The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

November 20, 2013

Washington focused on taking care of the ball against Hennessey

NORMAN — While there are a number of keys to Friday’s game with Hennessey, Washington coach Brad Beller has one in particular his team is focusing on.

“We can’t turn the ball over,” he said. “They average two turnovers a game, and we think if we can take that away and keep those possessions we’ll have a good chance.”

Turnovers are what cost Washington in last year’s second-round loss to Hennessey. The Warriors turned the ball over six times in that contest on their way to an early exit.

Changing that narrative in Friday’s game has been a focus for the Warriors this week, and it’s vital if Washington wants to upset 10-1 Hennessey.

“We have a shot, but we have to control the ball, this week more than others,” Beller said. “We can’t turn the ball over and we have to win on third downs.”

Last year out of mind: Washington suffered a disappointing loss to Hennessey in the second round of the Class 2A playoffs a year ago. With the two teams set to square off again on Friday, revenge is the first thing that comes to mind.

But the Warriors say it’s not something that they’re worrying about.

“That game was a year ago, it’s a new year and a new games,” quarterback Brady Kulbeth said. “We’re getting ready for this game, and we’re not really thinking about that.”

The Warriors watched the film from last year’s game, but only the parts relevant to showing Hennessey’s weaknesses, Beller said.

“We know it happened, but it’s not something that we’ve brought up a lot to the team,” he said. “Revenge isn’t something we’ve really talked about.”

Crooked Oak-Hennessey film enlightening: One of Class 2A’s most unexpected outcomes last week wasn’t that first-seed Hennessey defeated fourth-seed Crooked Oak, but that the game was closer than expected.

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