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The Guymon Tigers seem to be getting their offensive and defensive strategies in gear. But the wrench in the works is still too many mistakes. Mistakes which doomed the Tigers in a 28-7 loss to Oklahoma City Northwest Classen on Friday night and Carl & Lou McKinnon Field at Memorial Stadium.
âWe just made some mistakes on defense,â said Guymon head coach Bryan Ballard. âThey got one touchdown and we had 10 men on the field. Thatâs on us. And then one touchdown we just let them get behind us and weâre not fast enough to recover on these guys (Classen).â
The game got off to a good start for the Tigers. After Glenda Barboza and Luis Chapparro were crowned Homecoming Queen and King, the Tiger football team went to work.
Clay Brooks took the opening kickoff and returned it to the Classen 47. The Tigers used the running of Brooks and a couple of Jacob Test completions to Colby Martin and Alex Zakrezewicz to the Classen 34. But the drive stalled at the 36 and Guymon was forced to punt.
Northwest Classen (4-1 overall, 2-0 in District 5A-2) drove from its own 25 to the Guymon 15, with the drive ending when Arron Costilla knocked down a pass in the end zone, forcing the Knights to attempt a 31 years field goal, which went wide left.
But the first mistake of the night for Guymon (0-5, 0-2) led the Classenâs first score. The Tigers had driven from their own 20 to the Knightsâ 35 before a fumbled snap by quarterback Austin Stonecipher was recovered by Classen.
The Knights were in the end zone on the very next play when Lorenzo Alexander raced 47 yards to pay dirt and a 7-0 lead for the Knights with 2:49 left in the first quarter.
The score remained 7-0 into the second quarter as Guymonâs offense bogged down, but the defense squashed a Classen drive that had taken the Knights to the Tiger 7 before giving the ball away on downs.
On the next possession, Guymon had taken the ball from its own 7 to the Classen 35 behind Sammy Marquez and the Test-Zakrezewicz connection. But penalties backed Guymon up to its own 42 and a Test interception anded the drive.
That INT led to Classenâs next score.
Taking the ball at its 26, Classen got a big run from Alexander to the Tiger 22, another run to the 6 and a penalty on Guymon half the distance to the goal, scoring on a 3-yard Alexander run with 7:11 left in the first half.
The Tigers finally struck gold with what would be their only score of the game on the ensuing possession. And used a little bit of trickery to do it.
From their own 17, the Tigers got a huge run by Stonecipher to the Classen 25. The junior faked a handoff inside, got the defense to bit, and cruised up the middle for the big run. After a leanly backed the Tigers up, Brooks carried 10 yards to the 20, but the drive slowed at the 22, sending the field goal unit in for Guymon.
Kicker Bryan Acosta lined up for the attempt, but Stonecipher took the ball and tossed over the frozen Classen defense to Zakrezewicz, who cruised into the end zone. Acostaâs extra point made it 14-7.
But the Knights quickly took the wind out of Guymonâs sails when they returned the ensuing kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead at the half.
On the first drive of the second half, Guymon took the ball from the Classen 42 after a punt, and drove to the 5 yard line behind Zak, Brooks and Test. But Guymon went for it on 4th-and-goal at the 5, and the pass fell incomplete.
Costilla recovered a fumble for the Tigers to end Classenâs next drive. But a holding penalty negated a big run by Test to end Guymonâs next drive.
Classenâs final score came next as the Knights drove from their own 40, but had been stopped at the Guymon 26 on 4th and long.
But Guymon had just 10 men on the field, and the Knights took advantage with a wide-open 26-yard scoring pass for a 28-7 lead with 8 seconds left in the third.
Guymonâs offense throw an interception, but the defense had a nice goal line stand with Marquez recovering a fumble for the Tigers.
The Tigers are still platooning Test and Stonecipher at quarterback, each with their own individual style. It seemed to work well in spots, but mistakes were also the name on the offensive side of the ball.
âWe had some dumb mistakes on offense as well,â Ballard said. âWeâd get down, drop a snap or jump offsides or get a holding call. It all steam-rolled. When it goes bad it goes bad.â
But based on the scores of Guymonâs first four games, Fridayâs 28-7 loss was in fact a small victory.
âIt gives us a lot of confidence,â Ballard said. âWe gave them two of those scores, really it should be 14-7. Our kids are getting better, weâre fighting an uphill battle right now but weâre getting better.â
Guymon hits the road to Deer Creek-Edmond next Friday night.