By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TURPIN, Okla.- The Turpin Cardinals struggles continued Friday night, giving up too many big plays and too many self-inflicted wounds in a 28-6 loss to the Mooreland Bearcats.
"Disappointed in the hole we got ourselves in in the first half," Cardinals coach James Hanna said. "We talked about how we had to limit their big plays, and the penalties and dropped passes are just drive killers."
Turpin's first drive started in Mooreland territory after freshman Alex Jimenez returned it 42 yards to the Bearcat 48. But a false start penalty and a dropped pass killed the promising field position.
Turpin had a dropped pass on the second drive. Jordan Lujan hit Brad Alba for 33 yards to set the Cardinals up with a first down at the Mooreland 22 on the next drive, but a third down sack ended the scoring hope.
A block in the back penalty negated a first down at midfield on a third and nine yard play on the fourth possession.
The Cardinals again had a first down in Mooreland territory on their fifth drive, but a snap over the quarterbacks head pushed Turpin back into their own territory. Mooreland returned the ensuing punt to the 50.
Willie Enriquez sacked Mooreland's quarterback and caused a fumble that was picked up and returned to the Bearcats' 27 by Jimenez. But Lujan was intercepted on the next play to end their final drive of the first half.
Meanwhile Mooreland was able to make the big play when they had to.
On their second possession of the game, Mooreland scored on a 36-yard touchdown pass on a 3rd and 12 to go up 7-0 midway through the first quarter.
Mooreland covered 81 yards in just three plays on their opening drive of the second quarter, including a 35-yard TD pass and catch with 9:11 left in the half.
A 19-yard touchdown run with 1:13 left made the score 21-0 at the break.
Mooreland scored again on their opening drive of the second half to go up 28-0.
Turpin was able to put together a drive capped by a 4-yard TD run by Jimenez with just over a minute left in the game.
Turpin finished with 177 yards of offense on 54 plays. The Cardinals gained 110 yards rushing on 35 carries, and completed 9 of 19 passes for 67 yards and two interceptions.
There are no quick and easy answers for a turnaround for the young Turpin team, but they do not appear to be giving up.
"We just have to keep battling," Hanna said. "We're young and we just have to keep fighting through this."
Turpin (0-8, 0-6) will have one more chance to avoid a second straight winless season when they travel to face Beaver (1-8, 0-6) Friday.