By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle football team handed Cache a 26-11 district defeat last Friday to remain undefeated for the season with a 4-0 overall and 1-0 district record.
"I think our defense played outstanding. We had some turn-overs, but we also created some turn-overs," head coach Keith Bolles said.
The first quarter of action saw nothing more than Cache inside Newcastle's 20-yard line, however the Bulldogs were unable to make it into the end zone due to a Racer interception.
In the second quarter, Newcastle was first to make it on the board when senior quarterback Casey Freeman hit junior wide receiver Cory Hill for a 16-yard touchdown pass. The point-after-touchdown kick was missed, Newcastle went ahead 6-0.
With five minutes left in the half, senior running back Zach Bergt found his way into the end zone on a five-yard carry. Sophomore kicker Hunter Everett placed the ball between the goal post to put the Racers ahead 13-0. The answer from Cache was an offensive drive that ended with a 35-yard field goal from kicker Austin Greene. This put the score at 13-3 at halftime.
To start off the second half, Cache kicked off to Newcastle who had deferred after winning the coin toss. Offensively the Racers march down the field within Cache's red zone. Freeman scrambles around behind the line and takes off on a ten-yard run to score another touchdown for Newcastle. The Racers tried for a two-point conversion but the attempt failed.
After a big stop by the Newcastle defense, which included another interception by Hill, Bergt managed to find the end zone again on a 25-yard rush that was followed by a point-after-touchdown kick from Everett to put the Racers up 26-3. Cache responded with a touchdown and a two-point conversion that was successful, but there was not enough time left in the game for the Bulldogs to play catch-up. The game ended 26-11.
"There were some things that went against us like the long drive down there, having to be finished warming up and be off the field forty minutes prior to the game," Bolles said. "I felt good after the fact. Our kids had all these disadvantages, but were still able to come in and get a fifteen-point victory in a district game."
Casey Freeman managed to have another great passing game with 142 yards on 11 catches, one of which was for a touchdown. Zach Bergt led the Racers rushing with 77 yards on 15 carries. In the receiving game, senior wide receiver Parker Bolles took over the statistics with 46 yards on 2 catches, although Hill had the only touchdown pass of the night.
Newcastle will return home to take on the Woodward Boomers for their homecoming game on Friday. Woodward is currently 3-1 for their season. The Boomers are coming off a 22-7 win over the Elgin Owls in a 4A District 1 game.
Homecoming can be both a motivation and a distraction, Bolles said.
"The things I worry about are kids working on floats, staying out a little bit later and not getting the proper nutrition. We will stress things like that this week," he said. "Homecoming is a great thing for our town and community, because it is such a special event. We just have to remind our kids that they still have a job, to prepare to take care of Woodward."
By Cody Johnson
The air was tense when the Newcastle fans traveled to Blanchard last Friday for their annual rivalry game, more tense than usual. The tailgating continued the same as before every game with lots of homemade food and grilled meats but one thing was for sure, Newcastle was here on business.
Who could blame them?
Rumors began to surface on Thursday that someone in Blanchard had placed a "bounty" on Newcastle's senior quarterback Casey Freeman and senior running back Zach Bergt to be injured. But nothing could be confirmed beyond word of mouth.
One thing that was officially reported by Freeman's family, his truck had been vandalized.
Police escorts led the Newcastle buses onto Blanchard's campus no more than thirty minutes before the game was set to start. The Racers warmed up at home after the vandalism and potential threats took place. A few plays by the offense and defense along with some quick stretching was the only warm up performed by the Racers after their arrival in Lion territory.
From the first kick-off it was apparent both teams were here to play. The game was filled with diving leg tackles, lots of cutting by linemen, and what appeared to be jabs at each other, as the piles were slow to get up. In summary, it was a typical rivalry game.
Unwavering Casey Freeman led the Racers’ offensive in an unrelenting charge throughout to score 21 points, while the Racers' defense shutout the Lions with 100 tackles for the game.
As Newcastle racked up the points, their student section became louder and louder. Signs were held up, drums were beat, and towards the end of the game a lion’s head mask was hung from a flag pole and waved around as the students sang "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye."
