By John Martin
Sophomore Dadrian Taylor rushed for three touchdowns with 199 yards rushing in just 9 attempt to lead the Carl Albert Titans to an easy 48-7 victory over Northwest Classen Thursday night at Jim Harris Stadium.
On the Titans’ first possession of the second half, Taylor took a handoff from Johnny Bizzell on third down, followed Austin Williams and Antonio Singleton through a gaping hole in the front line, then turned on the jets for a 64 yard touchdown to push the lead to 48-0 and signal the departure of Taylor and most of the other Titan starters.
The bounce back victory after a demoralizing loss to McGuinness last week lifted the Titans’ to a 3-1 record in District 5A-2 play and kept them on the inside track for a home field advantage in the first round of the OSSAA state playoffs.
The Titans will journey to 1-6 Lawton Eisenhower for their third straight Thursday night game before returning home to host Piedmont and then finish the 2016 campaign with another long trip to the Panhandle to play Woodward.
With the halftime clock running down, the Titans had put a 28-0 lead on the scoreboard, but Taylor, R. T. Sherman and Braden Pursell changed all that.
First of all, Sherman recovered a NW fumble on the 20 yard line with 2:10 to play. Taylor picked up six on first down, then took the read-option from Bizzell, burst over the right side and sped 74 yards for the touchdown. Connor Watts made it 35-0 with less than two minutes to play.
On the Knights’ first play, Pursell pulled down a Northwest pass to give CA the ball on the 11. Taylor gained two, then Bizzell skipped into the end zone on a keeper and Watts made it 42-0 a the halftime.
During the halftime, School Relationship Manager for Sprint Corporation Chris Slocombe presented Carl Albert Principal Kristin Goggans a check for $1,400 as part of Sprint’s current funding campaign to support schools in the Oklahoma City area.
Trajan Lands’ pass interception on Northwest’s second possession led to the game’s opening touchdown, an 80-yard gain that featured an 11 yard run by Taylor then three straight carries by Sherman, the final one for 15 yards and a touchdown.
Zane Alexander’s pass interception led to the second score as the talented junior defender grabbed a Northwest pass at the 40 and dashed down the right sidelines for an apparent 40-yard TD return.
But officials ruled he had stepped out of bounds at the 11. Following a procedure penalty Bizzell gained 9 and thenTaylor followed a block by Sherman into the end zone and Watts made it 14-0.
Then Sherman struck again, grabbing the ball from the NW runner at the 9 yard line on the first play following the kickoff and dashing into the end zone for his second TD of the first quarter.
Lamar Scott-Johnson and Jimmy Hatfield combined talents to stop Northwest on third down, forcing a punt that gave Bizzell and Co. possession at the 42. The Titans struck quickly with Taylor gaining 8, Sherman picked up 10, Bizzell connected with Jason Taylor for 23 yards to the 17, then Bizzell waltzed into the end zone to set the stage for the Sherman, Taylor, Pursell and Bizzell combo that finished off the first half of play.
Northwest beat the clock and scored on a seven yard pass from freshman quarterback Christian Martinez to Keyshawn Johnson with 01.2 seconds left on the game clock.