Blanchard Football Feature – Presented by Eskridge Honda

BLANCHARD LIONS

Coach: JEFF CRAIG

9-3

OFFENSE

Fresh faces in key positions are the challenges facing head coach Jeff Craig this season. The Lions return no skill position starters from last season and are looking for players to step up and take key jobs. A bright spot in the lineup is at running back. Bryce Madron (5-9, 165, Sr.) did see significant playing time last year. Madron rushed for 1,743 yards on 178 carries with 32 touchdowns. The offense may turn into a “ground-n-pound” style offense as the offensive line looks to be the strength. Caleb Reed (6-2, 240, Jr.) and Ryder Wiese (6-0, 265, Jr.) return to give stability up front. QB Colby Langford (6-0, 155, Jr.) looked good in spring ball and is the expected starter come August. Tyler Blackburn (6-1, 160, Jr.) could develop into the go-to receiver the team will need. “We have a lot of holes to fill, but some young talent coming up,” Craig said. “It will be a learning experience early, but could finish strong toward the end of the season.”

DEFENSE

With a few gaps in the secondary, finding and developing younger players to fill in those roles is a top priority. One aspect of the defense that looks solid is the linebackers. Logan McKay (5-10, 215, Jr.) is an excellent inside linebacker. Last season he had 111 tackles and two sacks. Jacob Maston (6-1, 190, Jr.) will start at outside linebacker, where his 94 tackles and three sacks played huge last year. Blackburn is one player that will help shore up the secondary as he looks to start at free safety. Reed and Caleb Ward (5-10, 235, Sr.) are the bookend defensive ends the Lions need to penetrate and create havoc in the backfield. Wiese will play both sides of the line, moving to noseguard on defense. Craig believes the play at linebacker could dictate how the season goes this year for his defensive unit. Look for some of the younger guys to get after it on defense as Blanchard eyes another trip to the playoffs.

SCHEDULE

9-6 – at Elgin

9-13 – at Anadarko

9-19 – at Newcastle

9-27 – vs. Bethany

10-4 – at McLoud

10-11 – vs. Tecumseh

10-17 – at Madill

10-25 – at Tuttle

11-1 – vs. Cushing

11-8 – vs. Harrah