High school football: Moore looks to build off back-to-back postseason runs

Moore's Daniel Hishaw runs with the ball during the Moore War game Aug. 31 at Moore Stadium. (Kyle Phillips / The Transcript)

Moore ran into a monster last season.

The Lions lost their first-round playoff game 49-0 to eventual state champion Broken Arrow. Moore coach Brad Hill still feels there’s plenty his program can build off of for this season.

“We needed to get in playoffs back-to-back years,” Hill said. “They hadn't been to the playoffs in a while, and so getting in the first year [2017] here was big for us. ... and then going back [in 2018], not being a one-hit wonder.

“We went back again and we felt like really for the majority of the first half our defense held up against Broken Arrow's running game. We carried that into the offseason because we felt like Broken Arrow was a monster.”

Moore used its loss to Broken Arrow as fuel for its spring practices and workouts. And the 2019 Lions will feature 15 returning starters, which is the most Moore's brought back under Hill.

Moore's experience is highlighted by senior quarterback Daniel Hishaw, a dynamic signal-caller who can run and throw the ball.

He's garnered college offers from Kansas, Nevada and North Texas, among others.

Hill expects Hishaw, who accumulated 2,500 yards of offense and 29 touchdowns last season, to be one of his team’s focal points.

“He's our leader on offense,” Hill said. “He also flips over and plays safety on defense. He's a special player, there's no doubt about it. He's a big kid, runs well. He's very physical. He's a good football player, and he's going to have to lead us this year.”

Hishaw won’t be alone, however.

Senior running back Jayce Gardner returns to Moore’s backfield. He rushed for 488 yards and six touchdowns in 2018. He also started at outside linebacker.

Hill says senior tackle Jalen Gordon will anchor the offensive line and senior defensive end Cole Karn (66 tackles, 5 sacks last season) will be difficult to contain.

Moore will also rely on veteran cornerbacks Curion Walker and Jaiden West. The Lions also return senior linebacker Jake Cordova, who missed all of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

The Lions will benefit from their maturity on offense and defense. But they know they must get stronger to compete with programs like Broken Arrow.

“We came away from it that night knowing that Broken Arrow was bigger and stronger than we were,” Hill said. “And we used that motivation for the weight room in the offseason and summer. We know that we've got to get bigger and stronger and more physical.”

Moore Lions

• Coach: Brad Hill (9-13, 3rd season)

• 2018 record: 5-6

• Returning starters: 7 offense, 8 defense

• Key games: at Westmoore (Sept. 6); at Norman (Sept. 19); Southmoore (Sept. 27)

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