The Duncan Banner
In a rematch of 2012’s first round of the 3A state playoffs, Marlow is looking for a different result at Seminole on Friday.
The Outlaws (6-4, 3-3) return to Chieftain territory to take on their second undefeated opponent in two weeks. Last Friday, the Outlaws lost 34-7 at home to unblemished Kingfisher. Now, they take their talents to Seminole (10-0, 6-0), who won 59-7 in the teams’ playoff meeting last year.
“There was some good and bad in it, but we’re a totally different team than we were last year,” senior running back Trey Coffman said. “We’re a lot bigger, more physical, a lot of everything. We just have got to have the confidence going in there and knowing that we can beat them.”
Even though it ended in a loss, last week’s 14-7 halftime score against Kingfisher gave the Outlaws a lot of confidence. Both Coffman and coach Rob Renshaw agreed on that being very important.
“Part of becoming a good team is believing that you are one,” Renshaw said. “You leave it all out there. The best team does not always win. That’s why you play on Friday. The team that believes it can win generally wins.”
That belief strengthened in the game when the Outlaws stood toe-to-toe with Kingfisher (10-0, 6-0). The ability for Marlow to move the ball and stop it’s opponent from doing so, throughout the game, provided an even higher level self-esteem for the team.
“We can play with anyone,” Coffman said. “It shows that we’re just as good. We just have to know that we can do it and play as hard as we possibly can.”
With Coffman and senior running back Kagan Blackburn coming out of the backfield alongside the team’s biggest downfield threat, senior receiver Kelby Richardson, there are a lot of experienced weapons on Marlow’s offense. It all starts with sophomore Braeden O’Dell, though, as he still takes the snap to start off every play. Renshaw said after the Kingfisher game that he was impressed with O’Dell.
“He was just trying to do too much sometimes,” Renshaw said. “He’s learning. He’s getting better. I wouldn’t trade him for anybody.”
The signal-caller certainly was impressive early on, completing his first four passes, including a 31-yard deep ball to Richardson. However, when the wind picked up, O’Dell had difficulty getting the ball to his receivers. His passes would drop at the receivers feet or, in one case, got caught up in the wind and was picked off.
Keeping his composure through difficulties like that is something Coffman wants his quarterback to work on.
“The biggest thing he has to do is just relax and be himself,” Coffman said. “Everybody believes in him, and he’s good. He’s just got to relax, go out there, lay it all on the line, and he’ll be fine.”
Renshaw was also proud of his defense last Friday. He pointed to the fact that sometimes the defense was getting a short field to work against or working without much of a breather after a short offensive possession. Coffman credited much of the success of the team last Friday to those defensive lineman. Specifically, he mentioned Riley Julian, Hector Bullock and Tanner Brittain.
Bullock recovered a fumble and Julian caused a lot of problems rushing the passer on Friday. Yet, it was Brittain who seemed to be in on every tackle, blowing up the point of attack on every running play.
“He’s a hoss,” Coffman said. “It takes a double-team, triple-team sometimes just to move him. If he keeps playing like he is, he’ll be fine and maybe, hopefully, someday go play somewhere.”