Season ends with playoff loss

Mike ErwinJournal-Capital
Season ends with playoff loss

COLCORD — As things turned out, the Pawhuska High School pep band may have caught a lucky break when bus trouble forced it to miss Friday’s opening-round game in Class 2A state football playoffs.

The Colcord Hornets notched their 10th season victory in brutally convincing fashion, 44-0, over a Huskies’ squad that never called retreat despite being overwhelmed by the hosts on offense and defense.

Fumbles crippled the Pawhuska attack, which gained just 83 total yards — 400 fewer than Colcord. PHS’s musical support had been appreciated throughout the now-concluded campaign, but it would have been drowned out by a frequently-sounded railway horn that blared each time something bad happened to the visitors.

The Hornets seized control on the pre-game coin flip (which they also won) and did not let up until they were 30 points in front. When the frozen dust finally cleared, six different Colcord players had scored touchdowns.

Two minutes and 14 seconds into the contest, the Huskies fumbled at their own 11-yard line on the third play from scrimmage. Colcord needed just two snaps to go in front, 7-0, on a reverse-run touchdown and successful point-after kick. Following a Pawhuska punt three minutes later, the home team marched 72 yards in seven plays to a second TD. The next Huskie punt was blocked to set up a 12-yard drive for a 19-0 Hornet advantage with 1 1/2 minutes left in the opening quarter.

While the Hornets were rolling up 14 first downs in the initial half, the Huskies picked up only three. Pawhuska reached the Colcord 30-yard line before giving the ball over on downs four minutes before halftime. The Hornets then went on an eight-play scoring drive capped by a 19-yard run on a fourth-down-and-seven play to make it a 26-0 game at the break.

PHS’s third first down came via a roughing-the-passer call — one of 70 yards worth of penalties Colcord collected over the first two periods. The Hornets finished the night with a dozen penalties for 105 yards.

The second half opened on a positive note for the Pawhuskans when a well-placed kickoff by John Bighorse was recovered by Huskie teammate Hayden Javellas at the Hornet’s 25. Pawhuska moved the ball inside the Colcord 3-yard line before turning it over on downs. A 17-yard Hornet run was followed by an 80-yard TD pass that put the hosts’ ahead by 32. The Huskies lost a fumble on their next possession and it looked like things could get no worse for them — but, unfortunately, they could.

Three plays into an eight-play, 49-yard Colcord touchdown drive which made it 38-0, PHS sophomore standout Bighorse was knocked from the game with an apparent knee injury. The 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker/running back was transported for hospital treatment before the start of the fourth quarter. Bighorse, who earned All-District honors as a freshman, is also an emerging star in wrestling and baseball.

The Hornets went on to recover two more Pawhuska fumbles, giving them five for the evening. With two minutes left, a reserve Colcord lineman pulled the ball from a Huskie runner and rumbled 26 yards for a final score. In a peculiar late show of sportsmanship, the Hornet QB took a knee rather than attempt the final extra point.

Despite the dreary outcome, several Huskie defenders turned in outstanding performances. The rugged play of Pawhuska senior Marshall Tolson even garnered praise from Colcord’s Hornet-loving home announcer. Tolson had a sack and two tackles for losses against the relentless Colcord offense. Seniors Tyler Reece, Dakota Jester, Trey Redeagle and Javellas also gave tremendous last-game efforts, as did junior leaders Mathew Taft, Chanler Collins and Hayden Henley.

Pawhuska finished 5-6 in a season that started with three consecutive losses and ended with punishing defeats at the hands of unbeaten Nowata and one-loss Colcord. Resilience and tenacity earned the Huskies a sixth straight trip to the playoffs as they won five of six games midseason contests — including four in District 2A-8.

Head coach Bob Craig and his crackerjack staff of Mark Frye, Brian Edwards, Monty Unruh and James Mann deserve plenty of credit for the team’s success. The Huskies also were given a boost with the return of PHS legend Duke Atterberry, who is back in town following college and pro coaching stints.

Pawhuska began the campaign with a youthful roster of fewer than 30 players — which severely limited intra-squad workouts.The Huskies also lost several players to injury — including starting sophomore quarterback Colton Hindman, senior lineman/long snapper Trey Powell and projected two-way starter Gage Dagenais (who went out in the pre-season).

“Some people think making it to the playoffs is easy, but that’s not the case,” coach Craig said. “We kept improving all year long and adapted to some tough situations.”

Through grit and hard work, the Huskies again earned a spot in the postseason. And a new cast of PHS stars was unveiled — including sophomores Caleb Bruce, Bighorse, Warren Graves and Levi Youngwolfe and freshmen Brian Jeffers and Kienan Cheves.

Colcord improved to 10-1 and faces a second-round road matchup with 9-1 Stroud.

HORNETS 44, HUSKIES 0

Pawhuska: 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 — 0

Colcord: 19 - 7 - 12 - 6 — 44

First quarter

Col — Seth Chamberlain 11-yd run (Cash Hayes kick), 9:46

Col — J.J. Potter 1-yd run (kick fail), 4:05

Col — Brandon Harper 3-yd run (pass fail), 1:28

Second quarter

Col — Harper 19-yd run (Hayes kick), 1:25

Third quarter

Col — Cash Hayes 80-yd pass from Caleb Shawver (kick fail), 7:20

Col — Mandan Shawver 1-yd run (kick fail), 2:25

Fourth quarter

Col — Blake Meyers 26-yd return of recovered fumble (run fail), 2:15.

GAME STATISTICS

1st downs: P 5, C 22

Rushes-yds: P 28-15, C33-213

Pass yards: P 68, C 270

Comp-passes-int: P 10-20-0, 10-22-0

Fumbles lost: P 5, C 0

Punts-avg: P 3-34, C 0

Returns-yds: P 83, C 26

Penalties-yds: P 3-25,C 12-105

PAWHUSKA HUSKIES (5-6) — RUSHING: John Bighorse 8 carries for 8 yds, Hayden Javellas 6-6, Caleb Bruce 7-5, Briab Jeffers 6-minus 1, Mathew Taft 1-minus 3. PASSING: Caleb Bruce 10 completions in 19 attempts for 68 yds, John Bighorse 0-1-0. RECEIVING: Brian Jeffers 4 catches for 28 yds, Hayden Javellas 3-20, Trey Redeagle 1-8, John Bighorse 1-7, Warren Graves 1-5.

COLCORD HORNETS (10-1) — RUSHING: J.J. Potter 12 carries for 95 yds and 1 TD, Brandon Harper 6-40-2 TDs, Mandan Shawver 7-39-1 TD, Caleb Shawver 4-25, Seth Chamberlain 1-10-1 TD, Will Farris 1-5, Cash Hayes 2-minus 1. PASSING: Caleb Shawver 10 completions in 20 attempts for 270 yds and 1 TD, Cash Hayes 0-2-0. RECEIVING: Cash Hayes 3 catches for 114 yds and 1 TD, Seth Chamberlain 3-65, Lane Osborn 2-73, Caleb Crites 1-10, Tyler Potter 1-8.