The Coweta Tigers found the Glenpool Warriors still had some fight left to end their season. On Friday, Nov. 8, the Warriors forced the Tigers to keep working as they scored 16 fourth period points and recovered two on-side kickoffs to narrow their loss deficit to 41-22.
After a 14-6 first period, neither team scored again in the first half. The Tigers went up 28-6 with two touchdowns in the third quarter, but the fourth period turned into a 16-13 battle in favor of the Warriors.
“It was a hard fought win but now everyone left is 0-0,” Coach Tim Harper said. “Glenpool played tough, give Coach Edwards and his staff credit because their kids never gave up and made some key plays late. I’m proud of our kids for fighting off the challenge.
“We made a couple of good drives in the first quarter, then fell off a little the rest of the half on our intensity. But we came back to play in the second half and got the job done. We get to play at least 48 more minutes of football.”
Freshman all-purpose back Mason Ford scored twice in the opening period. He went 38 yards on the third play from scrimmage and later went 55 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Brody Rucker kicked the extra points.
Glenpool’s only score of the half came on a 12-play drive when Gus Edwards scored on a 3-yard plunge.
Ford ended a Warrior scoring threat with :53.6 left in the half with an interception at the goal line.
Glenpool received the second half kickoff, fumbling on their second play from scrimmage. Tiger defender Justin Hines recovered the ball to set up a 31-yard scoring drive. Piper Pennington crossed the goal from three-yards out with 8:14 on the clock.
The next Warrior possession ended with a punt and five plays later, Gage Hamm connected with Brent Barlow for a 44-yard scoring toss to give the Tigers a 28-6 lead.
Near the end of the third period, Ford stopped a Warriors scoring threat with his second end zone interception of the game with :16 left on the clock.
Early in the fourth period, Hamm connected with Blake Lair on a 17-yard scoring pass. The Tiger defense stopped the Warriors on a fourth down attempt, setting up a 45-yard pass from Hamm to Barlow to seal the final district win of the season.
Hamm completed 15 of 18 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns. Barlow caught four passes for 90 yards and two touchdowns and Ford rushed seven times for 124 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught three passes for 50 yards and defensively intercepted two passes to stop Warrior scoring drives.
Na’Kylan Starks caught three passes for 37 yards, Blake Lair caught three for 32 yards and a touchdown, Abirim Manns had one catch for 23 yards and Cadence Denton a catch for six yards.
On the ground, Pennington carried 10 times for 87 yards and a touchdown. Starks had three rushes for 26 yards, Hamm carried nine times for 12 yards and Reed Gaddy had two rushes for eight yards.
Placekicker Brody Rucker was successful on six of seven extra point attempts.
Getting a balanced offensive attack for the first time this season, the Tigers had a total of 495 yards of offense. They collectively rushed 31 times for 257 yards and three touchdowns and passed for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
Friday’s win advances Coweta to the 5A playoffs where they will face Tahlequah in the first round for the second straight year. The Tigers hope to repeat the upset that propelled them to the quarterfinals last season.
In 2018, Coweta lost to Tahlequah 47-37 in the regular season and defeated them on the road in the playoffs, 26-7.
Tahlequah suffered a big upset Friday night. They endured their first loss of the season at Claremore, 21-14, but still won District 5A-4.
Tahlequah escaped with a 9-7 win at Tiger Field in week 3 on a high snap punt for a safety. Coweta’s defense held veteran tailback Dae Dae Leathers scoreless for the night, with a 3-yard run, the only score by Tahlequah other than the safety.
Leathers has 173 carries for 1,393 yards and 19 touchdowns this season. He has 438 total career carries for 3,395 yards and 43 touchdowns.
Tahlequah was the first of three top 10 5A teams Coweta has faced this season and all three games have a total difference of six points. The Tigers lost to Tulsa Edison 22-21 as a two-point conversion attempt failed with seconds left on the clock.
Last week, a three-point 41-38 loss to Tulsa Kelley left Coweta with an 0-5 home record and undefeated on the road.
The Tigers are averaging 26.5 points per game while opponents average 22 per game. Coweta has scored 89 first half points and 150 in the second half as they are obviously in better four-quarter shape.
The Tigers have completed 122 of 186 passes for 1,741 yards, averaging 193.4 yards per game with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions through nine games. The Tigers have carried the ball 265 times for 1,052 yards after 319 yards in losses were deducted for an average of 116.9 per game. They have scored 14 rushing touchdowns.
Coweta has outscored opponents 239-198.
Defensively, the Tigers have 116 solo tackles, 462 total tackles with 52 for loss, 12 interceptions, seven fumble recoveries and 11 sacks.