OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Brad Matlock left as an assistant coach at Tahlequah High School last year to become head coach at Porum. His first task: Build a football team.
Matlock was hired to start the program at Porum, a town of about 800 in southern Muskogee County.
``It's been a pretty positive thing for the most part,'' said Matlock, 34. ``A few times, you just wonder what's going on.''
He was hired toward the end of the school year and first went about ordering uniforms and equipment for a weight room. And finding players for the eight-man team.
``I had to do some calling to make sure everybody got in for physicals,'' he said. ``That was kind of tough, reaching people in the summer.''
Twenty-six kids showed up for the first practices. Some of the younger ones had played football, in junior high. Others, like the juniors and seniors, had never played before.
``They were pretty fired up about it,'' he said of the kids. ``Some of them hadn't played other sports, so it was kind of tough for them to understand what it took to be on a team and be there every day, do that kind of stuff. You had to make sure they showed up and check in on 'em. They didn't know you couldn't just skip a practice or two.''
Many of the early practices were spent focusing on technique, and that continues to be a priority. The playbook has evolved slowly, and the players have caught on well enough to have won two games.
Porum won its third game of the season and picked up victory No. 1 last week against Okay. Matlock said the people in the community have supported the team, and he hopes that support will translate into even more kids trying out next season.
``Some of the teams we've played are losing good players (next year) and we're not really losing that much,'' he said. ``We'll be better next year.''
There were several outstanding performances during Week 9:
_ Corey Spotwood of Crooked Oak continued his great season, rushing for 351 yards on just 16 carries and scoring five times in a 47-7 victory over Quinton. Spotwood has 2,338 yards and 34 TDs this year.
_ Zac Taylor was 20-of-28 for 276 yards and five touchdowns as Norman beat Yukon, 38-0.
_ Metro Christian's Ross Spencer ran for 233 yards on 31 carries and scored three times in a 31-15 victory over Nowata.
_ Mark Downing of White Oak had 351 yards and six touchdowns in a 46-18 victory over Kinta.
_ Buffalo's Brad Zollinger made 16 tackles and also ran for 211 yards and three TDs on 37 carries in a 34-6 victory over Balko.
_ Kevin McKenzie became Chickasha's career rushing leader, gaining 260 yards in a 42-7 victory over Noble. He has 5,378 career yards.
_ Millwood's Brandon Ramsey had 207 yards and Clyde Coulter added 167 and three TDs in a 48-13 victory over Lexington.
_ Marshell Chiles of El Reno carried 40 times, gaining 203 yards and scoring twice in a 19-15 victory over Douglass.
_ Ada beat Tulsa East Central, 28-14, for its 35th district title.