The Bulldogs accomplished that in their game with Lawton High on Thursday. The problem was they couldn’t stop the LHS passing game and they couldn’t generate enough offense. The result was a 31-14 loss to the Wolverines.
Altus held the Wolverines two yards per rushing attempt and they had 14 tackles for losses in the game. LHS managed only 81 yards rushing on 40 carries.
However sophomore quarterback Cody Miller was effective enough in the passing game. He completed 17 of 33 passes for 215 yards.
“I’m proud of the guys,” AHS head coach Lyn Hepner said. “They stopped the run and they are a good running team. The passing game, we have to heal that up. They can’t have forever so we have to have a better rush. We have to break on the ball. We were breaking on the ball better in the second half. We had drilled them all week they were going to throw deep. They (the secondary) were playing deep because that’s what we had taught them so they broke the routes underneath.”
Field position was a problem for the Bulldogs most of the night. Five of their first six possessions started from the 20 or inside their own 20 yard line.
When they did get good field position, the Bulldogs did capitalize on it.
Junior linebacker Ryan Feller put Altus in good shape when he picked up an LHS fumble at the Bulldogs’ 45 and returned it nine yards to the Wolverines’ 46 yard line.
Trailing 17-0, the Bulldogs began to march with the pass. Quarterback Creadell Pennon, using the roll out, completed four of four passes on the drive. One went to Brandon Ybarra and the other three to Corbin Dickerson.
Altus finished off the drive when Pennon rolled left and hit Dickerson with a pass for a five yard scoring play. Wade Wanke kicked the extra point and the Bulldogs trailed 17-7 with 2:45 remaining in the first half.
Lawton took advantage of good field position on its second possession of the second half. Starting from the Bulldogs 47 they drove the distance in five plays. Miller passed to Tavis Spencer 11 yards for the score and after a conversion Ethan Estepp LHS led 24-7 with 6:50 remaining in the third period.
Altus then put together its most impressive drive of the night on its next opportunity.
Going into that drive, the Bulldogs had rushed for only 12 yards on 18 carries.
They went on a 61-yard march all on the ground. Junior Austin Beisel went into the game as quarterback while Pennon moved to tailback. On the first play of the drive Pennon reeled off a 38 yard gain. On the final play of the march he scored from 10 yards out. Wanke’s kick made it 24-14 with 4:47 left in the third quarter.
However Altus could get no closer.
Bulldog notes: LHS had 70 snaps while Altus had 48. It marked the third game in a row that Pennon has intercepted a pass.
The Bulldogs struggled offensively netting 162 yards in total offense.
“I have to say they whipped us with their defensive line for most of the game,” Hepner said. “But all of sudden, we drive them off the ball and scored in five plays. It shows what we can do but we’ve got to get that every play. We need to be more consistent.
“I praised our defense after the game. They were fighting their guts out. They were put in bad positions and didn’t ever give up. That’s one thing we took out of this. I have to single out Tyler George (sophomore linebacker) out for a lot of amazing plays. Jacob Billarial, was drawing triple teams. They were holding him and he was a major force. I don’t mean to pick them out, but they were two of many that played well.
My first prayer was tht we would come out of this with no injuries. We’re lucky that we did. I would loved to have won, but I think we could take some stuff from this and spring into the district. They were a good team and they made us better.”
How They Scored
LHS – Arieus Irvin 10 pass from Cody Miller, Ethan Estepp kick, 2:25, 1st qtr., LHS 7-0.
LHS – Estepp 27-yard field goal, 8:35, 2nd qtr., LHS, 10-0.
LHS – Marcus Kennard 7 pass from Miller, Estepp kick, 5:30, 2nd qtr., 17-0.
AHS – Corbin Dickerson 5 pass from Pennon, Wade Wanke kick, 2:45, 2nd qtr., LHS 17-7.
LHS – Tavis Spencer 11 pass from Miller, Estepp kicks, 6:50, 3rd qtr., LHS 24-7.
AHS – Creadell Pennon 10 run, Wanke kick, 4:47, 3rd qtr., LHS 24-14.
LHS – Charles Smith 4 run, Estepp kick, 10:33, 4th qtr. LHS, 31-14.
Pennon 12-65, 1TD; Beisel 7- (-10); Harris 11-39; Ruble 1-1; George 2-2.
Pennon 5-5-45, 1TD; Beisel 3-10-24 1INT
Portillo 1-7, Pennon 1-8, Ybarra 1-14, Dickerson 4-38 1TD
Wanke PAT 2-2
Fumble recoveries – Feller, Nelson
Interceptions – Pennon
Massengil 4-13, Miller 5-0, Smith 20-52, Ervin 1-0, Campbell 1-(-1), Walker 6-13, Francis 2-5.
Miller 16-30-200, 3TDs
Pigrum 1-13, Smith 2-16, Ervin 6-87m 1TD, Kennard 4-34, 1TD, Campbell 2-27, Spencer 1-11, 1TD, Sheppard 1-12.
Estepp PAT - 4-4 FG 1-1 27 yards