Freeman threw the ball for 134 yards and ran for another 20.
Bergt ran the ball for 76 yards on 15 carries, one of which was for a touchdown. Junior wide receiver Gavin Garner had hands of gold receiving for 62 yards and one amazing 41-yard catch.
Senior defensive linemen Tanner Robertson and junior linebacker Ty Smith made big tackles for the defense, each with a total of 13 for the night. Senior Shane Martin earned the most solo tackles however with six. Senior linebacker Parker Bolles was the only Racer to sack the Lions' quarterback.
Junior Cory Hill and Freeman both intercepted the ball for 19 yards and 13 yards respectively.
The Newcastle Racers are currently 3-0 for the season. Next week they will begin district play at Cache. Cache is currently 2-1 for their season having lost to Iowa Park Texas 12-38 before beating Hobart 36-26 and Chickasha 35-14.
Every game the Racers play between now and Nov. 7 will be district contests and will determine if they will make it to the playoffs, 3-0 is a great start.
By Cody Johnson
Sulphur defeated the Bridge Creek Bobcats last Friday night 25-44 when they came to town, despite quite a fight from Bridge Creek.
The Bobcats were down 0-13 by the end of the first quarter. The second quarter did not see much action until the sophomore wide receiver Jack Williams caught a pass and ran it into the end zone putting Bridge Creek on the board. The point after touchdown kick was good.
In the second half Sulphur put up another six points and tried for a two-point conversion, but the Bridge Creek defense stopped them. Another touchdown and extra point kick by Sulphur towards the end of the third quarter left the score at 27-25.
Senior wide receiver Mason Trevino caught a deep pass from senior quarterback Jimmy Wynne and ran the ball in for Bridge Creek's second touchdown, but the point after touchdown attempt was blocked.
This was answered with another Sulphur touchdown, which fired up the Bobcats. Trevino ran the ball on a 40-yard carry to score again for Bridge Creek.
Sulphur once again ran into the end zone with 3:45 left in the fourth quarter taking the score to 19-44.
Despite the little time left, Bridge Creek managed to score again, but was unable to overcome Sulphur. Bobcats fell 25-44.
By Cody Johnson
Led by senior quarterback Casey Freeman, Newcastle handed a crushing defeat, 45-13, to Tuttle last Friday in their first home game of the season.
The last time the Racers overcame the Tigers was over a decade ago in 2003. Winning the first two games of the season is a new feeling for Newcastle, having played Tuttle within those games in previous years.
"I think we played pretty well from the start. That opening drive was a big one especially going into the wind," head coach Keith Bolles said. "We scored within three and half minutes then defense went out and got a big stop. We got the ball back and scored again."
With protection from his offensive linemen, Freeman marched down the field leading the Racers in rushing with 106 yards and threw for an additional 237 yards. Freeman ran in two touchdowns personally and threw another two to Ben Persall in a 39-yard pass and a 17-yard pass each for a touchdown. One of those touchdown runs by Freeman can be viewed on The Newcastle Pacer Facebook page.
"One of the best things about our defense is that we have had quite a few three and out, which keeps our offensive churning on the field," Bolles said.
Sophomore kicker Hunter Everett was consistent in his kicking game obtaining six point-after-touchdown kicks. Everett also kicked a 39-yard field goal for the Racers.
Senior running back Zach Bergt dominated the field with a total of 38 yards rushing on 14 carries, one of which included a 3-yard run into the end zone. Senior Colton Scott also carried the ball well with a 3-yard run for a touchdown later in the game.
The Racers seemed to dominate the Tigers throughout the whole game and the statistics show it. Newcastle's offense ran 73 plays while Tuttle's offense only ran 55 plays.
"Defensively our two inside linebackers Colten Scott and Ty Smith played outstanding," Bolles said. "When you hold a team that is the caliber of Tuttle to sixteen or seventeen yards in a half, that's an impressive outing."
Newcastle marched down the field gaining 26 first downs, while the Racers’ defense held the Tigers' offense to 9 first downs. Newcastle also led the way in penalties, having nine called against them, losing 70 yards throughout the game. The Tigers only had three penalties, losing 29 yards.
