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OU flattens Tulsa, preps for Tennessee

Julian Wilson Big Hit One

In families, sometimes the big brother has to remind the baby brother just who the boss is of the group.

Last Saturday morning in Tulsa, the Oklahoma Sooners did just that with their in-state baby brother, the TU Golden Hurricane.website commentary new.qxd

OU handled Tulsa 52-7, improving to 2-0 on the young season and dropping the Hurricane to 1-1. The Sooners didn’t waste any time showing the TU squad who’s boss in this state, as they took the opening possession and went down the field, scoring a touchdown in 53 seconds.

“I’m really pleased with the overall play of our team,” Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops said after the game. “I really believe Tulsa is getting ready for a really good year. These guys do a great job over here, Coach Blankenship and his staff. I thought Dane Evans (TU quarterback) is a good player. He’s going to make a difference for them this year. I’m really pleased with the overall play of our team.”

Oklahoma’s offense racked up a total of 580 yards in the game, while allowing 328 to the Golden Hurricane. The Sooners rushed for 261 yards and passed for 319. TU rushed for 94 yards and passed for 234.

OU committed no turnovers in the contest, while Tulsa committed four in the game. They had three interceptions and one fumble against the Sooner D. Oklahoma committed five penalties for 60 yards and TU committed six penalties for 62 yards on the day.

Oklahoma sophomore running back and Tulsa native Alex Ross had a big day in his return home. Ross rushed for 90 yards and five carries and an 82-yard touchdown scamper.

Fellow OU sophomore running back Keith Ford had 87 yards on 10 carries and two touchdowns. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight had 46 yards and one touchdown on five carries, and freshman running back Samaje Perine had 34 yards on 10 carries.

Knight was sufficient through the air as well for the Sooners, amassing 299 yards and two touchdowns on 21 completions out of 34 attempts.

OU junior Sterling Shepard had his best receiving performance as a Sooner, catching eight passes for 177 yards and one touchdown. Fellow junior Durron Neal had six catches for 70 yards. Redshirt freshman receiver K.J. Young had three receptions for 18 yards. Freshman fullback Dimitri Flowers had two catches for 24 yards, and senior tight end Blake Bell had two catches for 10 yards.

Senior place-kicker Michael Hunnicutt was again solid as he was 1-for-1 in field goal opportunities, making a 38-yarder.

Oklahoma junior linebacker Eric Striker led the way in tackles for the Sooners, with eight tackles on the day. Senior linebacker Caleb Gastelum had another impressive performance off the bench for OU, earning eight tackles, and sophomore linebacker Dominique Alexander had seven tackles in the game.

Gastelum, senior linebacker Geneo Grissom and sophomore cornerback Zack Sanchez all had an interception in the contest. Junior defensive tackle Jordan Phillips had a fumble recovery for Oklahoma.

Following the game in the locker room, Stoops awarded Gastelum with the game ball and a scholarship.

Sooners gear up for Tennessee

Oklahoma will play its final non-conference game of the season at 7 p.m. Saturday night at the Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium against Tennessee. The game will be aired by ABC and televised nationally.

The Volunteers come into the game undefeated at 2-0 on the season. They took down Utah State in week one 38-7, and then defeated Arkansas State 34-19 in week two.

UT comes into the game with Oklahoma averaging 36 points per game and allowing opponents 13 points per contest.

The Volunteers have amassed 47 first downs and allowed 26 first downs to their opponents. Tennessee is averaging 399 yards per game and allowing 287.5 yards per game.

UT is averaging 139 rush yards per contest and allowing 120.5 rush yards to their opponents. The Vols are averaging 260 yards through the air and opponents are picking up 167 pass yards on average.

Tennessee has committed one turnover this season on an interception and forced four turnovers on their opponents.

Their leading rusher so far this season is Jalen Hurd. Hurd has 34 carries for 118 yards and one touchdown. Justin Worley leads the passing department for Tennessee with 520 yards through the air on 49 completions out of 76 attempts, with five touchdowns and one interception.

