NORMAN — Community Christian is playing its final season before officially joining the OSSAA and the playoffs that come with membership. That means this year the soon-to-be Class A school is playing the regular season without a postseason in sight. It’s a unique situation that senior Matt Borgerding described as making “every game mean more.”
On Friday, the Royals certainly played like it.
CCS demolished Drumright 40-6 in the first game of the season, running away with the game in the first half and coasting from there.
It was the perfect start to the season for a Royals team that coach Paul Potter compares favorably to the powerhouse squads he’s had in the last several years, even though CCS is working witha handful of new players. One of those new faces is quarterback JJ Cortez. The junior spent most of the preseason in competition with sophomore Haddon McIntosh for the starting role. Though both athletes saw time under center throughout the game, it was Cortez who started the game and played while it was still competitive. He was effective from the start, rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown while passing for 56 yards and another score.
“It was a tough decision, but I decided to go with him tonight, and he made some good plays,” coach Paul Potter said. “We still need to work on our reads, but he did all right for the first game.
Cortez was far from the only bright spot Friday. McIntosh excelled in the return game, scoring from 60 yards out on one second-half punt return, while running back Stephen Bradley added 89 yards and a score, and even defensive back Matt Borgerding got in on the action, returning a fumble 25 yards for a score and then catching a deep pass late in the game to add a second touchdown.
“I was proud of their effort and what they did tonight,” Potter said. “We’ve still got a ways to go, but I liked how they played. Haddon had some big returns for us.”
With the score quickly turning lopsided, Potter’s team opted to keep things simple, a concession to the fact that they play a tough Cassady team next week. On offense, the Royals stuck to their option ground game and made the conscience decision to keep the ball out the air, throwing just six times on the night. And on defense, they sat in a base set and blitzed just one time.
“We wanted to keep it simple tonight and not show much, because we’re going to find out next week exactly where we are,” Potter said. “And we’re going to throw the kitchen sink at them, because we’ll need to.”
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