CARL ALBERT looks ready for another title run


Tuesday, September 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ The Carl Albert Titans appear poised for a run at a fifth straight Class 5A state title. Certainly Stillwater wouldn't argue, although Titans coach Gary Rose might.

Carl Albert opened with a 50-23 victory over Stillwater last week, rolling up 650 yards. Quarterback Andre Daniel ran for 190 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 205 and three TDs. Tight end J.D. Runnels had four catches for 131 yards and two 2 TDs. Five of the Titans' seven touchdowns covered 60 yards or more.

``We've got some kids with some speed and we got loose, and if they get loose, they're going to go a long way,'' Rose said.

But he cautioned against reading too much into just one game.

Six players on defense, including three sophomores, made their first start in that game. Rose said the defense must improve, along with the offensive line. The kicking game, he said, ``needs a bunch of improvement.''

``One thing you have to guard on, I think, at any level is that athletes get complacent. If they think they're pretty good, they may relax,'' Rose said.

The schedule should keep that from happening. The Titans play at Ada this week, followed by games against Ardmore and Oklahoma City Douglass _ all three ranked among the Top 10 in Class 5A.

And Rose said it's not known whether tailback Bryon Smith, who bruised a thigh, will be available this week.

The opener was a great start for a team that started 1-3 last year. But, Rose said, it was only a start.

``The reason we schedule good people like Stillwater and Ada and Ardmore is so we can find our weaknesses and get better,'' he said. ``Our battle cry is always let's get better.

``One game a season does not make. We feel like it takes four to weeks just to get things where they need to be.''

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HAND IT OFF: Crooked Oak coach Bob Davis said after the first game that his team is ``still seeing what we can and can't do.''

It appears the Ruf-Nex can hand the ball to Andrew Pearson.

Pearson, a junior, played receiver last season as Corey Spotwood led the state with 2,886 yards rushing. In his debut as a running back Friday night, Pearson gained 296 yards and scored three times on just 21 carries as Crooked Oak beat Crescent, 41-16.

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THROW IT: Broken Arrow has put its run-first offense on the shelf, it would appear.

The Tigers rolled over Sapulpa 49-14 on Friday night, with Mick Majors completing 25 of 39 passes for a school-record 449 yards and seven touchdowns, also a school record. Jamison Hummell had 136 yards receiving, on six catches.

``We put in some new stuff offensively and to have a night like that is something you hope for. It was nice,'' coach Rick Jones said.

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There were several outstanding performances during Week 1. Among them:

_ Norman's Zac Taylor threw for 275 yards and four touchdowns in the Tigers' 46-0 victory over Norman North.

_ Doniva Downing needed only five carries to run for 166 yards and score three TDs in Nowata's 49-13 victory over Dewey. Downing scored on runs of 60, 71 and 8 yards.

_ Chouteau intercepted five passes, returning three of them for touchdowns, in a 68-0 victory over Westville. The Wildcats also had a kickoff return for a TD.

_ Tyler Deaton of Skiatook carried 22 times for 229 yards and scored all three Bulldog touchdowns in a 20-13 victory over Pawhuska.

_ Bartlesville's Kolby Williams threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-0 victory over Tulsa McLain. The TDs covered 55, 60 and 63 yards.