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Winning all that matters

While MacArthur might not have beaten Altus by the large margin many fans may have expected, just winning 28-26 was enough to satisfy head coach Brett Manning and the team.

"Looking back, the only thing I think we could have done a little better was with our game plan," he said. "You have to give Altus a great deal of credit because they had a good scheme on both sides of the ball and they took us out of our rhythm.

"We normally average 86 offensive plays a game but the other night we ran 62; we had too many three and outs. When you aren't maintaining possession and driving the football, you put a lot of pressure on your defense by having to play so many extra snaps. But we were able to make the big plays on defense there at the end to save it."

The big plays included a nice tackle for a loss by Connor Cherry when Altus ran a toss sweep on third down, then an interception in the end zone by Walter Neil when Altus tried a "Hail Mary" on the final play of the game.

Getting their kicks

There was the old "good news, bad news" thing coming out of the kicking game from Friday's district victory over the Bulldogs.

"We were not happy with our kickoff coverage," Manning said. "After we go up 28-20 we kick off and they break a long return back to our 13 that set up their late touchdown.

"We were trying to kick it to a certain number (yard line near the hash marks) but it went to the middle of the field and gave them too much room. We just didn't execute on that kickoff and we've already come back and addressed that. We've had issues at times with our kickoffs; we've got to get better in that area without a doubt."

But on the other hand, at times the special teams performed well.

"On the bright side, we blocked a field goal and a PAT, which were big plays in the game," Manning said. "Walter Neil blocked the field goal and Trey Everette returned it for a touchdown but that got called back by a penalty. We didn't get the score but the block was huge.

The Lawton Constitution

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