Updates: See the massive photo gallery from homecoming here. See the video of the blocked kick that won the game for the Chieftains below the story.
Sapulpa Chieftains sent a 2-0 Muskogee Roughers back home with their first district loss after a surprisingly brutal game that ended in a final of 49-48.
A powerful offensive onslaught kicked the game off with Sapulpa scoring in just the first 20 seconds of the entire game. Mortazavi, who only missed a single kick all night, started us off great with a 7-0 lead.
And right here, at Muskogee’s first offensive drive, they foreshadowed the mistake that would cost them the game. A 14-yard pass lands in the endzone, but the extra point is no good. Sapulpa still leading 7-6. The rest of the first quarter was just gain after gain after gain. It was amazing to see Sapulpa barrel through linemen, dodge tackles and gain yards at a faster rate than recent memory. Like last week, this game was bound to be point-heavy. Several spectacular plays on Friday night, but a few that stand out are Kenyon Kahmeyer’s 80-yard run to the endzone, to get Sapulpa up 21-6.
But the Roughers finally pull the lead out and grabbed an admittedly nice touchdown at 4th and goal on the 1 yard line, bring them to 13 at Sapulpa’s 21.
Sapulpa Chieftain Te’zohn Taft answered back with an incredible tackle-breaking touchdown run that shocked even the announcers. Everyone out there thought he was going down at least twice. Score is now 28-13 after another Mortazavi kick.
Muskogee wasn’t going to take it lying down with a 65-yard passing play that a young sharp-cutting runner named Coleman ran right into the endzone. That kid was surprising. He was small but agile and could turn on dime.
Just minutes, maybe seconds later, Taft scored yet another touchdown on the heels of a 40-yard pass and stretched Sapulpa’s lead to 35-20.
The next major play came from Sophmore Wyatt Hall, who ran a 51-yard touchdown and brough Sapulpa to 42-20. Sapulpa had scored on every single possession, but Roughers were getting familiar with it, and it would turn out to be the last time we scored for that half…and the next quarter, as a matter of fact. Sapulpa was forced to their first punt with just 1:21 left in the half.
After answering with a TD of their own, Roughers ran out the clock to a 42-27 Sapulpa halftime and at some point in the locker room, they managed to find whatever defense they’d been missing in the first half.
The third quarter was mostly fruitless for each team, right up until the last minute, where Muskogee made a TD and now rested at 35, against Sapulpa’s 42.
After Sapulpa was forced to punt again, it was here that we began to sweat. Muskogee could be back in the ballgame. They were the last one to score in the first half, the only one to score in the third quarter, and they just got the ball back and are making tracks to the end zone.
And with just 9:27 left in the fourth quarter, the Muskogee Roughers were able to tie it up at 42-42. As the clock began ticking downard, we began to watch the defense of both teams come out in full force, until finally, Muskogee had a chance. They were at 4th and goal and a hard Chieftain defense, by some miracle, stopped them and took over at the 1 yard line! 2:11 left in the game.
But if we thought it was going to get easier, it wasn’t! Williams was being forced into his own endzone, and it took two downs to get out of there. Finally, a first down gave us some room. Unfortunately, after tossing the ball away, a late intentional grounding penalty set us back to our 10 yard line, and we were now 3rd and 19. A loss of two yards put us at 4th and 20. The best we could hope for at this point was a nice snap and punt.
Mortazavi punted a high one that gave Muskogee the ball at the 50 yard line.
Muskogee quarterback Ty Williams had at least one first down and a couple of really long incomplete passes, to the point that they just decided to run the clock out and go into overtime.
In high school ball, overtime works like this: each team goes to the 10-yard line and has four downs to score. If the first team doesn’t score in three downs, they can make was would hopefully be an easy field goal, but it leaves them open to being beaten. Muskogee won the coin toss and gave the ball to Sapulpa for the first go round.
After one or two small gains, Sapulpan Eli Williams runs it into the endzone, only to be greeted with a yellow flag. Holding against the Chieftains.
Take two. This time Marcus Esparza runs it in! With Mortazavi making the kick, Sapulpa is now back in the lead for the first time since the 2nd quarter.
Muskogee answered with another touchdown and it all came down to the last moment—it happened so fast, the announcers couldn’t keep up. One second was the snap, then the kick, and in the press box, from three different rooms you could hear: “The kick is blocked! The kick is blocked! Sapulpa wins! Sapulpa wins!”
What an amazing game. Sapulpa plays Washington at home on Friday, October 12th. Kickoff is at 7pm.