Oklahoma running back commit Keith Ford (Cypress, Texas/Ranch) made a promise that he was going to do everything in his power to beat Houston Langham Creek on Friday night.
There isn’t much more Ford could have done. He rushed for 267 yards on 27 carries with a touchdown. He returned a kickoff 99 yards for a score. He had a 61-yard reception that led to a touchdown. And capped it by scoring the game-winning two-point conversion in a 64-63 overtime victory.
“Last season they needed to beat us by eight to keep us out of the playoffs. They did it, and I haven’t forgotten about it,” Ford said earlier this week. “I don’t want to win this week. We have to win this week.”
Following a disastrous opening night, when Ford fumbledthree times en route to being ejected in the second quarter, he is putting on the type of performances that have OU fans so excited about the third-ranked running back in the nation.
Friday was his third consecutive game of rushing for at least 100 yards and scoring at least two touchdowns.
He said the difference has been he has been more focused and ignoring distractions. For Ford, that means hitting the film room.
“I’ve always been good at learning about opponents, but I’m watching film every day now,” Ford said. “My coach says I think like a quarterback the way I try to understand the little things at every position.”
Ford was the first commit of OU’s 2013 class and there hasn’t been one question of where he stands ever since. He said he talks to OU running backs coach Cale Gundy on a weekly basis and his excitement about being a Sooner has not waned one bit.
Here’s how the rest of OU commits fared in this weekend’s Recruiting Rewind:
Austin Bennett (Manvel, Texas/Manvel, WR): Bennett is still looking for his first touchdown but had four catches for 55 yards in Manvel’s 35-14 victory against Pasadena (Texas) Memorial.
Hatari Byrd (Fresno, Calif./Central East, S): Bye week.
Matt Dimon (Katy, Texas/Katy, DE): Katy’s regular-season dominance continued with a 62-24 victory against Katy (Texas) Morton Ranch. Dimon once again led a stellar defensive performance before sitting out the second half.
Jordan Mastrogiovanni (Dallas/Jesuit, LB): It was a rough night for Dallas Jesuit in a 56-24 loss to Dallas Skyline. Mastrogiovanni had six tackles, but Dallas Skyline simply had too much speed for Dallas Jesuit all night.
Dalton Rodriguez (Tulsa, Okla./Union, OT/DE): Tulsa Union bounced back after a rare district loss with a 56-22 victory against Stillwater, Okla. Rodriguez said after last week’s loss to Owasso, Okla., that he is not going to taste defeat again in high school.
Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks, WR): Smallwood did not have an opportunity to make many plays but made the most of them in a 63-14 victory against Sapulpa, Okla. Smallwood had touchdown catches of 66 and 35 yards before sitting out the second half. Jenks has a mega-showdown at Broken Arrow, Okla., next week.
Stanvon Taylor (Tulsa, Okla./East Central, ATH): It had been a while since Taylor had seen the end zone. A combination of a groin injury and Tulsa East Central needing him on defense had grounded Taylor. No more. Taylor caught five passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns and returned a field goal 85 yards for another score in a 35-28 win at Coweta, Okla.
“We’ve kind of been looking toward this game for a while because we knew it would be tough,” Taylor said. “I felt great out there, and it was a great team performance.”
Ahmad Thomas (Miami/Central, S): After arguably the most ambitious three-game stretch to start the season in the country, it might be paying off for Miami Central. Miami Central was able to get back in the win column with a 28-17 victory against Miami Columbus.
“Those first three games were tough, but it didn’t matter that we were 1-2 after it,” Thomas said. “It’s going to make us stronger.”
Cody Thomas (Colleyville, Texas/Heritage, QB): Thomas and Colleyville Heritage tasted defeat for the first time in a 31-15 loss to Euless (Texas) Trinity. Thomas was 15-of-27 for 177 yards with two touchdowns and an interception.
D.J. Ward (Moore, Okla./Southmoore): Ward most likely will not play this season after having his hardship appeal denied by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.