A game that had a solid start came to a crushing end as Sapulpa fell hard to the No. 3 ranked Coweta Tigers at Collins Stadium on Friday night.
Sapulpa drew first blood early in the game, and immediately after recovered an onside kick. All the momentum was looking Sapulpa’s way.
Until it wasn’t.
In an abrupt turn of events, an undefeated Coweta took the ball and scored 33 points straight before the first half was over. Tiger QB Na’Kylan Starks accounted for three of those touchdowns.
Sapulpa’s defense held strong in the first minutes of the game as the ball went back and forth on turnovers.
As it turned out, turnovers would be the thing that Sapulpa Head Coach Tim Holt Jr. listed as the number one problem in the first half.
“We turned the ball over four times,” he said as the team headed for the locker room. “Two of them directly led to touchdowns.”
“Let’s get all that fixed and they’ll be able to run the ball a little bit and hopefully we can make it a two-score game in the second half.”
Things improved in the third quarter, but not enough. Sapulpa was able to get another TD, but the kick was no good, and Sapulpa sat 13 points for the rest of the game. Meanwhile, Coweta tacked two more TDs to their score, giving them a 45-13 lead before the third was over.
Early into the fourth quarter, Coweta scored again, and then a field goal gave them their ultimate score of 55.
It was also during the first minutes of the fourth that a player from each team was disqualified following a scuffle after a play. Sapulpa’s Cunu Fields was escorted off the field for the remainder of the game. Coweta’s stands sounded off with “boos” and jeering, apparently not liking the referee’s decision to bench both players.
Holt said the loss was he result of a “snowball situation.”
“We got into snowball situation with some turnovers and we weren’t able to get it turned and that’s what happens.”
“We play the number three team in the state, you can’t give them anything, you know.”
“We just got to do a better job of playing four full quarters and maybe it’s a different outcome.”
We asked Holt how quarterback Colton Howard was handling playing his former team; Howard had been a Tiger himself last year, and it was his first year as a starting quarterback.
“We had some conversations about it, but he wasn’t really concerned. I don’t think it affected him too much,” Holt said.
Sapulpa goes on the road to play Del City (4-1) on Friday, who will undoubtedly be out for blood following a single-point loss to McAlester in overtime.