Pig Howard is their leading receiver with nine receptions on the year for 67 yards. A.J. Johnson is the leading tackler on the Volunteer defense with 18 on the season.

Cooper comes full circle in football career

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Eight years ago, Josh Cooper was wowing Mustang nation with highlight-reel football plays all over the field for the Broncos.

Eight years later, Mustang’s prodigal son has returned to the Bronco football program, but this time on the sidelines as a coach helping young Bronco football players try and achieve the same goals Cooper achieved throughout his playing career.website commentary new.qxd

The former Mustang and Oklahoma State star receiver injured his back just before training camp with the Minnesota Vikings in July and was cut from the roster. Cooper decided it was time to take care of his body and start the next chapter of his life as he retired from playing football.

Cooper spent three years after his college days trying to make it work in the NFL. His first two seasons were with Cleveland and this would have been his third year in the league if Minnesota had worked out. He said his body was starting to break down.

“Once I hurt my back before training camp is when I knew it was time to stop playing,” Cooper said. “I was cut from Minnesota and I decided to hang it up. My body was and is in pain all the time, so I knew it was time. I was more so looking out for my body. I always wanted to play football as long as I could, but the desire and drive to play just isn’t there.”

Cooper said he always wanted to coach once he was done with playing, and there was one place he wanted to start his coaching career, his alma mater.

“I had heard they needed another coach here at Mustang,” Cooper said. “I called Coach Dombek and they were glad to have me and I was glad to be here. I’ve always wanted to coach when I was done with my playing career. I’ve always wanted to get on the other side of things and be a coach and I’m really glad to be here to do it. This is where I’ve always wanted to come and start my coaching career.”

Cooper’s coaching responsibilities will be in the receiving core and in the return game on special teams.

“I’m going to be working with the inside receivers quite a bit,” Cooper said. “Coach (John) Hannon is the receivers coach here, and he does a great job, so I just want to come in and help out as much as I can with whatever I can. I am working with the guys on the field instruction and punt return and kick return guys as well.”

This week will be the third full week Cooper has been on staff working with the team. He said he enjoys working with the players every day.

Cooper said he wants to build a coaching career and if possible stay at Mustang to help continue building the program.

“I would love to stay here and help this program continue to build in the right direction,” Cooper said. “I am not going to teach this year. I’m just going to be coaching football, but I would like to build a career in coaching.”

Cooper graduated from Mustang High School in 2007. He said the whole high school campus looks different than when he was in school, and he is looking forward to being a part of his first Mustang-Yukon game since he was on the field for the Broncos.

“I haven’t been able to come back and watch those games because I was always playing,” Cooper said. “I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that again this Friday night. It’s going to be fun.”

Mustang-Yukon, more than just a game

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There are many great rivalries across the state of Oklahoma, but when it comes to Mustang versus Yukon, Mustang head football coach Jeremy Dombek says there is no comparison.

“You know, I’ve been a part of some really good rivalries in this state,” Dombek said. “I’ve been a part of the Moore wars between Moore and Westmoore and the Edlam rivalry between the Edmond schools, but there’s something a little different with the Mustang-Yukon rivalry. It goes a little deeper between these two schools and communities.”sg4xnwos copy

The annual Canadian County rivalry will continue its long-standing tradition at 7 p.m. Friday at Miller Stadium at Yukon High School.

Miller Stadium has a seating capacity of just less than 7,000, but there are expected to be close to 14,000 people in attendance for the game.Yukon Logo

Dombek hopes his second experience with Mustang-Yukon goes better than his first one did.

Last season, Mustang was widely considered across the state as the better of the two teams, but it was Yukon which came into Bronco Stadium and defeated Mustang in overtime 19-16.

“It hurt,” Dombek said. “The thing is, it’s not a make-or-break game for the season. We are in different districts and the winner and loser of that game is not better or worse off in terms of playoff position following the game, but it means a whole heck of a lot in our hearts. We remember last year’s game. We remember how it felt walking off the field. We don’t want to go through that again.”

The Millers are a different looking program than they were a year ago. Former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Bill Young is now the head coach at Yukon, so the expectation to win is higher than ever north of I-40.Mustang Tower

Dombek said he expects to see a well-coached football team on Friday night.

