PERRY — Success was fleeting Friday night for the Pawhuska High School football team. The Huskies offense scored two plays after taking the opening kickoff, and then Perry ripped off 75 unanswered points to claim a 75-6 victory.
Friday’s game was the end of the season for both teams. Pawhuska finished 0-10 overall and 0-6 in district for last place in Class 2A-1. Perry (4-6, 1-5) placed fifth. Chisholm (9-1, 6-0) claimed the Class 2A-1 district crown with a 29-14 win over Tonkawa.
Pawhuska looked like Perry-beaters on its first drive. The Huskies used two direct snaps to senior running back Brian Jeffers to fly downfield. Jeffers gained six on the first play from scrimmage. The next play he scooted around end and raced 60 yards for what would be Pawhuska’s only score.
Injuries and turnovers set in for the Huskies. Quarterback/receiver/cornerback Cade McNeil sustained a concussion in the second quarter and didn’t play the rest of the game. The Huskies best tackler, Tucker Hunt, sustained a pectoral muscle injury and missed the second half.
Pawhuska Coach Joe Tillman said the Huskies played the second half with just 13 or 14 players available.
The turnovers began immediately after the Huskies touchdown. Perry committed the first when McNeil picked off a Perry quarterback Mason Drake pass at the Huskies 4-yard line.
Pawhuska quarterback Tre Harper bobbled the snap on the next play and was sacked for a safety. Still, the Huskies led 6-2 at 10:46 in the first. Perry took the Huskies free kick, needing just three plays to travel 36 yards for a lead-changing TD. Drake connected with Perry senior Santoi Rhodes for the touchdown. The 2-point conversion try was good.
Pawhuska fumbled on their next five possessions, and Perry recovered four of those fumbles. Perry scored on three of the four turnovers. The Maroons scored through the air, on the ground and via a punt return.
For the game, Pawhuska fumbled nine times, losing seven.
“It was a tough way to end the year,” Tillman said Friday night. “It was a good way to start the game. I felt good with that. It’s hard to see how they (Perry) had lost six games in a row. They are a really talented football team.”
Jeffers led the Huskies offense with 74 yards on 27 carries. He also caught a 25-yard pass from quarterback Tre Harper.
“Our kids never quit. They never did the whole season,” Tillman said. “They’ve fought all year. It’s been tough, but we will go into the off-season. They’ll wrestle, play basketball and some will lift weights, and we will get ready for next year.”
The loss to Perry ended the Huskies play in Class 2A. Next season, they will play in Class A. It won’t be much easier because Pawhuska’s district includes Hominy, Morrison and Barnsdall.
“That helps a little bit,” Tillman said. “We are in a tough district. It will be good competition for us, but the schools will be more our size.”