In a high-stakes Highway 20 Bowl, the Skiatook Bulldogs (5-4, District 5A-4 3-3) narrowly fell to the Collinsville Cardinals (6-2, District 5A-4 5-1) on November 1st, 2019 despite a late push.
The game had major repercussions: A Skiatook victory would vault the Bulldogs ahead of the Cardinals in the district standings, while a Cardinal victory could drop Skiatook to 5th place with only a week left to play in the season to record a top-four finish.
Unfortunately, the Bulldogs were on the losing end after a slow start.
Skiatook spent most of the first half trying to figure out the Collinsville defense. The Bulldogs came into the game averaging just under 40 points per game over the last three games, but struggled to get any traction against the Cardinals, not picking up a first down all half.
Collinsville, on the other hand, had no trouble piecing together scoring drives, all of which were ground-heavy.
The Cardinals struck first with a short touchdown run with 4:29, and another came midway through the second from two-yards out.
The biggest play for Skiatook in the first half was Jayden Garner’s 80-yard kickoff to the Cardinal’s 10 yard line, but it was nullified by a holding penalty, and Skiatook was forced to punt.
The two scores propelled the Cardinals to a 14-0 halftime lead.
In the second half, Skiatook looked dangerous.
The Bulldogs wasted no time putting points on the board. Mason Willingham scored on a quarterback keeper from the one yard line. After missing the PAT, Skiatook trailed 14-6.
Skiatook caught a big break on the next possession, when the Cardinals fumbled the kickoff and Skiatook recovered in Cardinals territory.
After a series of runs, Willingham scored his second rushing touchdown with a sweep around the left end. Trailing 14-12, Skiatook elected to go for two and the chance to tie, but the attempted pass was completed out of bounds.
The Cardinals responded with a touchdown, marching down the field on a series of runs that was capped off by a 35-yard score to extend the lead to 21-12 late in the third. .
Skiatook scored on a run up the middle, narrowing the game to 21-18, but Collinsville scored to go up 27-18 as time ticked away.
The Bulldogs managed to orchestrate a scoring drive that ended with Willingham finding Cash Cooper for a touchdown, and the extra point brought the Bulldogs to within 2, but Collinsville held on to win 27-25.
Next week, the Bulldogs play East Central while hoping to land the fourth spot in district and secure a playoff berth.