Win insures PHS return to playoffs

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Win insures PHS return to playoffs

After pounding their way to a happy homecoming win against Oklahoma Union, the Pawhuska High School Huskies will be looking to avoid Halloween trickery this Friday night versus their spooky hosts at Chelsea.

With a 2-6 overall record and a 1-3 mark in District 2A8, the Dragons appear to be struggling. But strange things have been known to occur in Chelsea and PHS head coach Bob Craig and his staff will have the Huskies on guard for their visit to the land of the Green Dragons.

Last week, the Pawhuska squad moved methodically to a third consecutive win (and the fourth in its past five outings). The Huskies provided an added bonus for its homecoming celebration by locking up a sixth straight appearance in the state 2A high school playoffs with a 28-6 victory over the Cougars.

Hayden Javellas scored a pair of first-quarter touchdowns and the PHS defense came close to shutting out the visitors — in spite three home turnovers which gave the Cougars the ball in Huskie territory. Pawhuska used a balanced attack that produced points off runs, passes and returns. Caleb Bruce shifted from running back to take over the signal-calling duties from Colton Hindman, who is expected to be out of the lineup for the remainder of the season after sustaining a broken clavicle (collarbone) during the previous week’s game at Commerce.

Moments after he had crowned PHS Homecoming Queen Ashley Youngwolfe, Javellas caught a 5-yard TD pass from Bruce to cap a 10-play, 70-yard drive that put the Huskies in front by seven (following the extra-point kick bt John Bighorse) with two minutes left in the opening quarter. The initial points came on Pawhuska’s second possession, as the first ended with a turnover on downs at OKU’s 16-yard line. Less than two minutes after his first score, Javellas made an over-the-shoulder catch on a Cougar punt and uncorked an 80-yard punt return for a TD — giving the Huskies a 13-0 advantage.

The stout Pawhuska defense forced punts on the first nine Cougar possessions, with strong performances by seniors Tyler Reece and Marshall Tolson, juniors Hayden Henley and Mathew Taft, sophomore Bighorse and freshman Kienan Cheeves. Reece and Tolson each had a sack, and Henley batted down a pair of passes. Oklahoma Union managed to get on the board by moving 56 yards midway through the final period for a touchdown on a 15-yard reverse. Following the Cougar score, Levi Youngwolfe took the kickoff 75 yards for an apparent TD — but it was negated by an illegal block.

The Huskies had gone up, 21-0, at the end of the third quarter when running back Bighorse powered over from two yards out to wrap up a 67-yard scoring march. Freshman Brian Jeffers ran for the extra point and later added a TD of his own with 2:37 left in the game. Bighorse again booted the extra point. The last TD was set up when Pawhuska defender Chanler Collins stripped the ball loose and senior teammate Tyler Reece snagged it in mid-air at the Oklahoma Union 6-yard line.

Pawhuska evened its season record at 4-4 and will take a 3-1 District 2A-8 mark into the Friday night game at Chelsea. The Huskies conclude their regular season by hosting the Nowata Ironmen, the district’s unbeaten leaders.

The Cougars (2-6, 1-4) wrap up their 2A-8 slate at Commerce next Friday. In Friday’s contest, Oklahoma Union was led by its assistant coaches due to the recent departure of second-year head coach Rich Giesen. One of those assistants is Dave Hindman, who spent last season as an assistant for the Huskies. Giesen reportedly resigned his coaching duties last week following an alleged team hazing incident, which also resulted in the suspensions of four Cougar players.

HUSKIES 28, COUGARS 6

Okla. Union: 0 - 0 - 0 - 6 — 6

Pawhuska: 13 - 0 - 8 - 7 — 28

First quarter

P — Hayden Javellas 5 yd pass from Caleb Bruce (John Bighorse kick), 2:05

P — Javellas 80-yd punt return (kick failed), :10

Third quarter

P — John Bighorse 2-yd run (Brian Jeffers run), :27

Fourth quarter

O — Cale Perdue 15-yd run (run failed), 6:24

P — Jeffers 2-yd run (Bighorse kick), 2:37

GAME STATISTICS

1st downs: Okla. Union 6, Pawhuska 16

Rushes-yds: OkU 33-77, PHS 48-136

Passing yards: OkU 56, PHS 127

Comps-atts-int: OkU 3-15-0, PHS 9-14-1

Fumbles lost: OkU 0, PHS 2

Punts-yd avg.: OkU 9-35, PHS 2-49.5

Returns yds: OkU 22, PHS 111

Penalties-yds: OkU 8-60, PHS 4-30

Oklahoma Union Cougars (2-6, 1-3) — RUSHING: Logan Johnson 10 carries for 41 yds, Caleb Brooks 8-28, Ty Smith 2-6, Danny Fogarty 1-5, John Baker 3-4, Kannon McCune 4-minus 22, Gatlun Thomas 2-2, Jacob Auer 1-2, Dakota Handke 1-minus 4, Cale Perdue 1-15-1 TD, . PASSING: Kannon McCune 3 completions on 15 attempts for 56 yds. RECEIVING: Justin Lundy 3 catches for 56 yds.

Pawhuska Huskies (4-4, 3-1) — RUSHING: John Bighorse 17 carries for 74 yards and 1 TD, Brian Jeffers 15-53-1 TD, Caleb Bruce 12-minus 6, Hayden Javellas 2-10, Mathew Taft 2-5. PASSING: Caleb Bruce 9 completions in 14 attempts for 127 yds and 1 TD. RECEIVING: Hayden Javellas 4 catches for 66 yds and 1 TD, Mathew Taft 2-26, Trey RedEagle 1-13, Warren Graves 1-11, Brycen Swan 1-11.