ELGIN – For the second week in a row, the Elgin defense will have a challenge that is unique and could cause some damage.
Although Altus is winless at 0-5, the Bulldogs run the flex-bone offense that is capable of causing problems for opposing defenses.
“We will have to be extremely disciplined,” Elgin head coach Chalmer Wyatt said. “It’s a hard offense to defend. We haven’t seen the flex-bone this year, but there’s a lot of moving parts and motion before the snap. We’ve got to be good with our eyes.”
The Elgin coaching staff split defensive players into different practice groups this week so each player would know their responsibility when it comes to the flex-bone, which incorporates the quarterback and three running backs. The flex-bone creates a triple option similar to the wishbone that the OU Sooners ran for years under head coach Barry Switzer. The triple option allows the fullback to take the handoff, and the quarterback can run the ball or pitch the ball to a trailing running back.
Wyatt also has some concerns about Altus’ offensive line.
“They play low, and we’ll have to combat that with good technique. Their running back is big, and we’ll have to tackle well,” he said.
Although the Bulldogs have a different style offense, they’ve faced their share of problems this year, including a 54-0 loss to Lawton MacArthur last week. Altus is 0-2 in District 5A-1, which includes a 46-14 loss to Midwest City on Sept. 23. After five games, Altus has scored only 52 points while allowing opposing teams 216 points.
Before the season, Altus head coach Dusty Davis thought the Bulldog defense would be the centerpiece of the team. With a 4-2-5 defensive scheme, Davis said Altus’ main mission would be to stop opposing run games.
“We will play an aggressive, fundamentally sound defense,” Davis told Altusathletics.org.
Junior Grey Winsett (6-0, 230) should see plenty of time on the interior of the defensive line, while sophomore Brodie Rogers will set the edge up front. Sophomore Kelby Bates (5-11, 215) and senior Kylin Monday (6-1, 200) are a pair of linebackers who play fast and swarm to the ball. The secondary features senior Cole Kuhn (5-9, 140), a speedy defensive back who can cover almost anyone.
Meanwhile, the No. 7 ranked Owls head into the Altus game with a high confidence level after winning five straight games while averaging 36 points and giving up only six points per outing. The Owls have recorded two shutout wins – a 27-0 victory over Cache in a non-district matchup and a 35-0 decision over Ardmore last week.
Elgin’s offense will get tailback Matthew Lund back into the lineup after a foot injury kept him out of the Ardmore game. Lund has rushed for 672 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
The Owls, which transitioned to Class 5A this season, are 5-0 for the first time since 1998, when Elgin finished the season 9-3 under head coach Chris Flowers.