It possibly was the happiest locker room ever for a team that just lost its fifth straight game, but the Pawhuska High School football team found joy in a 24-point fourth quarter and its best offensive output of the season.
The Tonkawa Buccaneers remained undefeated with the 45-24 win. Tonkawa and Alva sport perfect 5-0 records. Chisholm is 5-1. The trio are undefeated in Class 2A-1 district play. Pawhuska falls to 0-5 overall and 0-1 in district. The Huskies host Newkirk Friday for homecoming. The homecoming queen will be announced before the game. The coronation ceremony starts at 6:30 p.m. Kickoff is at 7 p.m.
The game’s outcome was never in doubt. Tonkawa jumped out to a 45-0 lead after the first three quarters. The Bucs led 23-0 at halftime. Bucs running back Camrin Pfluger rushed for 104 yards and three touchdowns, and quarterback Rustin Martin rushed for a TD and tossed two more. Brandon Alexander and Braden Dollarhide caught the Tonkawa scoring passes.
Tonkawa ended the game with 392 total yards of offense.
The Pawhuska Huskies didn’t want to think about the first three quarters. They focused on the 24-point outburst in the final stanza. Coach Joe Tillman said the Huskies hope to build off that fourth-quarter performance.
“It really gave us a sense of ‘Hey, we are getting somewhere,” Tillman said after Friday’s game. “I felt like we made some strides in the second half.”
Senior running back Brian Jeffers returned to the offensive lineup. Jeffers still has a cast on his broken hand. He sustained that injury against Dewey on Sept. 8. The next week against Hominy, Jeffers suffered a high ankle sprain.
“Brian Jeffers ran hard — broken hand and all. The offensive line was fired up. We are just happy to have a little success,” Tillman said. “We kept pumping the ball to him, and getting him in a rhythm He’s starting to see the field pretty well, and he’s legitimate fast — track speed.”
Pawhuska turned to Jeffers late in the third quarter and all the fourth when the Huskies switched to a diamond formation in the backfield. Jeffers lined up behind quarterback Tre Harper, and had running backs on his left and right. It gave the Huskies a lead blocker on either the left or right. Those blocks sealed the edge on sweep plays.
Jeffers carried the ball seven straight plays as the Huskies drove 63 yards for their first TD. Jeffers scored on a 2-yard run, and also made the 2-point conversion run.
Tonkawa fumbled on its second play after the TD. The Huskies recovered and started at Tonkawa’s 47. Jeffers carried three times for 14 yards. A 5-yard Tonkawa penalty helped move the ball to the 30. On the drive’s fifth play, Tucker Hunt touched the ball and ran 30 yards on a counter play for the Huskies second TD. Harper made the 2-point conversion. It was the first time Pawhuska had two TDs in a game all season.
They weren’t done. The Huskies defense stopped Tonkawa on a fourth and one at the Tonkawa 42 with about 30 seconds left in the game. Jeffers took the handoff and scampered 42 yards around end for the Huskies final TD. Harper had the 2-point conversion run.
The Huskies had the three longest runs from scrimmage — 32, 30 and 42 — this season in the fourth quarter. The Huskies ended with 146 yards rushing on 31 carries and had 188 yards of total offense.