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Weather And Miscues Lead To Tough Loss For Savages


October 31, 2019

Countywide & Sun/Jacob Factor

Chad White breaks free from the pack in action against cushing earlier this month.

Miserable. That's the only word fitting enough to describe the weather last week for high school football in Oklahoma, including the 10th-ranked Savages on the road at top ranked Bethany. The relentless cold rain and wind, as well as some big miscues by Tecumseh, led to a tough 36-7 loss for the Savages.

"It was as miserable night with the weather," said Savage head coach Ty Bullock. "But, looking back on the game, four plays really dictated the first half and when you play the number one team in the state, you can't make those mistakes. You take those four plays away and we really played a pretty good game and could've been right in it."

The Savages took the opening kickoff but failed to pick up a first down and were forced to punt by the Bronchos. Then, the Savage defense allowed Bethany a couple of first downs before standing up and forcing a Broncho punt.

The punt pinned the Savages deep as it was downed by the Bronchos at the Tecumseh two-yard line. The Savages picked up a quick first down on a 13-yard run by quarterback Will Hilton to move the ball out to the 15-yard line.

Then trouble began for the Savages. After a short loss and a short gain, the Savages faced a third and 11 from their own 14-yard line. A fumble on third down by the Savages was recovered by Bethany at the one-yard line. On the second play after recovering the ball, Broncho's quarterback Sam Brandt crossed the goal line with 5:17 left in the first quarter. Bethany scored a two-point conversion and led 8-0.

The Savages had a drive going and moved inside Bethany territory before an incomplete pass and a couple of negative runs forced a Tecumseh punt. The Bronchos took the ball at their own 20-yard line and Bethany picked up a first down before getting their first big play of the game.

A busted play led to a scramble by Brandt who found a wide-open receiver around midfield and connected for a 67-yard touchdown pass and run to Hayden Stoops. Stoops also booted the extra point and the Savages trailed 15-0 with no time remaining in the opening period.

The Savages again showed some life as they took the kickoff and drove all the way to Bethany's 14-yard line before turning the ball over on downs. Bethany then provided some more fireworks as Brandt found a wide-open Ben Lawson for a 53-yard TD pass. Stoops' kick was true, and Bethany had a 22-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.

After a three and out, the Savages punted to Bethany and the Bronchos used an impressive drive that culminated in Brandt scoring on a 28-yard run. Stoops was true on the PAT and Bethany had a substantial 29-0 lead with 5:02 left in the first half.

The Savages picked up three first downs after taking the ensuing kickoff and traveled into Bethany's end of the field before the clock ran out in the first half with the T-Town boys in a big hole.

The Bronchos took the second half kickoff and drove to a score that would put the game officially out of reach. Bethany went 71 yards on nine plays while using half of the third quarter clock with Jack Gilliland going the final seven yards to the end zone. Stoops kicked the extra point and the Bronchos led 36-0.

The teams exchanged a few possessions before the Savages were able to breach the goal line and avoid the shutout. Halfway through the fourth quarter, Tecumseh started an impressive drive at its own seven-yard line and drove 93 yards to pay dirt, overcoming a big 15-yard penalty along the way.

Jaylen Walker was finally able to find the end zone on a five-yard run. Kevin Dodd booted the extra point and Tecumseh had cut the lead to the final score of 36-7 with just 2:33 left in the game.

"Coming out of halftime, a team like that is not going to let you come back, they know how to play with a lead and being down 29-0 against a great team and the weather the way it was. To their credit our guys never quit playing, but we essentially took away our chance to win the game in the first half."

The Savages were outgained by the Bronchos, 406 yards to 219. Tecumseh had 138 yards rushing and 81 yards through the air. Bethany was balanced on offense with 213-yards on the ground and 193 in the air.

Will Hilton was 10-of-19 passing for 81 yards while Walker was 0-for-1. Graham Dickson was the Savages leading receiver with three catches for 40 yards on the night. Alex Schovanec had three receptions for 21 yards. Jake Trice caught three for 16 yards while Gavyn Rogers had one catch for four yards.

On the ground, Jamal Fair was the leading rusher with 50 yards on six carries. Kane Ainesworth also toted the ball six times for 33 yards.

Rogers had just one rush for 27 yards. Walker had eight rushes for 9 yards and a touchdown. Hilton had six yards on four carries and Dylan Graham picked up four yards on two rushes.

Leading the Savage defense were Ainesworth and Gage Boatman with 14 tackles apiece, with Boatman having one tackle for loss. Clayton Rackley had 13 tackles, including one for loss and one pass defended.

Countywide & Sun/Jacob Factor

Brody Peters scrambles down the field in action against Cushing earlier this month.

Ethan Rickey had 10 tackles with one for loss. Hilton and JB McIntosh each had nine tackles for Tecumseh. Seth Haggard had eight takedowns while Graham had seven tackles. Justice Coffman and Tyler Girod each had six tackles.

On special teams, Graham punted four times for an average of 32 yards. Dodd was 1-for-1 on extra points. Jaxon Day had two kickoff returns for 38 yards and Walker returned one kick for 11 yards.

The Savages, 5-3 overall and 3-2 in district play, are home tomorrow (Friday) night for another important District 4A-2 battle against cross-county rival McLoud (0-8, 0-5). The Savages are currently tied for third place with Cushing in the district. A win against the Redskins will secure a playoff spot for the Savages.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 pm with the Tecumseh Savage Pride Band's light show scheduled for halftime.


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