Mac stuns El Reno, awaits playoff fate
The MacArthur Highlanders faced a must-win game Thursday night when they faced district 5A-1 foe El Reno at Cameron Stadium.
Behind a stout defense and a steady offense, the Highlanders downed the Indians, 17-7.
MacArthur needed a victory and some help from Altus on Friday night to keep its playoff hopes alive. El Reno already had second place and the chance to host a first-round game in hand.
The Indians took the opening kickoff and drove 64 yards in five plays to take the early lead. El Reno quarterback Dorian Plumley connected with Brayden Girard for the final 52 yards for the score. Layton Hockersmith kicked the conversion to give the Indians a 7-0 lead with 8:47 left in the opening quarter.
After that it was all MacArthur the rest of the night as the Highlander defense made Plumley miserable on several occasions. Containing Plumley was one of the keys MacArthur coach Brett Manning had pinpointed during the week, and he got to watch his team execute the plan to perfection on Thursday.
“Number one, we had to tackle the quarterback and we did a really good job of that. We put good pressure of him all night,” Manning said.
El Reno also repeatedly hurt itself with penalties, drawing an amazing 19 penalties for 143 yards. Several of these penalties wiped out big gains.
Mac began began its first scoring drive at the end of the quarter from its own five yard line. It took 12 plays for the Highlanders to cover the distance while also overcoming two penalties as well. The big plays were a 24-yard pass from Racer Felter to Nasir Kemper and and an 18-yard completion from Felter to Aeron Woodson. Felter also had runs of 19 and 7 yards himself. Kemper powered over the left side for the final five yards to the end zone. Jannes Graf kicked the extra point to knot the game at seven with 10:15 left in the first half.