John Marshall takes down Anadarko
ANADARKO Warriors coach Kent Jackson said leading up to the Top-10 showdown with John Marshall that the game plan was simple. Anadarko's defense must be able to gang tackle in order to contain the Bears' explosive weapons most notably running back Devonte Lee.
Easier said than done.
Lee scored four touchdowns three on the ground and one on an 86-yard kickoff return and John Marshall spoiled Anadarko's homecoming party Friday night, handing the Warriors a 55-30 defeat.
Five of No. 2 John Marshall's (5-1, 2-0 3A-3) eight touchdowns came on scoring plays of 55 yards or more. The big play devastated No. 10 Anadarko (4-2, 1-1 3A-3) all night long, and the Warriors were helplessly left playing catchup to a team they couldn't keep pace with.
"We didn't do a good job with the big plays tonight continually giving up the big ones," Jackson said. "You've got to tackle Lee and get him on the ground. They get him the ball on punt returns, kick returns and in the offense and he's a load in every element."
One of the few John Marshall touchdowns that wasn't a big play turned out to be the biggest play of the game after all.
Following quarterback Damon Teart's fumble in the opening minutes of the game, John Marshall got a short field but 'Darko's defense appeared poised to make a stand.
The Warriors executed the game plan and gang-tackled Lee for what appeared to be an eight-yard loss back to the 20-yard line. The refs did not blow the whistle with forward progress stopped.
Miraculously, or to 'Darko's demise for that matter, Lee somehow kept his legs churning and broke free and dove for the pylon for a 12-yard touchdown run.
"That would've been a huge play right there to have that happen early and give us some momentum by getting a stop," Jackson said. "I thought we had him (Lee) stopped. You just can't simulate that in practice."
That gave John Marshall a 7-0 lead and the Bears didn't look back.
On the first play of the next drive, Lee took a shotgun handoff, found a crease and bounced a run outside for a 56-yard touchdown. The Bears kept the big play going when quarterback Jarod Leviston launched a high-arching deep ball in traffic to Timothy Stephens for a 76-yard touchdown pass, marking a 21-0 lead.
Leviston was an efficient 7-for-11 for 140 yards and a touchdown. Lee ran for 115 yards and John Marshall tallied 237 rushing yards to give the Bears 337 total yards on the game. Anadarko finished with 379 yards offensively.
Anadarko got on the board with four seconds left in the first when Teart scored on a 2-yard run, but on the ensuing kickoff, Lee was once again unleashed. Lee shed multiple tackles and showed off his speed on the 86-yard kickoff return as time expired in the opening quarter to give John Marshall a staggering 28-8 lead.
'Darko simply couldn't keep pace.
"You couldn't start the game worse than we did," Jackson said. "We were behind the 8-ball the rest of the night."