the ball effectively was going to win," said coach Tucker Barnard. "In the
first half it was us." "The second half it was them and they got more points. We broke down some of our technique and
fundamentals, and just didn't do as good of a job."
This could have happened earlier. The Pioneers were backed down into their own end zone in the first quarter. The Bombers had
burst off on a long run which put them inside the Pioneer 20-yard line. It appeared the Stillwater defense had been exposed early.
MWC was in prime position to strike first. But Stillwater wasn't ready to give up. The Pioneers defense proved stalwart, refusing
to yield a touchdown after three tries by the Bombers. MWC was forced to try a field goal, which it missed.
Throughout the first half, it was the same story. All in all, the Pioneers forced three turnovers on downs and a fumble by the
Bombers in the half. As the players headed to the locker room, Stillwater held a 14-0 lead.
However, coming out of halftime, Pioneers simply didn't possess the same fire that they had to start the game.
"At the end of the game, we looked tired, we looked fatigued," Barnard said. "They looked fresh."
Exhaustion turned to frustration, and things started to get physical on the field. A brawl between the two teams broke out in the
third quarter which resulted in the ejection of a MWC player.
Stillwater wide out Brandon Prather got into a squabble with three Bombers in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, when
the game had already been decided.
"It was chippy," Barnard said. "You've got guys that are so emotionally invested, it's difficult to keep their cool. Somebody says
something, somebody else says something. We've got to control ourselves. We can't get involved in that."
"We're both really physical teams," said tailback Cameron Mayberry. "It got out of hand at times. I don't think it was in our favor
at all. That was more of their style of football. It got to our heads sometimes. That's a cheap way of playing football but
sometimes it works."
The players were obviously a little disappointed in the way things turned out.
"When you're winning, you're up high and when something like this happens, it's hard," said Quan Malveaux.
With a fumble recovery and a touchdown in which he bounced off of a defensive lineman for a 69-yard race to the end zone,
Malveaux was one bright spot in tonight's game.
"He's done a good job," Barnard said. "When he makes his move of that long touchdown, you know, 'No, No, No' and then, 'Yes,
Yes, Yes!' He has great vision and he's making it work."
Having yet to face a loss this season, the Pioneers' response to adversity will be something to watch.
"I think it's just gonna make us better, it's gonna make us work harder," Malveaux said. "We're gonna go out there and win."
10-4-14 by Chandler Vessels