The 2013 High school football season officially started last night (Sept 5) in southwest Oklahoma on a hot September Thursday night under the lights of Cameron stadium. Two perennial programs met in a heavy weight match-up featuring the number 6th ranked MacArthur Highlanders and the number 1 ranked, and defending 4-A champions, the Clinton Red Tornadoes.

Photo courtesy of Mike Mazzo (

The Highlanders took the opening drive in less than two minutes and quickly scored with a 15-yard touchdown by junior running back Davon Finkley. Clinton quickly responded with two touchdowns of their own, the first coming off the second play from scrimmage with a 77-yard rushing touchdown followed by another 60-yard touchdown run on their next possession. With just 3:09 left in the 1st quarter Clinton led 13-7. The Highlanders; however, took the last of the second quarter to find their way into the end zone with the first of 3 touchdowns on the night by senior Reed Pellerin - formed out of the wild cat formation that caters to Reeds unique style. Junior quarterback Will Collins used his athleticism and elusiveness to rush for over 100-yards in the first half alone to help the offense move the ball down the field. At the end of the half the score was 14-13.

During the 3rd quarter fatigue started to catch up with the players and weighed heavy on the Clinton team with many of their starters, who were playing both sides of the ball, having to stop regularly at the end of plays because of cramps. Momentum in the second half turned dramatically as the Highlander defense came up big with a turnover on the 1-yard line on a Clinton 2nd and goal. 46-seconds into the start of the 4th quarter, MacArthur senior kicker Chris Polley padded a 17-13 lead with a straight-down-the-middle kick for a 39-yard field goal. The wheels started to really come off the Red Tornado wagon and two more Pellerin scores put the nail in the coffin and gave MacArthur a 31-13 victory over the Clinton.

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Coach Manning said the 4th quarter derailment was not Clinton's fault, and that if they would play this same team in a November, when it would be much cooler, the Highlanders may find themselves in a very different scenario.

The Highlanders staying power, stamina and conditioning helped them with their first victory of the season. The Highlanders go 1-0 early on in the 2013 season, but will not celebrate very long as they will have their hands full with rival Lawton High next week at Cameron stadium.

Check back early next week to preview next week's big match-up. And of course we'll meet you right back here on game day with a live broadcast.

Leave your congratulatory comments for the Highlanders in the comments section below!

Photo courtesy of Mike Mazzo (