Marvin Pennel hits Elijah Gray with a TD strike deep in the end zone corner for the OKC Patriots.

Defensive stand, balanced offense lifts OKC

The Oklahoma City Patriots showed the promise of the 2021 season with a decisive 22-6 win over Blackwell on Friday night.

It was the home opener for the Patriots, who played in front of a full house of fans who filled up the new stands in Oklahoma City.

It was quite a show for the capacity crowd who were rooting on the Patriots, ranked No. 13 in the nation. A balanced offensive attack and a clutch defensive stand put the game away for OKC.

After a pair of touchdown passes by Marvin Pennel for OKC, the Patriots led 15-6 in the third quarter. A solid drive by the team stalled and then penalties and sacks put the Patriots back inside their own 20.

A huge 80-yard punt by Qorban Darkis forced Blackwell to start on their own 4.

And that’s when the Patriots defense snuffed out any Maroon momentum. Blackwell’s quarterback was sacked twice by Quinn Soukup. Another solid stop by Bodey Ihrig forced Blackwell to punt. The Patriots got the ball back with 6:37 left in the game at the Blackwell 38.

The Patriots slammed the door when Pennel found his favorite target again as Noah Marley found the end zone to make it 22-6.

“We really challenged the boys at halftime to come out and play like we did last year against DASCHE,” Patriots coach Chris Toney said. “They really answered the bell on both sides of the ball.

“We are really thankful that they made that stand in the third quarter. They stood strong and did what they needed to do.”

Marley and Elijah Gray both caught TD passes in the first half as part of an impressive passing attack. The Patriots running game kept Blackwell on their heels most of the night. The combo of Dylan Mahoney’s speed and elusiveness and the power running of Noah Raymond helped OKC dominate the run game.

Pennel finished with 235 passing yards on 18-for-24 passing. Marley finished with 93 receiving yards to go wiht his two TD catches. Gray had 69 yards receiving.

Raymond finished with 18 yards receiving and 24 yards rushing. Mahoney lead the saints with 60 rushing yards.

On defense, Soukup led the way with four sacks

The victory erased the memories of the opening week loss by the Patriots to Nike Dallas. Blackwell was a playoff game in Oklahoma’s Class 2A last season when they also beat the Patriots.

The win launches Oklahoma City into next week’s road game against Community Christian School at 7 p.m. Friday in Norman.