Cards tame Tigers
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Saturday, September 29, 2012
9/29/12 at 3:45 PM
COWETA - University of Oklahoma commit Stanvon Taylor had gone three games without scoring before second-ranked East Central's District 5A-4 showdown against No. 5 Coweta on Friday night.
"That was too long," Taylor said. "I knew I had to get better on offense."
Taylor caught five passes for 105 yards and three touchdowns, and scored another on an 85-yard field goal return to help lift East Central past Coweta 35-28 at Tiger Field.
The Cardinals (5-0, 2-0) played under the cloud of potentially forfeiting last week's 33-12 district win over Central due to the use of an unidentified player who may have been ineligible. Tulsa Public Schools will announce a decision on Monday.
"We just used that as motivation," said Taylor, a senior wideout-cornerback. "People will try to do whatever to try to stop us, but we've just got to keep going."
East Central coach Bobby Klinck didn't have any trouble keeping his team focused.
"We talked about consequences," Klinck said. "When you break the rules whether purposely or by accident, and obviously this was by accident, there are consequences. We talked about it and said, 'Hey you know what, we're going to move on and we can't look back on it now. These kids are fighters. They went out there and said we're sticking together, we're family and we're going to win this football game and they did. They deserved the heck out of this game."
After catching eight passes for 186 yards and two TDs in the season opener, Taylor only had seven receptions for 72 yards the following three weeks. Klinck wanted to make sure Taylor was more involved offensively against Coweta.
"A lot of teams had been taking him away," Klinck said. "This week we saw some things we thought we could exploit a little bit. There's a reason why he's going to OU. They could use him this year."
Taylor had two TDs in the game-changing final two minutes of the first half. Coweta led 21-13 and appeared to be driving for another TD before Michael Johnson's sack of Coweta quarterback Hayden Holmes on third down. Coweta tried to salvage three points, but Caleb Thomas chunked his 38-yard goal attempt due to a high snap. The ball barely crossed the line of scrimmage and at the 15 was caught by Taylor, who outraced the Tigers 85 yards to the Coweta end zone. Sophomore quarterback Tre'von Cherry's two-point run tied it at 21 with 1:37 left in the first half.
"Mainly (in that situation) I'm going, 'Poison, Poison,' we don't want to touch it," Klinck said about a field goal attempt that is going to be short of the end zone. "But he picks it off and goes to the house. Great players make great plays, and that's what he did."
Coweta (3-2, 1-1), on its ensuing possession, faced fourth-and-1 at its own 24 with 22 seconds left. The Tigers elected to punt, but Antoine Brown stuffed Holmes' kick and recovered the ball at the Coweta 4. Two plays later, Cherry fired a 4-yard TD pass to Taylor with 3.6 seconds remaining for a 27-21 lead.
"I told them that if we get 1-on-1 coverage, throw me the ball," said Taylor, who was wide open in the left corner after faking out the cornerback.
Coweta had more kicking game problems to start the second half as Deontre Youngblood returned the kickoff 40 yards to the Tigers 42. That set up Cherry's 16-yard TD to a leaping Taylor in the back of the end zone. Taylor also caught the two-point conversion pass for a 35-21 lead.
Late in the third quarter, the Tigers missed a scoring chance as Thomas hooked a 24-yard field goal.
Coweta cut its deficit to 35-28 on Jakeem Johnson's 14-yard TD run with 11:44 remaining. Johnson had 20 carries for 131 yards and two TDs.
East Central, however, stopped Holmes inches short on a fourth down scramble at the Coweta 48 with 3:03 left and was able to run out the clock with William Goree gaining 20 to the Tigers 11 for the clinching first down.
"Coweta was coached up, ready to go, but we had a few things go our way and when you're giving that much effort, good things tend to happen for your football team," Klinck said.
Cherry completed 11-of-16 passes for 187 yards and accounted for four TDs. Holmes completed 15-of-15 passes for 149 yards and rushed for a TD. He had two misfires passing that were erased by personal fouls.
Coweta jumped ahead 7-0 as Johnson capped the game's opening possession with a 1-yard touchdown run, one play after his 39-yard gain. On the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Taylor caught a 70-yard tying TD bomb from Cherry.
The Tigers quickly regained the lead, 14-7, as Caleb Wheeler scored on a 37-yard left reverse. East Central, however, responded on its next possession with Cherry's 1-yard TD sneak that was set up by his 40-yard pass to Youngblood. The extra-point kick was blocked, leaving Coweta ahead 14-13 with 31 seconds left in the first period.
Holmes' 3-yard TD run made it 21-13 midway through the second period. That came two plays after East Central's Trent Williams had an end-zone interception erased by a roughing-the-passer penalty.
And then Taylor's kick return changed the game around for East Central.
East Central 35, Coweta 28
C: Johnson 1 run (Thomas kick)
EC: Taylor 70 pass from Cherry (Garcia kick)
C: Wheeler 37 run (Thomas kick)
EC: Cherry 1 run (kick blocked)
C: Holmes 3 run (Thomas kick)
EC: Taylor 85 field goal return (Cherry run)
EC: Taylor 4 pass from Cherry (run failed)
EC: Taylor 16 pass from Cherry (Taylor pass from Cherry)
C: Johnson 14 run (Thomas kick)
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393
East Central quarterback Tre'von Cherry crosses the goal line for a touchdown against Coweta on Friday night. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World
Coweta wide receiver Hunter Raspberry hauls in a pass past East Central's Brendan Ennis on Friday. CORY YOUNG / Tulsa World