By Bill Baker
The Lone Grove Longhorns begin their quest to repeat as District 3A-4 champs tonight when they entertain the Madill Wildcats for the first district contest for either team in the 2015 season.
Lone Grove (2-2) is ranked No. 9 in Class 3A.
“Madill is a team you cannot afford to overlook,” Lone Grove coach Jeremy Turner said. “They have one of the best football coaches (Milton Cooper) in the state of Oklahoma, and they have some great skilled athletes. When you put those two factors together, they can provide quite a punch.
“I fully expect them to come here and give everything they've got to defeating us. They have great football tradition at Madill. Coach Cooper has a great coaching staff, and they will be prepared. I can promise you that.”
Despite the fact that the Longhorns are averaging almost 44 points per game, Turner believes his squad still has a ways to go.
"We will be looking to open things up offensively," Turner said. "We have some things in our offense that we have not used so far simply because we did not need to do so. We believe we are starting our season 0-0 right now, and that the real games are coming up every week from now on. The real test for this team is up ahead, and we understand we have to be focused every week with the quality teams in our district."
Lone Grove has two powerful offensive weapons to showcase. Senior running back, Jeremy Lewis, has 55 carries for 779 yards and 11 touchdowns. Senior quarterback Grant Harmon, back after sitting out last season with an injury, is 40 of 74 passing for 534 yards and 11 touchdowns. Harmon sees the field well and has hit seven different receivers thus far. In addition, Harmon has rushed for 182 yards on 55 carries.
"We have been plagued by the injury bug of late," Turner said. "We are fighting a number of injuries, and I will be happy when we get everyone back. In the last couple of weeks we have had a number of different players step up and handle things in a relief basis. We are hopeful that we can get some more people to step up this week and get the job done for us.
"Every game is important from here on out. We are taking things one game, one win at a time until we can get some of our key players back from being hurt. We will not hold anything back, because we must keep moving forward. We have to move through some of these tough issues and find a way to win. Madill will be ready to play. And we plan on being ready as well."
Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Longhorn Field.