HOMINY — Pawhuska felt the big hurt heading into Friday’s night’s game at Hominy. Quarterback/receiver Cade McNeil was sidelined by torn ligaments in his ankle. Senior running back Brian Jeffers was limited to defense because of his heavily wrapped broken hand.
Then Jeffers was injured in the first half, and spent the rest of the game on the sidelines with a bag of ice on his ankle. The diagnosis is a high ankle sprain.
Hominy used a combination of big plays and time-consuming drives to put a 36-0 victory in the books.
Tre Harper showed some opening night jitters in his first start at quarterback for the Huskies. Harper had some game experience at the QB spot — coming in on several series against Kelleyville and Morrison and playing nearly the entire second half against Dewey.
Starting was a new experience, and it showed early. Harper fumbled the game’s first snap, but recovered the ball. His second pass of the game was intercepted by Hominy’s Cliffy Hayes and returned for a Hominy touchdown.
“We’ve got a young quarterback in there right now, and the lights are pretty bright for him,” Tillman said in an interview immediately after the game.
Harper shook off the early-game miscues and finished as the Huskies leading rusher with 22 yards on 10 carries. He rushed for Pawhuska’s only first down in the game.
The Huskies unveiled a wildcat look on offense with tailback Hunter Reed taking direct snaps. It’s still a work in progress.
Monday night, Pawhuska Coach Joe Tillman said coaches and players need to improve. The Huskies don’t have a game this week. They open district play at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 against Tonkawa at Ormand Beach Memorial Stadium.
Tillman said the team is using the off week to heal up, spend time in the weight room, study film and get more repetitions on the practice field.
“The team needs a little rest,” he said, “but we are going to have to put our big boy pants on because district play is going to be tough.”
Three Huskies defenders earned Tillman’s praise Monday night for their play against Hominy.
Reed, J.T. Waddle and Jeffers each had six tackles against the Bucks. Reed also recovered a Hominy fumble in the first quarter.
Sophomore nose guard Tristian McCartney continues to improve, Tillman said. He isn’t a big nose guard but is learning to use leverage to his advantage to clog up the middle.
It’s an off week for Pawhuska, but the rest of the Class 2A-1 teams start district play this Friday. Alva and Tonkawa were undefeated, while Chisholm, Perry and Newkirk have just one loss. Hennessey and Pawhuska have yet to win this season.
Perry at Tonkawa is the marquee matchup this week. Perry is coming off a 49-28 loss to Kellyville. Tonkawa rolled to a 61-34 win over Blackwell.