Huskies to hit road again in quest of grid postseason

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital

DISTRICT 2A-8

SCHOOL … W/L .. D W/L .. D .. Pts

Nowata …….. 6-0 … 3-0 … 45 … 193

Wyandotte … 3-3 … 2-0 … 30 … 469

Chelsea …….. 2-4 …. 1-1 …. 0 …. 447

Pawhuska …. 2-4 …. 1-1 …. 0 …. 223

Commerce …. 1-5 …. 1-2 .. -15 ….. 17

OK Union … 2-4 …. 1-2 … -24 … 136

CaneyValley .. 0-6 .. 0-3 .. -36 .. 432

As the 2014 high school football season moves past the midway point and heads toward the playoffs, the Pawhuska Huskies will have a short week to prepare for their second long road trip in a row.

After going nearly into Arkansas to find the town of Kansas and their second win of the year, the steadily improving PHS squad will be within a Mickey Mantle throw of the state of Kansas for Thursday’s District 2A-8 showdown with the Commerce Tigers.

Pawhuska’s last gridiron appearance at Commerce was for the opening round of 2012 playoffs. The Huskies lost by 32 points (48-15) and the Tigers went on to a 16-13 win over Meeker before losing to Frederick, 42-0, in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

Commerce is 1-5 this year and 1-2 in-district following a 28-7 loss Friday at Wyandotte, where the Bears snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Tigers. Wyandotte led 16-7 at halftime and added two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

A week earlier, Wyandotte had scored a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to put away the Huskies, 38-22, at PHS’s Ormand Beach Stadium. Pawhuska led at intermission in that one, 15-12. The twin triumphs make the Bears 3-3 overall and 2-0 against district foes, which puts them in second place in 2A-8..

The unbeaten Nowata Ironmen (6-0) lead the district standings with a 3-0 mark. Last week, Nowata christened a new scoreboard at Ironmen Stadium by racking up a 62-0 decision over the visiting Chelsea Green (with envy) Dragons. Chelsea is now 2-4 on the season and 1-1 in-district — tying the Dragons with the Huskies for the district’s third-place spot.

Pawhuska’s last grid appearance at Commerce was for the opening round of 2012 playoffs. In that one, the Huskies lost by 32 points (48-15) and the Tigers went on to a 16-13 win over Meeker the next week before losing to Frederick, 42-0, in the Class 2A quarterfinals.

This year, Commerce has scored 87 points, compared to 93 for the Huskies. The Tigers have been tame on defense, giving up 180 points, while the Pawhuskans have yielded 169. Commerce notched its only victory two weeks ago, 42-6, over Caney Valley. (PHS topped the Trojans, 30-14, a week before that.) Other Tiger losses came against Stroud (34-7), Afton (20-14), Colcord (40-10) and Nowata (52-7).

A victory Thursday night will put PHS in position to qualify for a sixth consecutive postseason appearance.

The remainder of the Huskies’ schedule will include three district contests beginning with PHS Homecoming 2014 on Friday, Oct. 24, versus the Oklahoma Union Cougars. A trick-or-treat trip to Chelsea follows on Halloween Friday, Oct. 31, and Nowata visits “The Beach” for the Nov. 7 regular-season finale. Kick off is slated at 7:30 for all remaining games.