McGuinness takes full advantage of Altus mistakes
See who won in the first round of the prep football playoffs.
Evan Ille faked out his blocker and had a clear path to the punter.
As the junior linebacker laid out, he caught the full force of the Altus punt right in the chest.
“It felt great,” Ille said. “It was something we had game-planned all week. Nobody blocked me at all.”
Ille’s punt block was recovered in the end zone by fellow linebacker Sam Bass for the Irish’s first touchdown on the night, spurring Bishop McGuinness to a dominant 38-14 victory over visiting Altus in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
After Altus drove down the field on its first possession, scoring on a
21-yard sprint by quarterback Kobi Gomez, McGuinness played lights-out defense and forced three turnovers to put the game away.
Altus’ triple-option attack was a concern for McGuinness coach Bryan Pierce entering the game, but he said the Bulldogs’ opening drive was a wake-up call for his defense.
“It comes a lot faster out here, and it took us some time to get used to their speed,” Pierce said. “I thought we really stood our ground and found a groove after that.”
McGuinness’ first score was a 28-yard Zach Schmit field goal, and the Irish followed that with the Ille punt block for a touchdown on the next series.
“That swing was huge,” Pierce said. “It took the wind out of their sails and ultimately got us up and going before we were able to get our offense clicking.”
The Irish defense forced two punts on the next two Altus possessions before McGuinness found a rhythm on offense. Quarterback Luke Tarman found receiver Aaron Beck wide open for a touchdown from 14 yards to make it 17-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Bulldogs would not recover, turning it over twice before the half.
Those led to touchdown runs by Tarman and running back Dominic Richardson that put the game away before halftime at 31-7.
Richardson rushed 17 times for 167 yards and two touchdowns, the second of which came late in the fourth quarter on a 64-yard run.
Tarman was 8-of-13 passing for 134 yards and two total touchdowns.
McGuinness will travel to Tulsa Bishop Kelley for the second round in a playoff rivalry rematch.
“This is our Bedlam basically between the Catholic schools,” Pierce said.
“Playing them twice in one year is difficult, but our guys are excited.”
McGuinness’s Dominic Richardson gets by Altus’ Noah Briones during Friday’s playoff game at Bishop McGuinness High School in Oklahoma City. Bishop McGuinness won, 38-14.