The Skiatook Bulldogs (2-3, District 5A-4 1-1) fell to the Tahlequah Tigers (5-0, District 5A-4 2-0) on October 4th, 2019 in the closing minute of a high scoring offensive battle that ended 26-22.
The game was full of ups and downs. Despite the heartbreaking loss with a score coming from Tahlequah with 14 seconds left on the clock, there were lots of good signs for Skiatook for games to come.
For one, freshman quarterback Mason Willingham looked sharp once again, and Jayden Garner continued his multi-touchdown streak by adding two first half scores as Skiatook built up a 19-7.
Tahlequah came into the game with not only undefeated record, but a #4 ranking in class 5A. They were not only a formidable opponent, but also the highest-ranked team the Bulldogs played thus far.
Yet, the Bulldogs showed no fear.
Tahlequah climbed to an early lead when Dae Dae Leathers rushed for a 3-yard score against the Bulldogs on the opening drive.
Skiatook took no time to respond, and it came in explosive fashion: Willingham hit Garner for a 66-yard TD pass that knotted the score with 1:46 left in the first.
This touchdown seemed to ignite a fire in the Bulldogs offense, and Skiatook scored back-to-back to rocket out to a 19-7 lead. The first came from Garner, and the second was a Willingham connection with Cash Cooper from 19-yards out with 7:48 left in the first half.
Tahlequah answered back with two touchdowns in the closing minutes with Leathers scoring again on the ground and then Simeon Armstrong on a 33-yard reception from Tigers quarterback Tate Christian.
Armstrong’s reception gave Tahlequah a 20-19 lead at the half.
The second half was full of defense, going scoreless in the third quarter. The second half excitement didn’t actually start until the waning moments of the game.
With Tahlequah still leading 20-19, Skiatook put together a late drive, and a 38-yard field goal from Greg Reed gave Skiatook a 22-20 lead with 2:14 left in the game.
At that point, it was looking great for Skiatook, but sadly, Tahlequah managed to respond. With time ticking away, Armstrong managed to put together a 65-yard drive and slip into the endzone on a 4 yard touchdown run from Tate Christian with only 14 seconds left.
A couple deep shots from Skiatook couldn’t connect, and the Tigers held on to win, 26-22.