MUSKOGEE —Shawnee’s gallant second-half comeback bid came up just short Friday night as it dropped a 35-26 district encounter to Muskogee.

The Wolves trailed 14-0 at halftime and 21-0 early in the third quarter before tallying four touchdowns, the final one on junior Scout Cawvey’s 96-yard pass reception with 10:59 to go to pull within 28-26. The play came on a 3rd-and-13 situation.

Muskogee then recorded two first downs before a 29-yard punt put SHS at its 12. The Wolves converted one first down on a Trenton Skinner 12-yard catch from Heath Hunter before Muskogee’s only sack of the night forced a punt.

The Roughers followed with a 50-yard, nine-play drive terminated by Jimmie Coleman’s 1-yard TD run. The extra-point boot closed the scoring with :48 to play.

Hunter completed 19 of 37 passes for 352 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions. The last interception occurred when Hunter had to throw long in the waning seconds.

Cawvey caught eight passes for 180 yards.

Muskogee, following the game’s opening kickoff, moved 80 yards to paydirt, climaxed by Ty Williams’ 6-yard pass to Kaunor Ashley. Gage Foreman’s point-after kick made it 7-0.

Shawnee, on its first possession, appeared ready to knot the game as it drove from its 14 to the Rougher 19 in 11 plays. But the next three plays produced just three yards and a 33-yard field-goal attempt failed.

On its second possession, Hunter and Cawvey hooked up on a a 37-yard reception in which the latter was barely tripped up at the 24. An 8-yard Hunter scramble earned a first down at the 13 but an incomplete pass and two meager rushing plays set up a 4th-and-14 situation. A pass completion came up three yards short of the first down on a fourth-down completion.

Muskogee threatened on its third possession, reaching the Wolfpack 27 before Shawnee stiffened and pushed the hosts back to their 31. However, a 28-yard punt pinned the Wolves at their 4-yard line.

Shawnee’s offense failed to produce a first down and Muskogee took over at the Wolfpack 30 on a punt.

Four plays later, Williams ran 21 yards for a TD and the extra-point kick gave Muskogee a 14-0 halftime advantage.

Williams had 128 yards rushing by halftime.

A Hunter interception in SHS territory at the outset of the second half set up a scoring reception and 21-0 lead at the 8:35 mark of the third quarter.

Shawnee fought back on its next possession, overcoming a 1st-and-27 from the Rougher 37 with a 22-yard Skinner reception, a 7-yard reception by Cawvey and Tre’Juan Shaw’s 8-yard touchdown run. Kossi Kodoe’s point-after made it 21-7.

After the Roughers went 3-and-out, a 10-yard kickoff return by freshman Jaylon Orange was followed by Shaw runs of 29 and 11 yards, the latter for a TD. The point-after failed, leaving SHS down 21-13.

Muskogee again went 3-and-out, only to have the Wolves muff a punt at their 30. Four plays later, Williams scored from the 7, upping the count to 28-13.

SHS again responded as Orange caught a 65-yard scoring pass. But a 2-point conversion-run attempt was stuffed at the line of scrimmage, keeping it at 28-19 and setting up the wild finish.

Williams rushed for 183 yards on 24 carries and threw for 156 yards by completing 14 of 27 attempts.

Skinner caught five passes for 62 yards.

Hudson Davis and Shaw posted 12 tackles apiece.

Shawnee fell to 2-2 in its Class 6A Division 11 district and dropped to 2-5 overall.

Muskogee, 5-2 overall, remains in the top four in the district at 3-1.

Shawnee will entertain Sapulpa Thursday night in further district action.,

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.