By BOB CRAMER
In preseason high school football, winning rarely is the goal. Improvement is.
Mustang head football coach Lee Blankenship was happy with the Broncos’ second scrimmage Thursday night at defending Class 5A state champion Midwest City Carl Albert.
A week earlier, he saw plenty of positives in Mustang’s first dress rehearsal at Bixby, the 6A Division II champ a year ago.
“We definitely belonged on the same field with them both,” Blankenship said. “Our kids did some great things, and we have some room to improve as well. That is what excites me the most about the scrimmages.”
Mustang yielded three touchdowns to Carl Albert — which has won three consecutive 5A titles — but the Broncos played well offensively and produced 10 points.
Senior Kory Soulinthavong scored Mustang’s first points, capping a 46-yard drive with a 51-yard field goal.
“It was a good adjustment to a bad snap,” said Jeremy Harper, special teams coach. “I told you Kory had a great leg.”
Mustang’s touchdown came on senior quarterback Hayden Conrad’s quick screen to senior receiver Jordan McFadden, who dashed 60 yards.
Blankenship credited blocks by
sophomore Bronco back Andre Dollar and junior running back Devyn Martin for springing McFadden for the score.
“I think how fast our offense moves is one of our advantages,” Conrad said. “I don’t think Carl Albert was ready for it.”
The Broncos’ uptempo offense was mostly effective in three of four possessions, as was the blocking and consistency of senior Harvey Phillips’ rushing.
Offensive coordinator Cody McDaniel said Conrad was “solid in the pocket” and he liked Phillips and Martin’s runs.
“Will Haddox played extremely well,” Blankenship also said of the senior wideout’s effort. “He had several big catches for first downs and a nice TD grab in the (junior varsity) round-robin.”
Defensive coordinator Sam Dollar said safeties Liam Krevanik and Joseph Sylvester, middle linebacker Judson Rowland and lineman Jett Woodward played well. All are senior returning starters.
Two of Carl Albert’s scores came on long passes that receivers made excellent catches on against Mustang’s young defensive backs.
“We gave a lot of people reps,” Dollar said. “We’re still evaluating probably 22 different players. We’ll grade them all week and not make a decision who starts until game day.”
The Broncos played with great effort and attitude, Blankenship said, and now it’s time to focus on Yukon and the season opener.