Newcastle loses to Clinton, 53-13; hosts Anadarko for homecoming
The Newcastle Racers football team went on the road last Thursday and lost to the Clinton Red Tornadoes, 53-13, in gridiron action. The game was moved from Friday night to Thursday because of inclement bad weather. The change in date, though, didn’t mean a thing to the Red Tornadoes.
Clinton simply blew Newcastle away.
“It didn’t start off very well,” said Newcastle head coach Jeff Brickman. “We got in a hole and made a lot of mistakes. We just didn’t play very well. It was probably the worst game we have played since I’ve been here. It is discouraging. But, it’s over and we’ll move forward.”
The Red Tornadoes are seemingly back. They are now 3-1 with victories over Newcastle, Woodward (42-12), and Lawton MacArthur (31-12).
Their only loss has been to the 2017 Class 4A
state champions Heritage Hall by a narrow
score of 20-12.
The Racers will host the Anadarko Warriors this Friday night at 7 p.m. for their homecoming game. Anadarko is 2-2 this year, beating Harrah (30-7) and Lexington (44-8) while losing to Blanchard (34-0) and Cache (19-0).
Despite being 0-4 on the season, Brickman sees his crew being ready for this week’s contest. It’s the Racers’ homecoming game so obviously Brickman hopes that his team will want a good showing.
“I don’t think it’s ever a question of our guys being up for a game,” Brickman said. “It’s just hard to overcome a certain mindset. Maybe they expect the worst and hope for the best? I don’t know. We have to change that mindset.
“You can’t take a pill or a magic serum or anything for that. Hopefully, we can put a full game together and have some breaks go our way. That would get the ball rolling for us. I do think that our team will be up for this week.”
The dual quarterback system that Newcastle has employed all season long continued at Clinton. Andrew Shumard was 9-of-17 passing for 79 yards. Chase Fox was 6-of-13 for 69 yards. Both threw an interception. Neither threw a touchdown pass.
The top running back for the Racers was junior Solomon Granger, who pounded his way to 70 yards on 11 carries. The best receiver for Newcastle was senior Wade Sharp with two receptions for 35 yards - including his longest gain of 19 yards.
“(Shumard and Fox) both threw an interception and neither one of them threw a touchdown,” Brickman said of his rotating sophomore quarterbacks. “I would say that they didn’t do a good job of throwing the football last week. We’ll always try to be balanced. If you’re one dimensional and unless you’re very good – superior on the offensive line and have great running backs – you can run the ball every play.
“We’re just not in that position right now. With our skill set, we have to be able to do both run and throw. They’re both just sophomores and every week is a learning experience for them. You have to live with that when you’ve got two young quarterbacks and they’re both sharing equal repetitions- in practice and in games. They’re only getting half the reps that a normal starter would get.”
So, through four games… who does Brickman see as the potential starting quarterback?
“Because we’re playing both of them and they both have abilities which I like, they’ll get all the reps that they should,” Brickman said. “There’s still not a clear-cut starter at this point, though.”
Brickman had nothing but great things to say about Clinton, who lost to Newcastle last year, 49-48. The Red Tornadoes have revamped and improved upon last year’s 3-7 showing. Clinton has now won 586 games all-time and owns 16 state championshi ›ps.
“No offense to all the other teams that we have played so far,” Brickman said. “I’m definitely not trying to take anything away from those guys. But, we all agreed as a coaching staff that Clinton is the best team we have played so far this season. We beat them last year, but they had a new coach. When (former Clinton head coach) Mike Lee quit, it is to my understanding that a lot of the kids who quit after he left came back out this year.
“They also have guys in better positions that suit their strengths. They had a really tall quarterback last year who wasn’t really that mobile. Now, they have him playing tight end and he’s doing quite well. They have a really dynamic quarterback now who really makes their offense go. He can throw and run the ball equally well. I’m just hoping for a good homecoming game and a great crowd this week. It should be fun.”