It's no surprise seeing Tenaha still in the race for a state championship title.
“We've had some good luck here at Tenaha, good tradition, so that's something we try to build on,” said head coach Terry Ward.
The Tigers will be playing Iola, a team that Ward has never faced before.
Not only that, but Iola has yet to lose a game all season. The Tigers are right on their heels with just one loss under their belts. With two teams that have no habit of losing, it's going to be a guaranteed brawl in this regional final meeting.
Tenaha is preparing for a team that has a reputation of running up the scoreboard. Iola averages 54 points per game.
“They do some things we haven't seen. We definitely have to stop their quarterback,” said Ward. “He's a big kid, about 220 pound quarterback who runs and throws. He is definitely the guy we have to stop.”
“That team feeds off of their quarterback so if we just get in his head and play, the whole team is going to break down because they feed off of him,” said senior running back Cobe Caraway.
However there's something Iola has yet to face, and that's a team like Tenaha who has held teams this year to an average of 22 points per game, less than half of what the Bulldogs are used to racking up.
“We have got to continue to play good defense, and we got to tackle well. That's probably first and foremost. We got to tackle,” said Ward.
“We got to match their intensity that they bring to the game every Friday night,” said senior defensive end Kebo Reed. “Tackling is the main thing this Friday coming into the game, and always being at the right spot at the right time. We just need to make plays like we normally do.”
Against a strong Iola team, the Tigers are looking to capitalize on any of their minor weaknesses.
“I would say the key is offensively. We have to score when we have chances,” said Ward. “They play good defense but they have given up some points so we have to play good offense.”
“They're going to be a pretty tough team. Everybody has said whoever wins this is going to state,” said Caraway.
“It's a good team, but we're a good team. We're going to see who steps up,” said Ward.
Under the lights Friday night at Tyler Rose Stadium, we will witness just that. We will see who will fall and who will step up starting at 7:30 p.m.
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