|10/05/17 - |
The Ada Cougars, at times, weren’t very pretty during a 16-4 road win over Cleveland last weekend.
Head coach Chris Berus hopes his 10th-ranked Cougars put on a better show during their District 4A-2 battle with Tecumseh before what is expected to be a big Homecoming crowd. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Friday at Norris Field.
Tecumseh carries a 3-2 overall record into the Week 6 matchup and is 1-1 in the district. In their three victories — over Bethel, McLoud and Tulsa Central — the Savages have run wild, scoring a combined 151 points.
“They’re in the (playoff) mix. They’re coming here to continue their journey to set themselves up to go to the playoffs. You can tell they have a passion and zeal about them that comes from their head coach,” Berus said. “Their quarterback is a really good runner, and he throws the ball effectively when they want to. They just want to ground and pound it. They just want to run the football.”
Ty Bullock was named the Tecumseh head coach last February, replacing Jason Murray, who resigned shortly after the 2016 season after three years with the Savages. Bullock spent the last six years as an assistant coach at Cushing. This is his first head coaching gig.
“Cushing has had a lot of recent success and he’s brought that style of offense to what they’re doing at Tecumseh. They can be a tough offense to stop if you’re not trusting your keys and taking care of your responsibilities,” Berus said.
Tecumseh will bring a vaunted rushing attack to Koi Ishto Stadium Friday night. The THS rushing attack features a two-headed monster in 5-11, 180 senior quarterback Brayden James and 5-6, 150 speedy senior tailback Brendan Calvillo.
The talented duo strutted their stuff bigtime in a 48-22 win over McLoud earlier this season. James led all players with 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns. He also completed two passes for 20 yards and a touchdown. Calvillo added 208 yards on 20 carries and contributed two touchdowns. He also caught two passes for 20 yards and a score.
James was still impressive in Tecumseh’s lopsided loss to No. 4 Blanchard last week, rushing for 164 yards.
“They are going to give you a lot of offensive looks and formations. They’re going to get unbalanced ... and get overloaded to one side and have more guys on one side than you have. They run a lot of misdirection,” Berus said.
The Savages line up in a 3-4 defense with seven guys up front to help stop the rush.
“Defensively, they’re in a 3-4, similar to us. They bring a lot of pressure and, like (AHS offensive coordinator Bradley Thomas) likes to say, they’re going to dude you up in the back end,” Berus said.
Ada leads the all-time series with Tecumseh 16-5-0. Ada defeated the Savages 33-12 last year.
Home, sweet, Homecoming
Berus said he’s excited for his team to play on Homecoming night.
“It’s not really a distraction. There is no breaking of the integrity of your preparation or your execution of a Friday night. It’s the best of both worlds,” he said
Ada runs its Homecoming much differently than most football schools.
“I think the way we set it up is fantastic. It’s a fundraiser. It celebrates Ada. It gets the entire student body involved,” Berus said.
“It’s not your tradition type of Homecoming. I love it. Anytime we can celebrate Ada City Schools ... and get our student body involved in something bigger than themselves or that’s bigger than us, then it’s a very positive thing,” he added.
Berus hopes to see a good number of past Cougars in the stands.
“We’re inviting all the alums, all the former Cougs, all those that taught here before — we want them to come back and celebrate with us,” he said.
The Homecoming queen and king will be announced at halftime.
The Cougars had just 75 yards passing, surrendered two safeties and committed 18 penalties (gulp) for 133 yards at Cleveland.
The Ada News called the game “strange” and “bizarre.”
“It was definitely unique. We had many opportunities to display character and show who we were in regards to adversity,” Berus said.
Particularly irritating to the coaching staff were a few unsportsmanlike-conduct penalties that the Cougars were flagged for.
“I think we responded well to the adversity in some cases and some others, not so well. We have to keep our cool. We can’t have reactionary penalties to things that aren’t going our way. That’s something we just have to get better at,” he said. “Every new experience is a learning opportunity. We’re not always going to be right the first time we’re put in those situations, but if we’re learning from those opportunities then that’s what it’s all about.”
One penalty even wiped out a nice 27-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jackson McFarlane to receiver Kylen Cooper.
“That’s huge. We can’t take points off the board because of penalties. Touchdowns are a premium and are hard to come by. That needs to be corrected if we’re going to be the team we all set out to be,” Berus said.
The Cougars pitched a shutout on defense, had three interceptions and recovered a pair of fumbles.
“Defensively, we played extremely well. When you cause five turnovers and don’t let them score, that’s doing some good things,” he said.
“We have to take ownership of where we didn’t handle our business and move on and make the changes that need to be made to get us where we want to go,” he continued. “We just have to make important the little things to not put ourselves in the same situation we had last week.”
The Ada High School boys basketball team ‘s annual hamburger fry will take place Friday night in the north parking area of Koi Ishto Stadium before the Ada-Tecumseh contest.
Tickets are $5 and include a hamburger, chips, drink and a dessert. There will also be a silent auction, with a number of top-notch items to bid on.