It's been a couple of rough weeks for the Arkoma Mustangs football team, which is coming off back-to-back District C-4 losses to Maud (56-6) and last week's road contest at Sasakwa (64-24).
Now, the Mustangs (1-3, 1-2 in district play) almost believe they're in playoff mode right now as they welcome Southwest Covenant from Yukon for a 7:30 p.m. Friday game at Mustang Field.
“This is do or die time for us,” said Mark Weatherton, Arkoma's coach. “We can't afford to get further behind in the district. I told the kids at halftime last week that we could either lay down or fight. There was no hesitation. They wanted to play for four quarters — and they did. We could have laid down, and let them finish us, but we played for all four quarters. I'm proud of our effort, no matter what are record is. We're excited to get back on the field this week.”
Last week's game against Sasakwa, Weatherton just had a gut feeling that it wasn't going to be his team's night.
“Last week, it was just one of those weeks where nothing went right, from the bus trip over to coming home,” he said. “Nothing went right. As far as the football part of it, I understand it. We took 22 kids, and 16 of them had never taken that long a bus ride before. I told Coach (Chester) Johnson that it's going to be hard for the kids to focus after taking that long of a bus trip. We looked like it. From warm-ups to the second half, we just looked unfocused. It was disappointing. I thought we'd play better, and we didn't play well. Sasakwa is a good team, and I'm not taking anything away from them. We just didn't play well.”
Southwest Covenant (2-1, 2-0) is atop the District C-4 standings after posting district wins over Sasakwa (49-18 on Sept. 7) and 71-22 last week over Midway after taking a week off.
“Their offense is very good,” Weatherton said. “Their quarterback is a scrambler. He's got a good arm, but he scares you with his legs. They run a lof of things off different sets. We're going to have to be prepared well defensively. They put up 71 points last week. They can certainly score. They're not very big, and that's what is encouraging. Maud had size and Sasakwa had size, and they used their physicality to beat us. Southwest Covenant isn't very big, and they don't have a lot of speed.”