October 28, 2013

Defense shines in Del City loss

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


Chickasha's brush with an upset last Friday had players, coaches, and fans literally jumping with excitement.

With the dust cleared from the 16-14 loss to Del City, the message in the Fightin' Chicks camp remains the same, but with a little more urgency: win or stay home during playoff time.

"These are must win situations," senior linebacker T.J. Filer said. "If we don't win, we're not going no matter what."

Filer was part of the Chickasha offense that kept Del City's Anthony Mason to just 84 yards on the night. The Eagles were forced to go to the air, which is exactly what Chickasha wanted.

"We just wanted to stop their run game, and that's what we did," Filer said. "We don't want anyone to run the ball on us. That's why we got into more of a five-front. We forced them to pass the ball."

The five man front caused more issues for Del City than just halting they're run. Four fumbles and an interception gave Chickasha one of their best halves of football this season, and a lot of that was down to the defense.

"A lot of those turnovers were caused by defense," head coach Tom Cobble said. "The safety, we got off blocks and caused that. Defensively I just think Jerry Don [Bray] and the defensive guys had a great scheme for them and had the kids ready to play."

The Chicks stuck to the run offensively, and that proved beneficial on the final drive that got them within inches of winning. Usually employed at receiver, Daniel Neff ran for 62 yards against Del City. Then, there was kicker Sterling Claphan, whose field goal and extra point provided a third of the points. The one he wanted the most -- a 42-yard field goal into the wind as the clock wound down -- was just inches wide.

"It would have been better offensively if we could have gotten eight yards," Cobble said. "I talked to Sterling and his mom and dad afterward and I said it's not an exact science. In that situation, 42 yards and a slight breeze, it's a 50-50 deal at best. His play was great."

Now, Chickasha needs a win at Southeast this Friday and against Duncan the following week to improve their 3-5, 1-4 record to claim one of the remaining playoff spots.

"We'd like to go get 15 this week, and of course we've got to hope Del City beats Duncan, which is not a gimme," Cobble said. "That would put Duncan at minus whatever they lose by, so we'd get higher, Duncan would get lower, and that's the plan."