“Coach Young is a fantastic football coach,” Dombek said. “We know they are going to be well-coached. They aren’t going to make mistakes. They aren’t going to beat themselves. They are going to play physical on both sides of the ball, and we have to be ready for it. They are going to be big and physical on the line of scrimmage. We know that.”

Dombek said no matter who wins or loses this game, there is still a lot of football left to be played.Yukon Tower

“Just look at last year,” Dombek said. “We lost that first game at home to Yukon and then we still were able to make the playoffs and make a quarterfinal run. We understand that this game will not make or break our season, but we want to win this game as much as any other game on our schedule, I guarantee that. We want to start the year off right.”

The annual Bronco Pigskin Preview was canceled on Aug. 28 because of inclement weather in the area, so Mustang has not had a lot of action against other opponents in the preseason.

Dombek said he is confident in his team and is eager to see them against someone else this Friday.

“We haven’t worked on special teams in a live situation yet,” Dombek said. “And as a team, we haven’t seen anyone else other than us very much at all, so we are ready for Friday night. We have had a great month of practice, and we are going to have a great week of practice this week. No matter what happens Friday night, win or lose, there will be things to correct going forward.”

OU runs over Louisiana Tech in opener

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NORMAN — Balance is something every offense in football tries to achieve every time they take the field.

On Saturday, the Oklahoma Sooners offense was about as balanced as an offense can get, especially considering it was game one of the season.website commentary new.qxd

The Sooners started the 2014 season last Saturday in Norman with a 48-16 win against Louisiana Tech.

“It was a good win today,” OU head coach Bob Stoops said after the game. “I am pleased with the overall effort of the team and how they played. I thought they really played well, in particular in the first half. I was really pleased with the number one defense when they were all out there together. They were really strong against the run, pressured the quarterback and all of those kinds of things.”

OU didn’t waste any time getting started on Saturday as the Oklahoma defense held the Bulldogs to a three-and-out in their first series, and then the Sooner offense went right down the field on its first possession, grabbing an early 7-0 lead.

Oklahoma continued the train rolling the rest of the first quarter as the Sooners put the ball in the end zone two more times to take a commanding 21-0 lead into the second quarter at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

The OU offense slowed down just a hair in the second frame with only one touchdown on the board combined with a Michael Hunnicutt field goal. Louisiana Tech was able to muster up a late-half drive and tack on a field goal of its own before halftime, making the score 31-3 Sooners at the intermission.

Oklahoma came out in the second half the same way they did in the first with a lot of intensity and quickness in their steps. OU went right down the field with its first possession of the third quarter and put the ball in the end zone.

The Sooner D stayed strong as some younger reserve players were starting to make their way onto the field as the game began to get out of hand. Oklahoma’s offense started to slow down at the end of the third frame as it was able to put one more field goal on the scoreboard, making the score 41-3 OU after three.

The fourth quarter was the only frame of the game that the Bulldogs were able to win against Oklahoma. With mostly reserves in the game for the Sooners, Louisiana Tech was able to put together two touchdown drives in the final quarter.

OU was able to score one more touchdown in the fourth quarter, making the final difference 32 points, which was six less than the original game line was at kickoff.

The Oklahoma offense gained a total of 436 yards in the game. The Sooners rushed for 183 yards and passed for 253 against Louisiana Tech. OU picked up a total of 26 first downs and two turnovers with three penalties for 34 yards in the game.

Freshman running back Samaje Perine had 13 carries for 77 yards and one touchdown in the game. Sophomore RB Keith Ford had nine carries for 51 yards and touchdowns. Sophomore Alex Ross had 11 carries for 36 yards and two touchdowns. and sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight had four carries for 20 yards.

Knight was 19 out of 34 passing the football for 253 yards, with one touchdown and one interception.

