The Mustang Broncos enter tonight’s matchup with the Norman Tigers looking to right the ship.
The Broncos are 4-3 overall, but 1-3 in district play after three straight losses to Owasso, Edmond Santa Fe, and Union. Lee Blankenship’s team now has to make up ground following that brutal three-game stretch, starting with a Tigers squad that currently sits in fourth place in the Class 6A-1 District 2 standings.
With a win, the Broncos can better position themselves for the playoffs. They have just Edmond North and Edmond Memorial remaining on the schedule and could very well lock up the fourth playoff spot from District 2.
Anything can happen in Class 6A-1. Just look at Norman’s close loss to the strong and talented Edmond Santa Fe Wolves. The Tigers lost 52-48 in what some thought wouldn’t be a close contest.
Let’s dive into the matchup.
- WHO: Mustang Broncos (4-3, 1-3) vs Norman Tigers (2-5, 2-2)
- WHEN: Tonight at 7 p.m.
- WHERE: Bronco Stadium in Mustang
- LAST MATCHUP: Mustang 49, Norman 10 (2022)
- 2022 RECORDS: Mustang (8-3), Norman (3-8)
- WATCH LIVE: Watch live at www.MHSBroncoSports.TV
- LISTEN LIVE: 99.7 The Wolf
MUSTANG QUARTERBACK? OFFENSIVE ATTACK
Trajan Williamson (Jr.) suffered a hand injury during Mustang’s 46-7 loss to Union last week in Tulsa, forcing freshman Tyson Pogi onto the field for his first ‘real’ varsity action.
Pogi threw three interceptions and fumbled once, but there was clearly no game plan in place for him as he had been the third string signal caller most of the season. He was supposed to be the emergency player, but things have changed and now he is the starter.
The son of former Oklahoma State quarterback Aso Pogi, Tyson has the talent, athletic ability, and confidence to lead Mustang’s offense. Blankenship and offensive coordinator Cody McDaniel were impressed with his ability during offseason and summer workouts, which kept him in a battle for the starting job until the final week of the preseason.
How will the Broncos attack? Williamson’s strength has been his running ability with the arm strength to pop off a deep throw after sucking the defense in. Pogi seems to favor throwing while using his legs to break free if nothing is open downfield.
No matter what, Mustang’s offense will take what it is given. If the Tigers want to stack the box and stop the run, McDaniel will favor a pass-heavy attack. If Norman decides to defend the pass, watch out for Bryance Sanders (Sr.), Jack Vaughn (Sr.), and Latin Everheart (Jr.) to break free on the ground.
REELING MUSTANG DEFENSE
The Broncos enter tonight’s matchup having given up an average of 52 points per game in their three losses to Owasso, Santa Fe, and Union.
It’s never all on one unit as Mustang’s special teams has also allowed a number of big plays over the last few weeks, but defensive coordinator Waleed Gaines’ group is looking for a bounce-back performance.
Against Southmoore, Deer Creek, and Yukon, the Broncos allowed just 19 points per game. The team’s defense has proven it can get the job done, but it is still trying to be more consistent down the stretch.
Watch out for go-to playmakers Caston Meadows and Zachery Warren tonight vs the Tigers. Norman likes to run the ball, giving both seniors a chance to fuel momentum early and often.
NORMAN TIGERS OUTLOOK
The Tigers have rushed for over 1,200 yards this season, averaging 184.6 per game according to Max Preps. They have scored 18 times on the ground, led by Devin Alexander (Sr.), who has rushed 121 times for 819 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Quarterback Phoenix Murphy (Jr.) has played well, totaling over 1,000 yards through the air while completing over 55-percent of his passes. He has eight touchdowns with five interceptions.
Ryder Murphy (So.) leads the Tigers with 415 receiving yards on 20 receptions. He and Dax Noles (Sr.) each have a team-high three touchdown receptions. Noles has caught 13 passes for 263 yards.
Noles also ranks second for the Tigers in total tackles with 46. Behr Boyd (Jr.) leads Norman with 58, including eight- and one-half tackles for loss.
Norman’s defense is allowing 40 points per game while the team’s offense averages 25.
PREDICTION: MUSTANG 38, NORMAN 28
Mustang’s offense will come with a game plan for the team’s freshman quarterback. The Broncos should have success both on the ground and through the air as the Norman defense hasn’t been able to stop either as of late.
The Mustang defense will stop the Tigers’ ground attack and hold Murphy and the passing game in check. Gaines’ unit will pitch a bounce-back performance tonight and get the team set for its final two games.