EL RENO – Two teams trying to regain their football prowess of the past will clash in the season opener here tonight.

The El Reno Indians are hoping to rebuild the form that made them a regular in the playoffs through the 1980s and 1990s and the Woodward Boomers are shooting for their first winning season since 2001.

Kickoff is 7:30 p.m.

It will be the debut game for Boomer coach Scott Myers while Dal Nichols is in his second year.

El Reno will present a challenge in a number of areas, and the Boomer offense will see a defensive team that likes to attack.

“They are in a base 4-4 defense and are real aggressive,” Myers said. “They can do a lot of sets out of the 4-4, but they will be aggressive with the front eight and play man with the three in the back.

“They try to create chaos in the backfield.”

The Indians also rely to a large extent on speed. For instance, their two defensive tackles are also wide receivers.

“They try to get up the field on you and in the secondary they have a lot of skill. They have the capability to do what they’re trying to do.”

Such aggressiveness, though, opens some opportunities for an offense and the Boomers hope to take advantage.

“We need to try to cut them off inside and not let them get that penetration,” Myers said. “We’re going to try and use their aggressiveness on the edge against them. They will create some holes, the thing is getting to that hole.”

Offensively, the Boomers have displayed an ability to move the ball in scrimmages, and they’ve also shown some big-play potential in the passing game.

Robby Chenoweth gets the start at quarterback and will have plenty of options with running backs and receivers.

Anthony Alley and Josh Melton are both expected to see time at the I-back and Bryce White and Michael Comstock are at fullback.

Tyler Powell is the Boomers deep threat in the passing game and Tyson Miller and Caleb Jones both have starting experience. Jones was the Boomers top receiver a year ago.

Across the front, Trevor Cruse is a three-year starter and John O’Dell is starting for the second year.

The Boomer defense will face a team that plans to throw a lot.

“They throw about 70 percent of the time,” Myers said. “They never use a tight end, always four wideouts and they’re in the shotgun.”

The formations are similar to the offense the Boomers faced in the Enid scrimmage, tough El Reno doesn’t run the ball as often.

“The Enid scrimmage gave us a heads up on how to line up and play some of that,” Myers said.

Senior quarterback Ross Carter is the reason for the Indians’ spread attack. Carter is a four-year starter and causes problems running and throwing the ball.

“They built their offense around what he does best as far as his ability to throw the ball down the field,” Myers said. “He has deceptive speed and he’s hard to bring down. He’s about 6-4, 220 and a lot of people bounce off him and he creates big plays that way.

“The defense will run to him, then he can throw it down the field.”

Good tackling is essential against Carter.

“We have to be good tacklers and in the secondary we can’t break off the coverage (when Carter scrambles),” Myers said. “Their wideouts are all quality athletes.”

The Boomers have experienced players on the defensive side. Junior tackle Ryan Barby is the leading tackler back from last season. Cruse at end and White and Comstock at linebackers all have starting experience as do many of the secondary players.

The Boomers will go with a nickel back most of the time against the Indians.

Notes: The Boomers have not beaten El Reno since a 13-9 victory in the 2001 season. Last year, El Reno broke open a close game in the second half to win 38-14 and two years ago the Indians won 14-9 on a late score. El Reno is 8-2 in the last 10 games against Woodward. Both of the Boomer wins, however, were on El Reno’s field.

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