Ford was the leading receiver for the Sooners with four catches for 65 yards. Junior receiver Sterling Shepard had four catches for 49 yards and a touchdown. Redshirt freshman receiver K.J. Young had three catches for 41 yards. Freshman fullback Dimitri Flowers had three catches for 24 yards. Junior receiver Durron Neal had two catches for 42 yards, and Ross had two catches for 31 yards.

The Oklahoma defense allowed a total of 245 yards of offense to LTU. The Sooner D allowed 54 rushing yards and 191 passing. OU allowed 15 first downs and forced one turnover in the game. The Bulldogs had five penalties for 32 yards.

Senior linebacker Aaron Franklin led the Sooners in tackles with six on the night. Freshman cornerback Jordan Thomas had four tackles and sophomore defensive end Matt Dimon also had four. Sophomore cornerback Zack Sanchez had one interception on the night.

Hunnicutt was two-for-two in field goals in the game, making a 37- and 39-yarder.

In all-purpose yards, Ross led the way for OU with 147 yards. Ford was second with 116 and Shepard came in third with 86 yards.

Up next: At Tulsa

With game one in the books, the Sooners’ focus now shifts to the University of Tulsa at 11 a.m. Saturday.

The Golden Hurricane enters the game with Oklahoma as massive underdogs, but are 1-0 after a thrilling 38-31 comeback win against Tulane Aug. 28.

Tulsa is coached by Bill Blankenship, who is in his second year on the job for the Golden Hurricane.

The TU offense scored 38 points in its opener and amassed 30 total first downs, and allowed 31 points and 22 first downs.

Tulsa gained 592 total yards of offense with 154 of that coming as rush yards and 438 coming through the air. The Hurricane allowed 516 yards to Tulane, including 254 rushing and 262 passing. Both teams had two turnovers apiece in the game.

Tavarreo Dickerson is the leading rusher for Tulsa. Dickerson rushed for 86 yards on 15 carries against Tulane. Dane Evans will be under center for TU. Evans was 31-of-53 for 438 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Keevan Lucas is the leading receiver for the Golden Hurricane with 13 receptions for 233 yards and three touchdowns in game one.

Trent Martin is the leading tackler for the Hurricane with 12 this season, and Demarco Nelson and Chris Hummingbird each have one turnover this year.

Glidden scores long touchdown in loss to Florida State

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By Glen Miller,

Sports reporter,

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – While running his decoy routes at AT&T Stadium, Mustang native David Glidden quickly found out that he was running open, constantly beating his Florida State defender off the ball and his cuts.

“I would like to think I was beating him bad and we will see when we watch film. They are a man coverage team with a lot of athletes and that’s what they like to do, go up there mono e mono on you and that’s what they pride themselves on.

“We were ready for it and watch a lot of film on it. That’s what I was hoping for and that was what I was prepared for the entire game,” said Glidden.

So wide open at times that he came off the field in the second quarter of Oklahoma State’s 37-31 loss to the No.1 Seminoles tapping his chest in an effort to get someone’s attention.

“I really don’t know what to say about that. Sometimes things happen in a game where players get riled up and frustrated and you’ve got to go on and play the next play.

“It was one of those things where I got caught up in the moment of the game and you want your number to be called and go make the plays,” said Glidden.

As it turned out, the Cowboys coaches had been noticing.

After having only one pass thrown his direction in the first half, a rushed throw for quarterback J.W. Walsh which fell incomplete, Glidden emerged from the loss as the Cowboys leading receiver in yards.

He opened the Cowboys’ first possession of the second half with a 19-yard catch from Walsh  out to the OSU 43-yard line.

“It was a play action pass and J.W. put the ball on the money and the O-line did a great job of protecting on that play. I noticed that as I was running my route looking back at J.W. And he was sitting there in the pocket.

“It was an all-around effort there and when the guy puts the ball on the money, you’ve got to go up and catch it,” said Glidden.

Two plays later, Glidden found himself in the same situation, running wide open on a play action pass route – which would have even better results.

Glidden snagged a pass in stride from Walsh and raced untouched 55 yards for a touchdown with 10:45 left in the third period, closing the gap to 20-17 following Ben Grogan’s PAT.

