SARCOXIE, Mo. — It’s a simple game plan as the Sarcoxie Bears host Commerce here Friday night.
Hog the ball.
“We are going to try to run the clock a little bit with our ground game and keep the ball away from their athletes,” Sarcoxie head coach Russell Ellis said.
While this will be the Bears’ second game, it’s the opener for Commerce.
“It is an advantage for us since we have played a game already, but they are well coached,” Ellis said. “They do a good job over there. He (Commerce head coach Steve Moss) obviously has established his program. They have athletes everywhere. We are going to have to play well.”
The game is one of three Zero Week games involving area teams.
Fairland traveled to Colcord Thursday night while Quapaw hosts Drumright and Bluejacket travels to Tulsa to face Wright Christian on Friday.
Sarcoxie managed only 148 yards in total offense while suffering a 37-7 loss to CHS last season.
Running backs Chris Ibarra and Chandler Wilson combined for 261 yards and three touchdowns in last year’s game.
Ibarra had 135 yards on 15 carries and two touchdowns while Wilson contributed 126 yards on 13 carries and one score.
“We went over to their place last year and they pretty much handled us,” Ellis said. “They had some monsters up front. They graduated a couple of those kids but they have all of their skill kids back. They came over for 7-on-7 and they are really fast and really athletic; can score on any play.”
The Bears opened their season last Friday with a 45-7 blowout of Jasper, Missouri, in a Spring River Valley Conference game.
Sarcoxie scored 21 points in each of the first two quarters, and then settled on a 42-yard field goal in the third quarter.
The second half was played with a running clock, Ellis said.
“We played pretty well defensively,” he said. “We forced a couple turnovers. We had four turnovers on the night and one was a scoop-and-score. The ball kinda fell our way.”
Jasper averted a shutout by scoring on a 10-yard pass play.
Chris Comerford scored four times for Sarcoxie, including an 87-yard return of the opening kickoff.
He also scored on runs of 24, 80 and 4 yards.
Kendrick Bass added a 10-yard run.
The Bears’ defense got into the act when Gage Weist returned a fumble to give Sarcoxie a 14-0 advantage.
Reyes also converted on all six of Sarcoxie’s touchdowns.
The Bears are a triple-option team, running the flexbone.
“We try to play some games up front with our defensive line and get as many guys to the point of attack as possible,” Ellis said.