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2010 Guthrie Football: not perfect but impressive

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The 2010 Guthrie Football season was the third most successful season of the Rafe Watkins era when it comes down to wins. Only the 2002 and 2007 state champion teams had more.

The Jays reached their goals of winning all of their home games and a district championship. The district title was the first since 2007. One goal was missed out by not obtaining a gold ball. Reaching all three goals are tough for any program to achieve, but it is now expected with Guthrie Football.

However, a lack of the biggest goal does not necessary mean it was a gloom and doom of a season.

Both the offense and defense put up impressive numbers and were among the best in Class 5A and some were tops in the entire state. The offense was balance (199 rushing yards and 188 passing yards) and the defense was the best against the run (55 yards a game).

The season took a set back in Week 3 when senior running back Alphonso Wilcots suffered an ACL injury against Enid. In the first 10 quarters of the season, Wilcots was a force on the ground with 312 yards and with already a potent passing game the Jays were on a different level.

Senior Derrik Kelly, who battled an ankle injury all season, was still effective on the ground with 689 yards on 124 carries and finished with 10 scores. Junior Luke Davis helped fill the void in the running game as did freshmen Connor Howard.

The offensive line was solid throughout the entire season and was a main reason for all the success of the offense. Good news is five of the six lineman who played return next season. Senior Bryce Sullivan gave mass protection at right tackle and was helped at right guard with Malachi Galbraith, who was a first year starter. Junior’s Blake Belcher and Hayden Seifert were solid on the left side and will be the anchor in the 2011 season. Belcher is projected as the top lineman in the state come 2011. Center Cooper Davis was special and was automatic on his 200-plus shotgun snaps.

Taking those shotgun snaps was sophomore quarterback Bryan Dutton, who was coming off an impressive 2009 season, increased his offensive output that saw some of the best numbers ever for a Guthrie quarterback.

Dutton became Guthrie’s all-time passing leader in school history in Week 8 and finished the year with 2,408 passing yards (another school record) to go along with another school record of 54 career passing touchdowns with 29 this season.

His main receiving target was Missouri commit Kentrell Brothers. Brothers finished his senior campaign with 63 catches, 1,304 yards, and 18 scores. All three are school records – breaking his own record in 2009. Brothers is the only BlueJay receiver to collect over a 1,000 yards in a season. In his three years, Brothers collected 156 catches, 2,984 yards, and 38 touchdown grabs.

Perhaps, the biggest surprise in the 2010 season was senior receiver Devante McCully. The 6’6 wide out brought in 38 catches and 10 of those were for touchdowns to go with 720 yards. McCully forced opponents to give him as much attention as they were giving to Brothers.

Tim Zupo, Hunter Gates, and Omari Ajanaku were solid possession receivers as well.

Remember how dominant the 2007 Guthrie team was? Well, the 2010 Jays were just as good on defense. The 2010 squad allowed 55 rushing yards a game compared to 2007’s 50 yards on the ground.

Guthrie’s 2009 team allowed 222 yards of offense and saw that improve by 60 yards at just 162 total yards per game in 2010. All that with three freshmen starters – Kai Callins, Donathan Jordan, and Trevor Blassingame.

The spotlight was on Brothers from day one and like a captain out performed his 2009 season with 100 tackles and 19 sacks despite offense’s working their game plan around him. Brothers finishes his high school career with 286 career tackles and a school record of 51 sacks.

Linebacker Landry Chappell was among the state’s leaders in tackles with 178 tackles. After piling on 170 a year ago. Fellow linebacker John Clark was just as good with 128 tackles and nine sacks. Both junior’s were battling injuries throughout the season.

Senior Marcus Ware finishes a fine three-year career with 104 tackles from his safety spot and fellow safety Luke Davis finished with 107 tackles for the second straight year of at least 100 tackles.

First year starter, Richard Brothers, added 83 tackles and nine sacks. The sophomore was quick on the edge and was ran to because of his older brother on the other side of the defensive line.

Kentrell Brothers gets a block from Devonte McCully and delivers a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Ware.

Despite a season ending injury to Cody Doyle, the defensive tackles were solid. Blassingame, Zack Brown, and Elanta Sherrill were major factors in holding opponents to under 60 rushing yards a game.

Head Coach Rafe Watkins finished his 10th season on the Jays sideline. Watkins will go for win 1oo as a Jays coach in 2011 with a current record of 95-28.

Throughout the season, the Jays remained a top four team depending on the ranking source. Guthrie will, once again, be a top five team next season by losing just three seniors on defense. However, they will go to the well and look for receivers and running backs. The Jays will also play their first three of four games on the road, including trips to Duncan and Ponca City to begin the season.

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