ALVA — An outmanned Pawhuska High School football team did exactly what Coach Joe Tillman wanted them to do Thursday night — compete.
The Alva Goldbugs (7-1, 3-1) defeated the Huskies, 48-8, at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Ranger Field.
Tillman said he wasn’t overly concerned about the lopsided final score. The Huskies (0-8, 0-4) had just 17 healthy players available Thursday night. Players were either playing out of position or making they first starts against Alva.
‘We played hard,” Tillman said after the game. “From the Hennessey game (Oct. 12), we’ve lost five kids. We had two new starters on the offensive line. Two kids that had never started there before, and they are a little bit undersized. We had to do the best we could.”
The Huskies had one of their best offensive games this season. PHS took the opening kickoff, and picked up a first down before punting the ball away. Pawhuska also picked up a first down during its second possession.
Alva, however, was scoring touchdowns more frequently than Pawhuska was earning first downs.
Alva scored on its first six possession to claim a 41-0 halftime lead.
The Goldbugs scored on the ground and through the air. They scored on long drives and quick strikes. Quarterback Mitchell Meyer rushed for two touchdowns and passed for four. Meyer had TD tosses of 60, 74, 10 and 25 yards. Devion Murrow caught two of the scores, while Lane Scarborough and T.W. Beiswanger each grabbed a TD pass.
The Goldbugs played nonstarters the entire second half. Alva quarterback Stephen Willyard picked up the Goldbugs final tally early in the third quarter. Alva had 375 yards of offense. The Goldbugs rushed 27 times for 178 yards. Murrow led the team with 65 yards on six carries, and caught two passes for 134 yards.
“Alva is a talented football team as most people in our district are,” Tillman said.
Chisholm leads Class 2A-1 with a 7-1, 4-0 record. Tonkawa and Alva are 7-1, too, but have a district loss.
Pawhuska scored on its first possession of the second half. Cade McNeil and R.J. McCann divided duties at the quarterback spot. McCann scooted 35 yards for touchdown to cap a 5-play, 76-yard drive.
PHS also had a great goal-line stand late in the fourth quarter. After scoring its only TD, Pawhuska tried on onside kick, but Alva covered it. The Goldbugs used four running plays to move the ball from the Pawhuska 44 to just inside the 10-yard line. Alva had a fourth and inches when the Huskies defense swarmed in to stop quarterback Stephen Willard at the goal line.
PHS took over on downs and punched the ball out to the Pawhuska 20 as time expired.
Senior running back Brian Jeffers led the Huskies running attack with 44 yards on 16 carries. McCann had 4 carries for 40 yards and the TD. In all, the Huskies had 147 yards of total offense.
“Our kids are seeing what it takes to be a competitive football team,” Tillman said. “It takes numbers. It takes depth. It takes coaching. It takes commitment. It’s all those good things above. I feel good about those 17 kids we have in there right now."
The Huskies play host to Chisholm at 7 p.m. Friday at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium. It will be senior night for PHS.