“It was a simple play action pass and we have been running it ever since I got here. The O-line did a great job and Tyreek Hill did as well on the sell. He had been making plays all game and they had to respect him.

“J.W. put the ball on the money and that made it real easy for me,” said Glidden.

Almost too easy as Glidden ran the last 20 yards glancing over both shoulders for a possible Florida State tackler – which never appeared.

“I was surprised I was that wide open to be honest so I was just checking to make sure someone was not coming. It was a great thing to be that wide open, but I’m really not used to it,” said Glidden.

The touchdown ended a 14-game streak for Glidden without a scoring catch. His last touchdown grab, which was also the first of his career, came on Dec. 1, 2012, in a 41-34 loss at Baylor.

He would have his number called one more time in the game, but Walsh was flushed out of the pocket and threw behind a sliding Glidden with 3:19 left in the third quarter.

Glidden closed the game with two catches for 74 yards as part of the Cowboys 203-yard passing game against Florida State. That yardage was a career-high for Glidden, surpassing the 73 yards on six catches he had against Kansas last season.

His 55-yard touchdown catch was the longest of his career, passing the 39-yarder he had in the Kansas game.

Glidden grinned when asked if his effort against top-ranked Florida State was enough to move him into a starting position.

“I hope so, but I go in every day and just try and do my job and the best for the team and whatever Coach Dunn (Kasey) or Coach Yurcich (Mike) asks me to do. I just go in and try and execute the game plan,” said Glidden.

Softball run-rules Edmond North at home

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The Lady Broncos softball team finished last week with a 3-1 record, which has them sitting 11-3 overall as they inch closer to the midway point of the season.

Mustang defeated Lawton Ike on Aug. 25 at home in a double-header with two routs on the scoreboard. The Bronco girls won game one by a 10-1 score and game two 14-0 in five innings of play.website commentary new.qxd

Senior pitcher Jayden Chestnut pitched a perfect game in game two against Lawton Ike as she struck out 12 batters and didn’t allow a base runner in her five innings of work.

On Aug. 28, the Lady Broncos traveled down for a matchup with district foe Moore. The game was tied at zero going into the bottom of the sixth inning, but three Bronco errors led to two Moore runs, giving the Lions the lead and the victory 2-0 over Mustang.

“Moore was tough,” Mustang head coach Bryan Howard said. “But I thought our girls really competed, especially our younger players. That was big-game atmosphere, and our girls were ready to fight to win that game.”

Last Friday night the Lady Broncos returned home for another district game against Edmond North. The Lady Huskies have traditionally been one of the state’s powerhouses in softball, but the Bronco girls jumped on them early and continued the beat-down, as they went on to run-rule Edmond North 11-1 in six innings.

Against the Lady Huskies, Mustang came out swinging. The Lady Broncos offense had been held at bay the night before by Moore, but the Bronco girls put four runs on the board in the bottom half of the first inning, which would have been enough for Chestnut, but the offense kept it going for the remainder of the game.

Chestnut got the win in the circle for MHS, and Mustang got the much-needed home district win following the Thursday night loss.

“That was a great bounce-back win for us,” Howard said. “We showed a lot of heart coming back and playing the way we did against Edmond North.”

The Lady Broncos and Moore were neck-and-neck throughout the game. Chestnut was locked in a pitcher’s duel, and the Bronco offense was hitting the ball hard all night, but right at Moore fielders.

The Lions got the break they needed in the bottom half of the sixth inning when three Mustang errors gave way to two Moore runs, which would be all they would need as they held the Lady Broncos scoreless in the top half of seventh.

“Our QAB (quality at bats) were really good against Moore,” Howard said. “We just hit the ball right at them. Sometimes that’s the way it goes.”

Against Lawton Ike earlier last week, the Bronco girls were too powerful in the double-header sweep. Freshman pitcher Kylie Dodson was in the circle in game one. It was her first appearance in the circle in more than a week following a foot injury. Dodson got the W and Mustang cruised to a game one win.

Chestnut threw her second perfect game of the season for the Lady Broncos in game two against Lawton Ike. The hard-throwing right-hander fanned 12 batters in five innings of work in the circle.

