Broken Arrow whips Sand Springs to advance in 6A playoffs
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 5:15 AM
BROKEN ARROW - Broken Arrow junior quarterback Coleman Key appreciates the lessons he learned from watching his brother, Kason, who helped lead Owasso to a pair of Class 6A state semifinal appearances the past two years.
"He always came in and was ready to go," Coleman Key said, referring to his brother who is a quarterback at Northeastern A&M. "He was ready to play to the finish. Just watching him made me a better competitor than I already was. I was very blessed to have my older brother to look up to."
Coleman Key made his first postseason start on Friday night, but he performed as a playoff veteran. He completed 16-of-23 passes for 179 yards and two touchdowns to help the fourth-ranked Tigers defeat No. 9 Sand Springs 35-6 in a 6A first-round game at Memorial Stadium.
"There's definitely a lot more pressure going into this realizing that if you lose it will be your last game of the season," Key said.
Broken Arrow (8-3) advances to play at Norman North in the quarterfinals next weekend.
The Tigers' offense struggled at times early in the season, but has averaged 36 points over the past five games.
"He's making great decisions and his mechanics are getting a lot better," Broken Arrow coach Steve Spavital said about Key. "He's really grown into a pretty good leader. He's doing really well and he's really locked in."
Austin Reed was the Tigers' leading receiver with seven catches for 95 yards and a TD. Devon Thomas was Broken Arrow's top rusher with 14 carries for 115 yards and two TDs.
Sand Springs quarterback Cody Hale completed 21-of-32 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown.
The Sandites (8-3), making their first playoff appearance since 2008, were shut out on three drives that reached inside the Broken Arrow 15 in the first half as the Tigers carried a 21-0 lead into intermission.
"It was a great season for us but not a good night," Sandites coach Dustin Kinard said. "We drove it down the field in the first half but couldn't get in (the end zone). These kids have come a long way after going 1-9 as sophomore and 3-7 as juniors."
On the opening possession, Key set the tone for the night by connecting on his first four passes and went 5-of-6 for 57 yards, with the only incompletion a drop. A big play was Key's 15-yard pass to Reed on fourth-and-5 at the Sand Springs 35. Blake Smith, who subs for Key in some running situations, scored on a 16-yard carry to cap the 11-play, 80-yard drive.
The Sandites responded with an 11-yard drive that was ignited by Hale's 38-yard pass to Tanner Barberousse on the first play. However, Sand Springs' drive ended with a run that was stuffed for a 1-yard loss on fourth-and-1 at the 4.
After a Broken Arrow punt, the Sandites had another good chance to tie the game as they moved to the 10, but Tigers lineman Michael Bell recovered a fumble at the 22 to end the threat.
On the next play, Thomas reeled off a 75-yard run to the 3, where he was caught by Sandites defensive back Myron Patrick. Two plays later, Thomas scored on a 2-yard run for a 14-0 lead with 9:56 left in the first half.
Three minutes later, Key passed 41 yards to Reed for a touchdown that increased the Tigers' lead to 21-0.
Sand Springs had one more scoring threat, with the help of a pass interference call, before intermission but Hale's apparent 14-yard TD pass to Chase Lane was ruled to have been trapped in the end zone. The Sandites then missed a 31-yard field goal to end the half.
Midway through the third period, Hale found Lane for a 7-yard TD pass that counted, but Cre Moore blocked the extra-point kick. The TD that cut the Tigers' lead to 21-6 was set up by Hale's 50-yard pass to Cody Hilderbrandt.
A final Sandites scoring threat late in the game ended with senior Ryan Alger's interception.
"That interception is going to be my last play on this field ever so that was big time," Alger said. "I was proud of our defense. We stopped the run real good. They kept getting in the red zone, but we never gave up. We are peaking at the right time and we're all finally coming together."
Broken Arrow 35, Sand Springs 6
BA: Smith 16 run (Moore kick)
BA: D.Thomas 2 run (Moore kick)
BA: Reed 41 pass from Key (Moore kick)
SS: Lane 7 pass from Hale (kick blocked)
BA: Calhoun 14 pass from Key (Moore kick)
BA: D.Thomas 8 run (Moore kick)
Original Print Headline: Tigers advance in 6A
Barry Lewis 918-581-8393
Broken Arrow's Devon Thomas reaches for the end zone during a 6A playoff game against Sand Springs at Broken Arrow High School on Friday. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World
Sand Springs' Cody Hale runs downfield during a Class 6A playoff game against Broken Arrow. MATT BARNARD / Tulsa World