Plumley’s night ends drought
He’s not sure how far his team will go this year, but El Reno coach Chuck Atchison knows its at least heading in the right direction.
After nine years, El Reno ended its playoff drought on Friday night as it took down Lawton MacArthur 53-42 in a wild shootout. “Everybody is pretty excited around here,”
says Atchison. “To get this turned around feels like we are taking that first big step as a program.”
El Reno quarterback Dorian Plumley was the star of the night. The sophomore rushed for an astounding 375 yards and three touchdowns while passing for 57 more yards and another score.
“All week long people were telling me that if we win, then we were in,” Plumley said. “People kept asking me, ‘What are you going to do.’ So what we did was game plan to run it down their throats.”
Since its last playoff appearance in 2009, El Reno has suffered through mediocrity. In a stretch from 2014 to 2016, the team only won five games in three seasons.
The work that’s gone in to getting El Reno back to Week 11 isn’t anything surprising says Atchison. Players have dedicated themselves to the process, learned how to run a quick-strike offense and the team has benefited from a surge of talented young players.
Of the 22 El Reno starters, only five are seniors.
Plumley’s development at quarterback has been huge for El Reno this season. As the year has gone on, the 6-foot-1 playmaker has only continued to grow.
“Early in the season he felt a lot of the pressure and expectation levels,” Atchison said. “But as the year has gone on, he’s matured a ton and his leadership skills have really come to the forefront.”
On the season, Plumley has thrown for 1,121 yards and 14 touchdowns while rushing for more than 1,200 and 16 more scores.
“Our goal was to make it to this point,” Plumley said. “We had to strap up and make it happen.”
While Plumley is one of those young players leading the way on offense, sophomore linebacker Darius Moore is starring on defense.
“All that hard work we put in, we knew we were doing it for a reason,” Moore said. “We were doing it for the town and family.”
After leading El Reno to a 5-5 record in his first season as head coach last year, Atchison said he’s excited for his kids to grab this taste of postseason promise.
Even if it means travelling to Class 5A No. 1 Carl Albert for its openinground game.
“This can get your guys to believe that they belong,” Atchison said. “When you’ve been down so long and at the bottom of the barrel, it’s hard to climb out. But this is a great step.”