September 12, 2013

Chicks look to bounce back against El Reno

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


A new week for Chickasha has brought about something head coach Tom Cobble focuses his players on repeatedly: overcoming adversity.

Teams don't always come into the week nursing a loss by almost 60 points to a rival, but that's exactly what the Fightin' Chicks have been fighting past in order to prepare for their game against El Reno tonight.

"One message I always give to the guys, about football and life in general, is there's always ups and downs and you'll always face something unexpected," Cobble said. "The great thing about football is is teaches you how to deal with those things in life."

On paper, Chickasha should have an easier time against the Indians than they did against the state-title contending Anadarko last week. El Reno hasn't put together a winning season since 2009, when they went 12-1 with Cobble as the head coach. Now with Chickasha, he admits there is a little more to this game personally knowing a win brings about some friendly bragging rights.

"It doesn't change the preparation or anyone else on the team but me," Cobble said. "They've still got many of the coaches from a few years ago, so I've coached with a lot of them. It's always nice to get that win, because they're your friends and when you see them around you know someone's getting the raspberry."

Even against El Reno -- who also opened their season with a 47-7 loss to Woodward -- Cobble says there is much to work on for his team. The Indians averaged 18.9 points per game last year, and they are expected to try and raise that average under new coach Taylor Schwertfeger, a former wide receiver with Northwestern Oklahoma State.

"Our defensive ends were brand new, along with our outside linebackers," Cobble said. "We had a lot of things to work on and get in some repetitions. It's not easy and it'll take some time for them to learn."

Getting pressure on the El Reno quarterback and keeping the run game confined may be the best ways to stop the Indians' star player, wide receiver Justin Brown, from getting into a groove. Brown, who had 41 catches for 501 yards to lead El Reno last year, doubles as a threat at free safety. Establishing a run game of their own will help open up the field and put Brown and the Indians defense in as many awkward situations possible.

"We've got to block the holes better and start letting our running backs through to make a play," Cobble said on the offensive line work the team did this week.

With a relatively clean bill of health, save for a few bumps and bruises, the biggest thing the Fightin' Chicks will have to get past this week is the way they prepare mentally so soon after a big loss. 

"You can't let Anadarko beat you twice," Cobble said. "You can't let them win one week and let the lingering effects beat you the next."