The Bronco girls played host to Putnam City West on Tuesday night in another home district game. They open play today in the OU Softball Tournament in Norman. The tournament begins today and concludes Saturday.

“The OU tournament will be a great test for us,” Howard said. “It will be just as tough as the Broken Arrow tournament was. We scheduled this tournament because we wanted to see where we were 15 games into the season. We are further ahead of where I thought we’d be at this point. I like where we are right now.”

Cross country teams open season with Mustang Harrier

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Mustang News Sports Reports,

Mustang cross country officially opened the 2014 season last Friday with the Mustang Harrier at Wild Horse Park.

The boys team took seventh place overall in the final team standings, with the girls squad finishing sixth in competition.

Deer Creek earned first-place honors in the boys race, while Bishop McGuinness nabbed the top placing on the girls side of the course.

The Lady Broncos had seven runners compete in the race ranging from fourth-place finishes to 44th place.

Kyra Fuller was the top Mustang placer for the girls, as she finished fourth overall with a time of 20:29.54. Aubrey Ruttman finished 20th overall with a time of 22:14.03, and Tyler Schwemley placed 26th overall with a time of 23:02.65.

Lauren Grisham took 31st place overall with a time of 23:27.35. Jewel Thompson finished 33rd overall with a time of 23:40.55. Halle Hannon placed 38th overall with a time of 25:41.85, and Kaylyn Brooks took 44th place overall with a time of 25:12.60.

Edmond North’s Jaci Smith finished in first place overall with a time of 19:23.92.

Behind Bishop McGuinness in the final team places were Elgin in second place, Edmond North in third, Deer Creek in fourth place, Edmond Memorial in fifth, Mustang in sixth place, U.S. Grant in seventh and Capitol Hill in eighth place.

The Bronco boys had seven competitors in the event last Friday with finishes that ranged from second overall to 64th place.

Lance Frost took the top spot for the Broncos with a second-place finish overall with a time of 17:01.11. Skyler Wade placed 21st overall with a time of 18:29.44, and Mark Drexel took 24th place overall with a time of 18:47.96.

Cameron Mills finished in 52nd place overall with a time of 20:35.83. Chris Chestnut placed 55th overall with a time of 20:49.99. Gregory Van Aken took 59th place overall with a time of 21:12.51, and Cameron Gausmen placed 64th overall with a time of 22:00.30.

Deer Creek’s Bryce Balenseifen took first place on the boys side with a time of 16:15.97.

Rounding out the final team standings for the boys race was Edmond Memorial in second place, Edmond North in third, U.S. Grant in fourth place, Bishop McGuinness in fifth, Capitol Hill in sixth place and Mustang in seventh.

The Bronco harriers will have two events this weekend. On Friday, Mustang will take on Yukon in a scrimmage-style race in honor of the Mustang-Yukon football game Friday night. The race will take place Friday afternoon at Wild Horse Park.

On Saturday morning, the Broncos will compete and help with the Western Days Stampede at Bronco Stadium.

Softball off to powerful start in 2014

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The Lady Broncos softball team improved to 8-2 overall this season with a 3-0 record last week.

Mustang started the week off with a 6-0 home district win against Norman Aug. 19, and then went 2-0 in the Southmoore Softball Festival last Friday, beating Muskogee 7-6 and Broken Arrow 2-0.website commentary new.qxd

“I thought we played well last week,” Mustang head coach Bryan Howard said. “We probably gave up too many runs early in the game to Muskogee, but I like the way we battled back. BA is always one of the better teams in the state, so I am really pleased with that win.”

Against Norman, the Bronco girls and Lady Tigers were scoreless through the first five and a half innings until Mustang broke it open in the bottom of the sixth by scoring all six runs.

Senior right-hander Jayden Chestnut was in the circle against Norman and went the distance in the contest. Chestnut took a no-hitter into the top of the seventh when NHS got its only base knock of the game.

The hard-throwing senior finished the night with seven strikeouts and one walk allowed.

