By CRAIG HALL
An early-season loss does not destroy a teams’ season. In some ways it serves as motivation.
Take last year’s Poteau team, which lost non-district games to Bishop Kelley and Shiloh Christian.
The Pirates still got on a roll and wound their district again and made the playoffs.
Even during the state championship season from two years ago, Poteau lost an early game at El Reno, and never lost again that season.
That happened again Friday as Poteau lost, 27-21, to defending Arkansas state championship Shiloh Christian before a packed house at Costner Stadium.
Todd Mattox had one of his best games for Poteau, rushing for 218 yards on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns.
But it wasn’t enough on this night as the Saints took a two-touchdown lead in the second half and Poteau’s comeback came up short.
Shiloh Christian improves to 2-0 after basting Pea Ridge last week. Poteau is 1-1 and visits Alma, Arkansas next week.
Dean Odom also scored a touchdown and Ethan McBee was perfect on three extra points.
Mattox’s 64-yard run in the second quarter tied the score at 14 before Shiloh scored the two second half scores. Mattox answered again with a 1-yard run with 3:10 left.
The Pirates had a chance on the ensuing onside kick, but it went out of bounds to give the Saints the ball. Shiloh Christian came up with one first down and ran out the clock.
Poteau’s offense was the Pirates’ best defense, maintaining a big advantage in time of possession to keep the Saints’ talented offense on the sidelines.
The Pirates ran 55 plays compared to 42 for Shiloh Christian, and outgained the Saints, 2287 yards of total offense to 237.
Following the Alma game, Poteau has a bye before playing Hilldale.
Shiloh Christian 27, Poteau 21
SCHSS 7 7 7 6—27
PHS 7 7 0 7–21
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