By Chuck Reherman
Southwest Covenant will be looking to continue their run back to the Class C state title game as the Patriots roll into the quarterfinals.
SWCS will face a challenge in the quarterfinals, hosting Timberlake in a 7 p.m. kickoff at Patriot Field.
The No. 1 ranked Patriots, 9-0, will face the Tigers, 8-3, who finished third in District C-1 losing only to district champion Pond Creek-Hunter and runner-up Waynoka.
Timberlake advanced to the quarterfinals with a 28-24 road win over Mountain View-Gotebo in the opening round. The Patriots rolled to a 50-18 win over Webbers Falls.
The teams have played in the past, but have not met in the last four years.
“Timberlake is a pretty good team, they have some speed and have some size,” SWCS head coach Trey Cloud said. “We will have to play well. They run and pass the ball and are a very balanced team. We will have to be ready on both sides of the ball.
“We have to be physical and aggressive,” he said. “If we can do that, we will be okay. We can’t just sit back and let them come to us, we have to fire out and be aggressive on defense.
“Our goal is to compete every play, every down. If we go out and play our game, we have a shot.”
The Tiger offense is built around the running game of Devon Kent, who has the ability to break a long run at any play. J.J. Pippen is also a key player in the run game.
The Tigers have size on the front line anchored by center center Colten (Lorman, 6-3, 230).
The Timberlake defense has held four teams to one touchdown, but did give up 46 to Pond Creek-Hunter and 34 to Covington-Douglass.
“They do have a pretty physical defense and they also use that speed they have on defense,” Cloud said. “They like to put their linebackers in the gap and will bring a lot of people.
“I think we can move the ball on them,” he said. “We will just have to be physical and play good football.
“We can’t make the mental mistakes we have made in the last few weeks,” he said. “We just need to concentrate on playing our game.”
The Patriots do get receiver-runninback Tyler Kelly back after missing the first round of the playoffs.
Bryson Ford, with one game as a starter under his belt, should be more collected, although he had a standout game completing 15 of 19 passes for 255 yards and six touchdowns in the win over Webbers Falls.
“Getting Tyler back will make a difference,” Cloud said. “We plays a big part in our pass game and we can use him in the backfield as well.
“Bryson did a great job of managing the game for us last week and played well for his first time starting at quarterback,” he said. “We ran a lot of play action stuff and told him where to throw thew ball. Maybe that has something to do with my coaching ability, we should have done this a long time ago. It helped me learn something as well.
“We have to come out and be physical and aggressive. I feel we can spread it out and run the ball. We just need to mix things up and keep them on their toes on defense and we will be okay.”