This win took Newcastle up in the state rankings, placing them at second in class 4A behind Anadarko who also holds a 2-0 record for the season. In the overall rankings of Oklahoma schools Anadarko holds the third place ranking behind Jenks and Union, while Newcastle holds the 17 ranked position.
However, the most anticipated game in class 4A between Newcastle and Anadarko will not have to wait until the playoffs. It will take place at Newcastle in the regular season on October 31.
With the Tigers at their back, the Racers are looking to hit the road Friday to take on the Blanchard Lions on their own turf. Blanchard defeated Tuttle 39-27 in an all out brawl in week one of the season, after losing to Kingfisher in a scrimmage the week before.
During week two of the season, Blanchard lost to Casady in a 43-21 defeat. Their current ranking stands at 5 for class 3A and 28 in the overall state rankings. The Lions hold a 4.5-yard average on their rushing and a 15.2-yard average on their passing.
"They have some big offensive linemen. They run the ball and throw the ball really well. Coach Craig over the last couple years has been in the state finals twice. They have an experienced team," Bolles commented. "Overall they are just a really good team. This game and the ones over the last couple weeks are preparing us for our district play."
Despite winning Fans' Choice Player of the Week after his first week's performance, Blanchard's senior quarterback Kanon Kirchner's season totals on Maxpreps.com say he has rushed for 125 yards and has passed for 285 yards, statistics that are eerily close to Newcastle's senior quarterback Casey Freeman's single game statistics against Tuttle. Kirchner did sit out of last week's game briefly after some hard hits.
Newcastle is not relaxing in their training. Head coach Keith Bolles continues to push the Racers to improve each and every day, working towards an undefeated season one game at a time.
"We aren't really going to change a lot this week. Our goal each week is to go in and get better and improve on last week's performance. That's why we watch film. We are going to correct some of the mistakes we made in the Tuttle ball game to prepare for the Blanchard ball game. Hopefully after ten weeks of that we will be where we want to be," Bolles said.
By Cody Johnson
The Newcastle Racers rolled through Pauls Valley on their own field last Friday with a 47-7 win.
"The offense and defense executed really well," head coach Keith Bolles said.
Led by starting senior quarterback Casey Freeman, the offense marched over Pauls Valley's defense, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter putting the Racers ahead 21-0.
Senior running back Zach Bergt scored the first touchdown of the night on a 25-yard break away run. A 19-yard pass from Freeman to senior running back Kyle Rice followed soon after.
Driving down the field towards the end of the first quarter, Freeman ran a 1-yard quarterback sneak up the middle for the third touchdown. Sophomore Jose Ramirez kicked three field goals for extra points.
In the second quarter, the Racers didn’t slow down. A 32-yard pass to junior wide-receiver Gavin Garner from Freeman and another extra-point kick from Ramirez continued the Newcastle dominated game. Bergt ran in another touchdown from 61 yards out, however the extra point attempt was no good. This put the score at the end of the half at 34-0.
In the second half, Newcastle began rotating out their starting lineup after Freeman hit senior running back Whispern Williams with a 15-yard touchdown pass followed by another Ramirez kick for an extra point.
"They went in and did not want them to score, and I was really proud of them," Bolles said about the second-string players making a defensive stop ten yards shy of the end zone.
Pauls Valley was able to score one touchdown and extra point towards the end of the third quarter, however neither team put any points on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter.
"Overall for the first night and having missed our second scrimmage, I was really pleased with our execution," Bolles said.
The Racers will return to action on Friday at home against the Tuttle Tigers at 7:30 p.m.
Tuttle is coming off a 27-39 home-field defeat that was handed to them by Blanchard last Friday in their season opener.
The Newcastle Racers football team continues to prepare for the upcoming season with a scrimmage on Thursday at home against Tecumseh and Mount Saint Mary. This will be the second and final scrimmage the Racers play in their pre-season schedule.
Last week Newcastle took on the Bethany Bronchos and the Harrah Panthers in a scrimmage on the Bronchos' field.