The Lady Broncos finished the game with seven total hits. Mustang finally got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning when freshman third baseman Karis Clark drove in two runs with a single to center field.

Senior shortstop Caisey Jones was up to bat next and put a ball in play, forcing Norman into an error and scoring two more runs.

Freshman outfielder Katelyn Thomas then drove the fifth run with a single of her own. The sixth and final run of the inning was knocked in by freshman second baseman Zoe Jones.

Chestnut held the Lady Tigers in the top half of the inning, securing the victory for the Lady Broncos.

Mustang played Muskogee in the first game of the Southmoore Softball Festival on Friday afternoon and took down the Roughers 7-6.

Freshman pitcher Kylie Dodson returned to the circle after being sidelined with a foot injury for several games.

Dodson was rusty in the first couple of innings back as Muskogee put several runs on the board against the young right-hander.

Dodson settled down and kept the Lady Roughers from breaking the game open, which allowed Mustang to come back and get the one-run victory. Chestnut came into the game in the last inning to close it out for MHS.

In their second and final game of the Southmoore Festival, the Lady Broncos took on Broken Arrow, which year-in and year-out is one of the top softball teams in Oklahoma.

Chestnut was back in the circle for the Bronco girls against the Lady Tigers and she was dominant as she shut out BA 2-0.

Mustang returned to action this week with three games on the schedule.

The Lady Broncos hosted Lawton Ike on Monday evening. They travel to Moore for a 6:30 district showdown tonight, and tomorrow host Edmond North at 6:30 p.m. for an important district matchup.

“We are getting more used to playing in big games every week,” Howard said. “It seems like every week we have one or more big games, so it’s important we continue to get better and grow as a team.”

Volleyball struggles in week two

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Tougher competition spelled trouble for the Mustang volleyball team in week two of the season as they dropped four matches.

The Lady Broncos had a record of 3-4 in the second week of the year, but kept their overall winning record intact with a 7-5 mark through their first 12 matches of 2014.

The Bronco girls opened up dual play last week with two home duals against Putnam City North and Edmond Santa Fe.website commentary new.qxd

Mustang hosted PC North on Aug. 19, defeating the Lady Panthers three games to none. Their second dual of the week wasn’t as kind to MHS as they took on defending Class 6A state champion Edmond Santa Fe and fell to the Lady T-Wolves three games to none for their second loss of the season.

“I didn’t think our attitude as a team was where it needed to be going into the weekend,” Mustang head coach Cailtyn Bernhardt said. “We were pretty down on ourselves heading into the Westmoore tournament after what happened against Edmond Santa Fe. We carried that into the match against Bishop McGuinness and it felt like we were already defeated before it began.”

The Lady Broncos then traveled south to Westmoore High School to compete in the Jaguar Volleyball Invitational last Friday and Saturday.

Mustang played five matches in the tournament, winning two and losing three. The Bronco girls defeated Del City 3-0 and Carl Albert 3-0 in the event, but fell to Bishop McGuinness 0-3, Westmoore 2-3 and Enid 1-3 in the tournament.

The closest match of the weekend was against Westmoore. The Lady Broncos held a two games to one lead against the Lady Jaguars, but Mustang made too many mistakes down the stretch in the final two games and dropped a nail-biter.

“We were really upset that we lost the match to Westmoore,” Bernhardt said.  “Our girls really felt like that we should have beaten them, but the cool thing about it is, we get another chance at them Monday night. After that loss, the team decided that was enough, and our attitudes changed.”

Mustang is back in action this week as host to two district duals at the Wellness Center at Mustang High School.

The Bronco girls hosted Westmoore on Monday evening and they take on Edmond North at 6 tonight.

“We still have a lot of season left,” Bernhardt said. “We are still growing as a team, so there are going to be rough times and good times. We just have to stay together.”

OU rides Sugar high into new season

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College football is officially back, and the Oklahoma Sooners open up the 2014 season at 6 p.m. on Saturday at home against Louisiana Tech.

