The Bulldogs will face their first district opponent tonight at 7:30 p.m. inside The Rock. The El Reno Indians will come to town with a very misleading 1-2 record.
In week one, El Reno lost to Carl Albert, 35-19. Carl Albert is 2-1 with their only loss to Midwest City, 28-21. MWC is 2-1 with wins over Carl Albert and to then #2 in 5A Del City, 37-14. Midwest City’s only loss was to the powerhouse, Tulsa Washington 28-16. Carl Albert lit Duncan up 59-34 in week two. Duncan has wins over Norman and Guthrie.
In week two, El Reno lost to undefeated, top ten ranked, Woodward (3-0) in overtime, 34-27.
In week three, El Reno beat Western Heights, 31-26. This gave Western Heights their first loss of the season.
In my opinion, the 1-2 record does not tell the whole story. The Indians come in riding some momentum off of last week’s win. They may feel like they are flying under the radar. El Reno will be ready to pounce on anyone willing to underestimate them. They have reached the end zone several times of everyone they have played.
Running back, Nick Smith (25) is very aggressive out of the power I-formation. He also loves to blitz from his linebacker position. Against Woodward, Smith scored twice, threw a half-back pass for a touchdown, blocked a punt, blocked a field goal, and had at least two sacks.
Smith is very difficult to tackle. His most impressive run that I saw on film was a sweep to the right in which he seemed to just drift-jog at half speed as he patiently waited on his linemen up front to set up blocks for him.
Speaking of the El Reno linemen, keep an eye on Josh Castrop (73). Castrop is at right tackle on offense and left defensive end on defense. Several plays on film, Castrop can be seen caving his entire side of his line in on the defense. He plays to the whistle and shows he is willing to drive defenders 10-20 yards down the field before flat-backing them to the turf.
Running behind that kind of blocking makes for an easier time for an I-formation tailback.
El Reno looks to be for real. This is a trap game for any team looking ahead to next week’s match-up on the road to #1 Lawton Mac.
Bulldogs have to focus and handle business tonight. El Reno is coming to gain some respect.
ANNOUNCEMENT: The West window of the band’s concession stand will be open for drinks only. Hopefully, this will make ordering more convenient.
*Starting at tonight’s game, Wilmes is putting a 2015 Platinum F150 FX4 truck up as a prize. Chance tickets can be purchased at tonight’s game through the start of the Duncan game in a few weeks. One lucky fan will be drawn during the first quarter of the Duncan game and at the halftime of that game, will need to complete a football skills challenge. If successful, the truck is yours. All of the proceeds will go to the Altus football program.
GO BULLDOGS !!
Reach Brad Gilbert@civitasmedia.com