Youngsters makes waves in Mac backfield
With MacArthur winning its last three games by an average margin of victory of more than 41 points, it’s meant plenty of opportunities for younger players to get playing time. With coaches wanting to keep standouts like Isaiah Gray and Devin Bush healthy, the running back position especially has seen young players take advantage of playing time late in games.
This past week, it was the freshman tandem of Marquis Harris and Tyree Caldwell who showed there is plenty of depth in the Mac program at the tailback position. Harris ran 11 times for 90 yards and a 15-yard touchdown, while Caldwell had 77 yards on just three carries and a touchdown from 5 yards out.
“They’re the first ones that stand out. Those guys got in, ran hard, took care of the ball and made some big plays,” head coach Brett Manning said. “I thought they were pretty impressive, as they have been all year long on the freshman and JV teams.”
This week, the 6-0 Highlanders head to the Norman area to face Noble, who’s 5-1 and tied atop the district standings with Mac and Ardmore at 3-0. Last year’s contest between the two squads was an offensive shootout that saw the Highlanders rush for more than 320 yards, while the Bears’ quarterback Colin Fisher threw for 401 yards. However, Mac’s defense intercepted Fisher three times, including in the end zone with 25 seconds left to seal a 46-40 win.
Despite missing some of their same weapons from a year ago, the Bears are still potent on offense, with scoring numbers eerily similar to those of the Highlanders this season. Fisher is back, and the junior — who is already committed to the Arkansas Razorbacks for baseball — is proving he’s a force to reckoned with on the gridiron as well. Coach Manning and his staff know getting pressure on Fisher will be key.
“Their offense is good, they’ve got the quarterback, he does a really good job throwing the ball around,” Manning said. “They’ve got some receivers, their offense has been pretty special up to this point.
“That’s something we’re going to have to defend in the passing game. Make sure that number 1, we’re able to get some pressure with our defensive front on him and not just let him sit back there and throw...and we’ll also need to play really solid in the (secondary). It’s our biggest challenge to date.”
— Compiled by Glen Brockenbush