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Short Week Leads Pioneers To Choctaw
10-15-15 by Patrick Osborne
A short week couldn't have come at a better time for the Stillwater football team.

The Pioneers travel to Choctaw for a 7 p.m. Thursday Class 6A District 2 game with only five days of preparation.

The change from the normal Friday night game to Thursday is something that is happening across the state this week.

"Everybody's fall break is occurring," Stillwater Coach Tucker Barnard said. "We're still in school, our fall break is next week, but most of the games are happening on Thursday this week. Then we'll actually have another game on Thursday next week against Putnam City West and that has more to do with our own fall break and Oklahoma State's homecoming and Walk Around."

Stillwater (2-4 overall, 1-1 6A-II District 2) normally has six days to prepare, but it sees the five days of preparation as an advantage.

After a 24-0 loss to Lawton in their previous game, the short week forced the Pioneers to forget about their performance quickly and move on to Choctaw (4-2, 2-1).

Other than starting preparations on Saturday instead of Monday, Barnard said not much has changed because of the Thursday game.

"This week has felt pretty normal," he said.

Defensive lineman John Latzke said the loss to Lawton was a difficult one but said he expects the Pioneers to have a better performance this week.

"They got us," he said. "Lawton is by far the best defense in our district so we shouldn't have that problem this week."

Although the Pioneers won't be playing the Wolverines again this week, Latzke said they would be facing a similar opponent.

"They're pretty run happy, kind of like Lawton," he said. "Obviously not as good, but they're capable. They're not somebody you want to overlook."

Latzke said the Pioneers have learned a lot from all of Choctaw's games, but said they learned the most from its loss to Putnam City West (3-3, 1-1).

He said Stillwater plans to use the same 3-4 defense used by the Patriots in their 31-21 win after they saw how successful it was against the Yellow Jackets.

The offense plans to make adjustments for Choctaw too, but it's not because of what they've seen from the Yellow Jackets.

It's because of what they've seen from the loss to Lawton.

Stillwater was outgained 418-86 in its previous game, and plans to implement minor changes this week.

The biggest change will be finding a new way to get the ball to offensive standout Jordan Brown.

Brown touched the ball twice against the Wolverines.

Quarterback Jace Brownlee said the Pioneers are still primarily a running team, but they have to find a way to get the ball to Brown and the rest of the receivers.

He said the Pioneers have some plays to make it happen.

"We're trying to Jordan the ball more this week with some plays that I think will be a lot better," Brownlee said.

Barnard said many of the plays would be new.

"Every week we're trying to find a matchup or two that are beneficial to us," he said. "We have some wrinkles for sure that I think watching the game you'll say, 'I've never seen that before.'"