Poteau’s high scoring offense gets a ton of credit as to why the Pirates are in the state championship game for the first time in more than 60 years. But its the other side of the ball that deserves more recognition.
The Pirates’ defense has allowed an average of just nine points over the past six games, including a game in which it held the defending state champion Clinton to just three first downs.
“Coach always says if you want to win in the playoffs you have to run the ball and play great defense and that’s what we’re doing and we’re going to keep doing that,” senior linebacker Carlos Aguilar said.
“We’ve practiced the last few weeks to really give a shot up front and it’s opened up our linebackers to makes great plays,” senior lineman Stephen Smith said.
Poteau continues to find ways to win and that continued two weeks ago when they took down Douglass, thanks to several red zone stops.
“It’s unbelievable,” Poteau coach Greg Werner said. “Just think about the things that this team has done in the span of a year is pretty amazing. I don’t imagine anybody in Poteau or anywhere else would have thought we’d still be standing week 14 but it is a special time in Poteau.”
Despite scoring nearly 40 points a game, things aren’t always the prettiest with the Pirates. But that seems to be OK with the head coach.
“We always say we’re kind of the ugly kid left and we’ve kind of been that the whole time,” Werner said. “We were by far the least favored No. 1 seed going into this thing but to beat Clinton no matter what, where ever it’s at is amazing and then to beat a team as talented as Douglass says a lot about our kids.”
The Pirates have forced 22 turnovers and have recorded 29 sacks through the first 13 weeks of the season. Winning those areas on Saturday against Anadarko could result in winning a 4A championship.