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Lions led by University of Kansas commit Daniel “Deuce” Hishaw Jr.

Coach Brad Hill and the Moore Lions are looking for more than just a “guest appearance” in this year’s playoffs. The team is considered one of the more experienced in the state and is rallying behind its star quarterback and safety, Daniel “Deuce” Hishaw (6’, 200).

However, his success is not a one-man show. Coach Hill and the Moore High School football program have surrounded the team with experience and success that has changed the culture of Moore football in the past two years.

Moore has included new coaches and has returned several familiar faces this year with 44 returning seniors. Can Moore High make the next big leap in their program?

Under the legs and arm of Hishaw, Hill is improving his spread offense this season with new talent. The offense has six returning starters, including running back Jayce Gardner, (5’11, 210) wide receiver Dylon Mallett (6’, 185) and center Jalen Gordon (6’1, 290).

Offensive coordinator, Lonny Nolan expects a lot from his side of the ball this year, as he should with Moore’s star quarterback running the show. He believes his offense can produce more than 2,000 yards in rushing between Hishaw, Gardner and halfback Marcus Morris (6’2, 205). Coach Nolan is also looking to control the clock and run 65-90 snaps per game.

Assisting coach Noland this year is a familiar name in Isaac Stoops, son of legendary OU coach Bob Stoops and Norman North graduate. Stoops is assisting Noland in coaching the receiving core for the Lions this fall.

“We have some holes to fill in the offense this year,” says coach Hill. “But we have the ability to have a really good team.”

Be on the lookout for Alex Baxter (6’2, 225), Brandon Girard (5’8, 145) and Gardner to have a tremendous impact on the offensive end this year as they look to compliment Hishaw.

Baxter is the Lions’ Swiss Army knife on offense, playing the H-back and tight end positions in the spread offense. Girard could be the athletic boost the Lions are looking to add to this high-paced offense. Girard came as a star player from baseball and is considered the fastest player on the field. Senior Gardner rushed for 488 yards and six touchdowns while also starting at outside linebacker his junior year.

The Lion’s will have a few more familiar faces on the defensive end as the team returns nine starters, including seven seniors. Defensive coordinator, Jerry Broadbent, who has spent 25 years in the Moore district, is looking to push his defense past the first round of the playoffs with experience and improvement.

With an experienced cast of coaches on defense, including former Sooner linebacker Bill Dalke, the Moore Lions could be a dominant defensive force in a very talented district.

The players to watch out for on defense this season include Cole Karn (6’4, 225) on the defensive line and linebacker Marcus Morris. Karn accounted for 66 tackles and five sacks last season. Senior Morris plays both sides of the ball and has been a three-year starter on defense.

Coach Hill expects Hishaw will take over at the safety position because he’s too talented of an athlete to leave off the field.

“Every matchup is a key matchup,” Hill said of his team’s schedule. “There are no off-weeks… every week is a challenge.”

However, some notable rivalries are always a challenge. This season, Moore High will begin the season with two cross town rivals in the first four weeks of play. The Lions will play Westmoore on Sept. 6 and Southmoore on Sept. 27. – 19SM

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