"For our first scrimmage, I was very pleased," Head Coach Keith Bolles said. "We have a pretty experienced team."
"It was really good for us from a defensive standpoint. We got to see people adjust and we got to see some things that we need to work on this week so we are ready for our next opponent," Bolles said.
Bethany showed the Racers a spread offensive lineup, not showing a running back most of the time. Harrah showed an opposite style offense with two backs on the field and double tight ends.
"Offensively, I felt like we did some really good things. Casey threw the ball well and receivers caught the ball well. Obviously they brought some different type sets that we haven’t seen a lot on or worked on so that’s some stuff we have drawn up now and gives us an opportunity to work on," Bolles said.
The scrimmage was set up with the Racers facing off 10 plays offense and 10 plays defense against each opponent. Newcastle played 30 snaps in a row and did not have any player cramp or have to come out, a fact Bolles attributes to their conditioning.
With seven players starting for their third year and 24 seniors, the Racers have pushed forward working hard in preparation for the season. They spend their last hour of the school day lifting and working on their cardio.
Once school lets out, their football practice begins. Having already taken care of cardio, they only have one focus on the field…. playing football.
Newcastle's first game of the season will be on September 5 at Pauls Valley at 7:30 p.m.
By Cody Johnson
The annual Pigskin Press Pass will be available on Aug. 28 with in-depth details about the 2014 Newcastle Racers and Bridge Creek Bobcats football season.
This year’s magazine includes insider looks at the Racer’s summer training program and camps, as well as each specific area of play. Looking to take district by storm and moving up to class 4A, the Racers will take on new opponents this year. Look at the Racers’ competition with the Pigskin Press Pass’s overview of each new school’s football history.
The 2014 issue also includes an in-depth view of the Bridge Creek Bobcats and their well-seasoned roster. Spreading their opponents out in a shotgun offense and changing their passing to running ratios to around 60-40 the Bobcats hold a tough lineup for the 2014 season.
With a new look and design the Pigskin Press Pass has more information about the community’s football players than ever before. Next year the magazine will expand even more to look at Blanchard’s pigskin players.
Copies of the Pigskin Press Pass can be found at newsstands with The Newcastle Pacer or extra copies can be picked up at The Pacer office 120 NE. 2nd St. # 102.
By Max Terrell
After training hard and competing in a regional camp in Dallas to make the cut, the Racers headed down to Indianapolis for the NFL's High School Player Development 7-on-7 Tournament.
The tournament pitted 32 teams from across the country against one another to see who was the best of the best. The teams selected represented the 32 NFL teams, with the Racers being selected to represent the Dallas Cowboys.
Newcastle took 11 players with them which include: Zach Bergt, Parker Bolles, Brady Davis, Casey Freeman, Gavin Garner, C.J. Hill, Isaac Johnson, Shane Martin, Ben Persall, Kyle Rice and Britt West.
The Racers ended the tournament with a 4-5 record for the event. This finish comes after playing teams like Booker T. Washington who were the national high school champions last year and won this years 7-on-7 tournament. Newcastle was also one of the few teams that were all from the same school. Most of the 32 teams were hand picked from a variety of different schools and placed onto their respective NFL teams.
The Racers won their first round in the playoffs during the tournament and made it all the way to their divisional championship where they lost to the Washington Redskins affiliated team, which had hand picked from 640 different players from the Washington area.
Newcastle Racer head football coach Keith Bolles feels that playing this level of competition has improved the players.
"I thought, seeing the competition our kids got to see is only going to make us better for the upcoming season," Bolles said. "We saw some really good athletes. I know that obviously there are some things we need to work on and get better. I saw improvement each day we were there, and each game we played, we learned a little more. As a coach that is all you can ask for."
Of the 11 athletes brought to the tournament to compete, all eleven players improved and played well, Bolles said.
The quarterback, Casey Freeman, and his receivers made great throws and catches all camp and it was hard to single single anyone player out during the tournament, Bolles said. In a 7-on-7 game they have to work as a group and a team.
The tournament had fierce competition and worked towards improving the athletes on the field but also to work with the athletes off the field.
