During Ada’s late comeback, Cater and his explosive offense were held in check.
“The biggest thing we did defensively is talk to them more and more about staying deeper than their deepest receiver and not getting beat deep,” Weber said.
Mannford enters the game with a record identical to Ada’s, 2-1. The Pirates lost to Cushing 47-32 before defeating Cleveland 47-26 and edging Bristow 20-16.
“They’re coach (Eddy Scott) thought the Cushing game could have gone either way,” Weber said.
The Cougars barely broke a sweat during a 56-7 road win over Mannford in 2012 and piled up 541 yards of total offense. But as the year went on, Mannford kept improving and the Pirates are off to a solid start in 2013.
“If anybody is expecting to see the same Mannford we saw last year, it’s just not going to happen. They have a lot of kids back and have an outstanding quarterback and an outstanding running back,” he said. “In Week 10 they had a chance to win their last game and make the playoffs even though they started out really slow. This year they’ve started fast and I think they are certainly a playoff caliber team. It’s going to be a very tough game.”
Quartberback Luke May is back to lead the MHS offense and tailback Tyler Gibson has already shown big-play ability this season. Against Cushing alone, Gibson had touchdown runs of 40 and 90 yards and also took a pass 52 yards for another score. Mannford ended up with 462 yards of total offense in the Week 1 loss.
“They do a lot of quarterback runs and tailback runs. They can still throw the football, but they’re not throwing it as much as they did last year,” Weber said. “He’s a little bowling ball that’s hard to knock off his feet.”