Huskies set scoring record in win over Ketchum
Three years ago, the Pawhuska High School Huskies stumbled out of an 0-10 season — they suited up 15 players for their last game that season.
On Friday night, the Huskies completed jaw-dropping 360-degree metamorphosis by wrapping up a 10-0 campaign — and making some state history in the process with a 95-6 win over the Ketchum Warriors..
Pawhuska, ranked No. 1 in the state in Class A, will receive a bye this Friday to open the postseason. The Huskies will play either Hominy or Afton in the second round on Nov. 14.
Pawhuska's Bryce Drummond had the kind of game most quarterbacks dream about in the Huskies' win: 13 completions — six touchdowns.
The point total lifted Pawhuska to the state single-season scoring record (695) — breaking the record that Huskies coach Matt Hennesy set a few years ago with Locust Grove High School.
Ketchum proved to be just another ladder rung in Pawhuska's climb toward destiny.
"I think it's just a tribute to these kids, going from 0-10 three years ago to 10-0," Hennesy said about his Huskies. "Three years ago, they were in the same place Ketchum is. They put in the work. The worked their tails off for the past three years. I don't think anyone worked hard than us and that's why it happened."
Drummond — who played on the offensive line as a freshman in the winless 2017 season — hit on 13-of-15 passes for 250 yards and scoring hookups with Mason Gilkey (two), Holton Justus (two) and Dalton Hurd and Hagen McGuire.
Drummond also rushed for 88 yards — on just four carries — and two touchdowns.
Gilkey finished with 103 yards receiving to lead a group of five receivers with more than 30 yards in receptions.
Mercifully for Ketchum, Hennesy pulled Drummond following just 14 offensive plays.
Providing the pass protection and spearheading the rushing attack was a blockbuster — or, rather block-busting — line, led by starters Connor Easley, Blaine Sweeden, Jamar Goff, Noah Wilson and Dylan Doyal.
Usual starting pit warrior Jesse Carr would have been a part of that effort but he missed the action due to an injury, Hennesy said.
On the defensive side, four Huskies recorded double-digit tackles — Tyrel Richardson (19), Jack Long (14), Lesharo Wildcat (13) and McGuire (12).
JoJo Hendren grabbed an interception and scored a defensive touchdown, and Lane Cosby had another pick.
The Huskies recorded 28 tackles for loss as a team.
Pawhuska scored nine times on only 14 plays in the first half, Hennesy noted.
"We're clicking right now in all aspects," he said.
Although setting the state scoring record is gratifying, it's just a side-benefit to Hennesy.
"That's not what we came to do," he explained. "It's fun being the unbeaten district champs and its fun setting the scoring record, but our goal is still to win the state title, which means we have to go through Cashion, Ringling and Pawnee."
Last year, Pawhuska made it to the quarterfinals and finished 11-2 overall.
The Huskies have posted a 21-2 record, including playoffs, during their past 23 games.