The Sooners are entering the new season with a preseason national ranking of No.3, which if OU can stay in the top four by the time the regular season is complete, will earn them a spot in the first-ever four-team college football playoff.website commentary new.qxd

Despite returning a lot from the team that went 11-2 a year ago and defeated SEC beast Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, OU still has some new faces on this year’s squad that will determine how good this team can be.

“It’s been one of our best camps we’ve had since I’ve been here,” OU head coach Bob Stoops told reporters at his weekly press conference. “This is probably the healthiest we have ever been coming out of camp. We didn’t have many guys missing practices, which allowed us to build more depth, because guys were able to get more work. Really very pleased with everything to this point.”

Last season, the OU offense averaged 32.8 points per game, while the Sooner defense allowed 22.1 points per contest. Oklahoma averaged 423 total yards of offense every time they took the field in 2013, and the D gave up 350.2 total yards per game.

OU was run-heavy a year ago as they averaged 223.9 rush yards per game while allowing 137.6 rush yards to their opponents. Through the air, Oklahoma was mediocre, averaging 199.1 pass yards per contest and giving up 212.5 pass yards per outing.

Some of the top returners to the team in 2014 will include sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight, sophomore running back Keith Ford, junior receiver Sterling Shepard, junior receiver Durron Neal, senior offensive linemen Daryl Williams, Tyrus Thompson, Adam Shead, Dionte Savage and Tyler Evans.

Junior offensive linemen Nila Kasitati and Ty Darlington are also returning for the Sooners this fall.

Senior Blake Bell, who spent the first four years on campus for OU as a quarterback, will switch positions and play the tight end role in 2014 for Oklahoma.

Knight comes into 2014 after having a rocky 2013. The sophomore had a passing efficiency rating of 125. He completed 79 passes out of 134 attempts a year ago with nine touchdowns and five interceptions. He averaged 102.4 yards per game through the air.

Knight also presents a threat on the ground for OU. He ran the ball 67 times last season and gained a total of 485 yards and had two touchdowns on the ground.

Ford is the leading returning rusher for the Sooners in 2014 after OU graduated Brennan Clay, Damien Williams and Roy Finch in 2013. Ford had a total of 23 carries for 134 yards and one touchdown last season for the Sooners.

Sophomore Alex Ross will share time with Ford in the backfield. The Jenks native had three carries in 2013 for 19 total yards.

Oklahoma will be talented but raw at the receiver position to start the 2014 season. The Sooners graduated Jalen Saunders, LaColtan Bester and Jaz Reynolds from last year’s group.

Shepard will lead the way for OU this fall. Shepard caught 51 passes for 603 yards and seven touchdowns as a sophomore. Neal had 13 receptions for 176 yards and sophomores Derrick Woods and Austin Bennett each had two catches in 2013.

At tight end, OU will go with Bell as the starter, having never caught a pass in a real game before, and sophomore Taylor McNamara will back up Bell. McNamara caught one ball last season for a total of 4 yards.

The most experienced group on the offensive side of the ball this season will be the offensive line. OU lost two players to graduation in 2013, Mustang native Bronson Irwin and Gabe Ikard, but will have five seniors leading the way.

Defensively, Oklahoma will return defensive tackles, junior Jordan Phillips, sophomore Jordan Wade and seniors Torrea Peterson and Quincy Russell.

At defensive end, OU returns junior Charles Tapper and senior Chuka Ndulue. Senior Geneo Grissom played at the DE position a year ago for the Sooners, but moved to linebacker this season.

Grissom will be joined by junior Eric Striker and sophomores Dominique Alexander and Jordan Evans as returners this year.

In the back end, senior safety Quentin Hayes will return as the lone starter for the Sooners. Sophomores Ahmad Thomas and Hatari Byrd saw some action last season, but will still be young in 2014.

Senior Julian Wilson will make the switch from nickelback to cornerback this season opposite sophomore Zach Sanchez, who is a returning starter in 2014.

Special teams will also play a big role in the success or lack of success Oklahoma has this year. Both kickers are returning to Norman this fall. Seniors Michael Hunnicutt and Jed Barnett will handle those duties.

Hunnicutt is the returning place-kicker and Barnett is the returning punter for OU in 2014.