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Tecumseh Trounces Cushing For Crucial Win


October 15, 2020

Natasha Dunagan

Tecumseh's Dylan Graham runs the ball up the field during the district game against Cushing on Oct. 9. Tecumseh won 49-14.

It was crucial to get a District 4A-2 win last Friday night. And the Tecumseh Savages did just that as they routed the Cushing Tigers 49-14 at home.

The Savages were dominant in the first half, especially defensively as they returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the second quarter on the way to a 35-0 halftime lead.

The game was tight in the first quarter as the Savages and the Tigers seemed to be in for quite a tussle for the night. The two teams were deadlocked at 0-0 until late in the first quarter when the Savages finally found paydirt with just :08 left on the clock.

Quarterback Monte Valois found Jake Trice for a five-yard touchdown pass to apparently open the floodgates for Tecumseh. Kicker Kevin Dodd's kick (Dodd was a perfect 7-for-7 on PATs on the night) was true and the Savages had a 7-0 lead. It turns out that was just the beginning of the end for the Tigers as Tecumseh scored four TDs in the second quarter.

The defensive onslaught began on Cushing's next possession as Tecumseh got the first of their four takeaways in the contest. The Tiger turnover led to an 11-yard run to the end zone by running back Kane Ainesworth. Dodd's kick made the score 14-0 in favor of the Savages just 42 seconds after Tecumseh's first score.

The next two Savage T's came courtesy of the defense, with the very next one coming on Cushing's next possession. Dylan Graham picked off a Tiger pass at midfield and set sail for a 50-yard touchdown return. Graham scored at the 10:51 mark in the second, just 35 seconds after the previous Savage touchdown. Dodd's extra point made the score 21-0 with plenty of action left in the second quarter.

The teams exchanged possessions before the next takeaway by Savages. This time, Chad Wynne picked the Tiger pass and returned it 20 yards for the score. After Dodd was true again, the Savages had an intimidating 28-0 lead with just 2:47 to go before halftime.

Turns out, the Savages weren't finished in the first half. After Cushing went on a drive deep into Tecumseh territory, the Tecumseh defense stopped the threat and took over with just over a minute left in the half.

Not satisfied with a 28-point lead, the Savages put their offense in high gear and found themselves in the end zone again. It was Ainesworth again, this time on a seven-yard jaunt for the score. Dodd provided the 35th point and the Savages led 35-0 just 38 seconds before the first half clock ticked off.

Coming out of halftime with a 35-0 deficit, a lot of teams would rather get on the bus. But Cushing showed no signs of quitting and took the second half kickoff and traveled the length of the field in just over a minute.

The Tigers' Noah Jones weaved his way to a 31-yard touchdown took the zero off the board for the Tigers. Riley Matheson kicked the extra point for Cushing and the Savage lead was trimmed to a still comfortable 35-7.

The Cushing defense held the Savages offense in check - at least out of the end zone - in the third quarter and the Tigers cashed in again. The Tigers scored their second TD in the third with Hayden Fry crashing in from six yards out. The PAT was good, and Cushing was trying to make Tecumseh uncomfortable by getting to within 21 points at 35-14, seemingly giving Tigers the momentum.

Possibly the Savages, with a 35-0 lead, lost their edge in the third quarter but they got it back immediately after the Tigers' previous score. Valois picked up his second passing TD of the night as he found Gavyn Rogers for a 38-yard scoring strike. The PAT was good by Dodd and the Savages had extended the lead to 42-14 and killed the Tiger momentum with just :41 on the third quarter clock.

After the Savage score, the game was decided, and the fourth quarter was uneventful until the Savages found the end zone again with 2:55 left in the game. Ainesworth picked up his third touchdown of the night on a six-yard run. Dodd got his seventh extra point of the night to lead to the final score of 49-14.

The Savages outgained the Tigers in the game with a total of 517 yards while Cushing had 335. Tecumseh threw for 286 yards and rushed for 231 yards in the contest. Valois was 14-of-21 passing for 286 yards and two touchdowns. The leading rusher for the Savages was Ainesworth with 123 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns.

Even with the big numbers by the Savage offense, it felt like the Tecumseh defense was the star of the game. The defense led to points and offensive opportunities with four interceptions, two for touchdowns, in the game.

Tecumseh cornerback Anthony O'Guinn was named the HUB Network/Todd Colburn Oklahoma Farm Bureau of the Game. O'Guinn appeared to shut down his side of the field and had an interception and two pass breakups, along with seven tackles, including two solo tackles.

Jamal Fair had 14 tackles in the game with one for a loss. Tyler Girod had 11 tackles with one for a loss. Wynne had 10 tackles, an interception for a TD and two passes defended. Graham had an interception for a touchdown and nine tackles.

Ainesworth, who had a big night on offense, also had nine tackles in the win. Wyatt England had eight tackles with two for loss. Ethan Rickey had five tackles, one for loss. Jace Frazier had five tackles while Trice, Brynnen Epperley, Zeke Gage and Mason Whitman each had four tackles.

Graham had 10 rushes for 42 yards while Wynne carried nine times for 29 yards. Rogers had two rushes for 25-yards. Daveon Mays picked up 12 yards on four rushes. Rogers was the leading receiver with 127 yards as he caught four, including one for a touchdown. Graham caught three for 74-yards. Trice had a touchdown reception and caught six for 73 yards. Gage caught one for 12 yards. Graham punted three times for an average of 42-yards per kick.

The Savages, 3-3 overall and 1-2 in District 4A-2, face another critical district test today (Thursday) at Blanchard with kickoff set for 7 pm. Blanchard (4-2, 3-0) is tied for first place with Tuttle in the district while the Savages have moved into a three-way tie for fourth place in the district.


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