Patriots corral Mustangs in opener

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By Chuck Reherman, Sports Editor – Southwest Covenant opened the 2017 season in impressive fashion in a contest between a pair of experienced teams.
The Patriots used a pair of touchdowns from Trevor Kelly, Sam Webb and Nathan Hagan in rolling to a 54-20 win over class B Arkoma at Patriot Field.
The game was expected to be a match-up of two teams that returned several players from playoff teams last year. Arkoma had reached the second round last year and returned all their key players.
But, the Patriots were able to corral those key player early and behind the running game led by Kelly and the passing of Webb, the Patriots bolted out to a 30-12 halftime lead.
“It was a good win for us,” SWCS heach coach Trey Cloud said. “We are encouraged. We started fast and hopefully we can progress from here.
“We ran the ball well, that was our main goal to get the running game going,” he said. “We could have thrown the ball, but I wanted to run it and we had a good night especially tonight on this field, it was all slippery and slimey because of the rain.
“We did throw the ball when we needed to. We got off to a little bit of a slow start with it, but Sam made some good throws.”
The Patriots finished the night with 327 total yards, 230 on the ground and 97 passing against an Arkoma defense that had seven starters returning.
‘‘We knew Arkoma was a good team and they looked a lot better on film,” Cloud said. “We saw them at team camp, but on film we saw they were a little more motivated.
“But, we don’t play any of those teams that they play that we saw on film, so you never know,” he added. “We learned some things about our team in the game and what we need to do from here to get better. And, the good thing is we did get to put a lot of young guys in and learn.”
The Patriots established themselves early on, taking the opening kickoff and driving 48 yards in 11 plays for their first touchdown of the season.
Webb connected with Bryce Brown on an 11-yard scoring pass on third down to give SWCS the initial lead with 6:19 remaining in the first quarter. Webb had connected with Brown on a 16-yard pass play on third and eighty earlier in the drive and kept the drive alive with a one-yard keeper on fourth and one.
SWCS made it a two-touchdown game on their next possession when Kelly scored on a 32-yard run. Arkoma had gambled and went on a fourth down play from their own 27.
After a penalty, Kelly weaved his way through four defenders for the score.
Arkoma did make it a 16-12 game on a touchdown run and pass from quarterback Jason Pryor.
Webb ran for his first touchdown at the 4:14 mark of the second quarter to open a 22-12 lead, then passed 30-yards to Kelly with 18 seconds left in the half for a 30-12 lead.
The defense scored to start the second half when Hagan pulled down a blocked punt and ran seven yards for the score.
Webb passed 23-yards to Brown with 6:54 left in the third and then scrambled 22 yards with 58 seconds left in the quarter to open a 54-12 lead.