The competition has a structured focus having strict schedules and making sure the athletes were busy, he said. One of the requirements that the tournament set was that the players had to attend character development meetings.
These meetings were conducted by former NFL players and talked about issues that many young athletes have to deal with such as maintaining high standards of character. There were also sessions about social media, which is an immediate issue students deal with daily.
"I thought one of the most unique things [about the character development during] the second night we were there right after dinner, and they had what they called a breakout session," Bolles said. "There were 16 different rooms with two teams to each room. Each team had an NFL player and the one that stuck out to me was the session about social media and how when you post something there are repercussions later on. I think that really struck a chord with our kids."
Other ex-NFL players talked to the athletes about their mistakes such as gun problems, drugs, and the dangers of not managing one's money.
Some of the Racers themselves had positive comments to make in front of the other 500 people attending the tournament and asked questions to the ex players and were very involved, Bolles said.
By Max Terrell
The Newcastle Racer football team has played its way into the NFL High School Player Development (HSPD) 7-on-7 tournament.
The national tournament has been held for the last seven years and has evolved since the first tournament in 2007.
The tournament places 32 teams from different regions of the country in competition against one another with each team representing one of the 32 NFL teams. This year Newcastle will be representing the Dallas Cowboys.
To qualify for the tournament, the team had to make its way down to Dallas and compete against a variety of other teams for the chance to represent the Cowboys. Each team in the 7-on-7 tournament can consist of 12 players and two coaches with seven players on the field.
Representing the Racers are: Zach Bergt, Parker Bolles, Brady Davis, Casey Freeman, Gavin Garner, C.J. Hill, Isaac Johnson, Shane Martin, Ben Persall, Kyle Rice, Britt West.
The tournament looks to help improve the skill set of the football players involved, and while it is a tournament format it is also a camp instead of just a tournament, Racer Head Coach Keith Bolles said.
This particular camp is not just about football. According to the NFL's official website, while the Racers will have the chance to compete against some of the best athletes in the country, the students will also be required to attend character development training. These training sessions will involve speakers, breakout sessions, and group activities in hopes of teaching the athletes from around the country about character and structure.
"I love the character development," Bolles said. "They will get to hear a lot of stories from different guys. If all 12 guys going to the camp take those lessons in then it will spread through the entire program."
Before heading to the 7-on-7 camp, the Racers spent a weekend at the football camp at Oklahoma Baptist University to focus on improving for the upcoming football season, Bolles said.
While the Racers and the coaches are keeping focused on the upcoming season that sees the Racers moving up to 4A competition, the athletes and the coaches are excited for the chance to play in the NFL and National Guard sponsored tournament.
"That's a great opportunity for them," Bolles said. "They competed hard to get in and are looking forward to the trip."
Be sure to pick up next week's Pacer for a follow-up.
Junior Casey Freeman threw for 196 yards and two scores, junior Zach Bergt ran for 105 yards and a score of his own, and the Newcastle Racers trounced the Sulphur Bulldogs 28-6 Nov. 15 in the first round of the Class 3A playoffs.
The game was played in front of a raucous home crowd at Racer Stadium.
Bergt struck first for Newcastle (8-3, 5-1 district) as he broke through the middle of the Bulldogs line with two minutes left in the first quarter, putting the Racers up first 7-0. A few minutes later, with 10 minutes to go in the second, junior Glenn Cerney caught a laser up the gut from Freeman to make it 14-0, while Freeman added his own four yard QB keeper just before halftime.
After a scoreless third quarter, Sulphur got on the board with a QB run up the middle for six, but missing on the PAT attempt. Bergt caught a TD throw from Freeman with six minutes to go, all but wrapping things up for Keith Bolles and his boys.
The Racers now move on to the second round, and a road rematch with the top-ranked Blanchard Lions. The Lions (10-0, 6-0 district) are coming off of a 76-13 shellacking of Perkins-Tryon.
Kickoff in Blanchard is set for 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 22. Ticket prices for all Class 3A second-round games are $5 for both students and adults. Only admission passes issued by the OSSAA will be honored.