Cubs take 55-27 homecoming loss

OLNEY— The Olney High School Cubs remain winless after the Archer City Wildcats pulled away with a pair of touchdowns in the second and third quarter for 55-27 victory.

Archer City’s ground attack seemed the deciding factor with Wildcat seniors Darek Simmons and Jarrod Richey combining for rushing five touchdowns, which allowed Archer City to pull away despite a strong start by the Cubs.

“We have to get the momentum and keep it,” Olney coach Mark Young said. “If not, people score on us and we get our heads down. People start getting hurt and we fall off the face of the earth.”

Olney junior John Montgomery showed flashes of greatness after intercepting a pass on the Wildcats’ opening drive, then while under center found senior receiver Brent McCorkle for a 79-yard touchdown. After an extra point senior Bradley Garcia, the Wildcats responded with a 90-yard touchdown by Richey on the ensuing kickoff and took the lead after Richey converted a 2-point attempt on a 3-yard pass from senior quarterback Andrew Easley. Richie later extended the Wildcats lead to 14-7 on a 7-yard rush. The Cubs tied the game when Montgomery, who completed 10 of 16 passes for 193 yards a two touchdowns, found McCorkle on a 55-yard pass only for the Archer City to answer back with a 69-yard touchdown run by Simmons on the first play of the subsequent drive. With the Cubs missing starters in key positions due to injuries, the Wildcats’ took advantage   Young believes that made the difference.

“We had some key injuries and we had to play some younger kids that are inexperienced at those positions,” Young said. We had not played them a whole lot so anytime you have a lot of starters out and you have to go to younger kids, it takes a while to get them prepared and ready to play.”

Archer City sealed the game on a pair of Simmons touchdowns, which came in quick succession after the Wildcats recovered an onside kick following Simmons’ first touchdown. Olney pulled within 14 points of the Wildcats on a 1-yard touchdown run by Montgomery, but Archer City poured on the points in the second half. Archer City scored 20 unanswered points until sophomore receiver Parker Mayers reached the end zone on a 37-yard run.

McCorkle, who caught a majority of Montgomery’s completions with force receptions for 153 yards and two touchdowns, believes there was a silver lining in the Cubs’ loss and feels the progress they made last Friday will carryover into this Friday’s game against Haskel. Although coming into the game with a youthful lineup, McCorkle believes the experience Olney’s freshmen received Friday night will pay off down the road.

“You just have to come off the ball hard,” McCorkle said. “If you come off the ball hard, then it doesn’t matter how old you are. You don’t want to hit somebody that is coming at you fast. That is what they have to get in their heads, just come off the ball and hit people ... You have to keep being encouraging and let them know they are there for a reason, no matter how old they are. They are put in that spot for a reason. The coach trusts you and the rest of the team trusts you as well.”

What’s next

The Cubs look to pick up their first win Friday on the road against the Haskel Indians. Although slowly gaining notoriety for their unpredictable offense, the Cubs face an equally unpredictable defense that Young believes will present a slew of challenges.

“Throw all sorts of things at you,” Young said. “They want to out flank you and out number you. They want to get you where you are not sound and do all sorts of crazy things you are not prepared for. Three-front, four-front, one-front, they do everything.”

On offense, the Indians prefer a spread attack, usually from a shotgun formation, and utilize read options to capitalize on opposing defenses playing out of position. 

“They like to spread you out, throw the ball around and run a read game at you. They have been dominant in the last few years,” Young said. “They run all shotgun. They spread you out with a few different formations and attack your weak spots... They have a big line up front and their quarterback and other skills players are really good.”

Despite coming into the fifth week of the season without a win, Young said it is far too early to hit the panic button just yet because the season does not really start until district play begins in two weeks, which is when every game has playoff implications.

“That is what we’ve preached all year, trying to stay healthy and taking a step up the ladder every week and getting better,” Young said. “District is what matters. We are preparing for ourselves for that district race. We are trying to get healthy so we can be on all cylinders for when we start district.”