By Chris Hicks
Sapulpa lost their first district game of the season against the Collinsville Cardinals 43-13 in a tough contest Friday night. The Cardinals showed why they were undefeated during the regular season last year. Collinsville kept their winning streak intact and continued to score over 40 points in each of their outings this season.
Sapulpa was already having to play from behind without their star quarterback Zac Mason, who was rumored to have been injured. The Chieftains relied on a couple of backup QBs throughout the game.
Sapulpa started out on fire and managed to drive the ball close to the red zone before being knocked back and fumbled on 4th down.
After a few short rushes, the Cardinals threw to an open man in midfield who was able to run it into the endzone.
Sapulpa was able to stop the Cardinals for the rest of the quarter with the score staying 7-0, which was a solid defensive win for the Chieftains.
The Cardinals came out strong in the second quarter and their star running back Braydon Gilkey showed why it takes a village to take him down. Gilkey would explode into the Sapulpa defensive line and it was like hitting a wall, but the wall would crack and after a couple of rushes, would break through the line. The Cardinals then scored on a trick reversal play,
Sapulpa then knocked back with a good return and a huge run leaving the Chieftains on the 17 yard line after a defensive penalty pushed them closer. A short pass to D’angelo Mitchell put Sapulpa on the board and within striking distance. The Cardinals would score once more before the half, bringing the score to 20-7.
Sapulpa’s defense started off great with an interception by Colton Morton stopping the Cardinals from scoring, but Sapulpa was not able to capitalize on the turn over. Instead, the Cardinals flocked the quarterback causing a fumble and scoring a safety.
Sapulpa’s star running back, Tyreese Jones, was scoreless on the night for the first time this season. Collinsville looked like they had been practicing bringing down big men. Jones had a difficult time not getting swarmed by multiple defenders, and even was having to work extra hard to break one-on-one open field tackles.
The Cardinals would continue to run over a very tired Sapulpa defense. Scoring again and again on short runs. Collinsville’s Seth Kickapoo also managed to return a punt down the sidelines for their final score.
Sapulpa was able to end the game with some positive momentum. Marco Smith showed off his running talent exploding through holes of the Cardinals defensive line and was able to put more points on the board. The Chieftains went for their second onside kick of the season and was able to come up with the football in a textbook special teams play. Smith tried to run down the field again, but the clock would prove his undoing as the last seconds ticked down.
Sapulpa is now 3-2, 1-1 on the year and will be traveling next week to Tahlequah, who just lost their first district game of the season to Pryor 31-14.