Pawhuska High School’s football team finished the final chapter of Class 2A football Friday night. The Huskies will compete in Class A next fall.
PHS football will compete in Class A, District 5. Other members of the district are Hominy, Drumright, Barnsdall, Langston Hughes, Morrison, Pawnee, Tonkawa and Woodland.
Pawhuska Coach Joe Tillman said the move to Class A will be a positive for the Huskies.
“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.”
Pawhuska (0-10, 0-6 in Class 2A-1) wrapped up this season Friday night with a 75-6 loss to Perry in Perry.
The game was a microcosm of this season.
Two key players — Cade McNeill, concussion, and Tucker Hunt, pectoral muscle, — were injured during the game and missed the second half. The Huskies finished the game with 14 players suited up on the sidelines.
The freshmen and sophomore dominated team competed throughout the season, but didn’t have the number of players on the sidelines to be consistent on offense or defense.
“They fought all year,” Tillman said. “It’s been tough.”
Now, the football players will focus on winter sports or weight training, Tillman said.
“We will go into the off-season, and they’ll wrestle and basketball,” he said. “Some will go lift weights and we will try to get ready for next year. They love to play football. The underclassman love to play. I’m really excited about them.”
If all goes to plan, Pawhuska will have two seniors, seven juniors, six or seven sophomores and approximately 15 ninth-graders on next year’s squad, Tillman said.
“We have an undefeated junior high football team. They are really, really talented, but you hate to play them. They aren’t ready to play against 18-year old kids. In a perfect world, they would be playing on a JV team and have a whole year to get better, but they are going to be forced to play because we don’t have the numbers,” Tillman said.
Perry 75, Pawhuska 6
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 in the 75-6 victory.
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.
The turnovers started 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 and lost 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 hards 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.