Hominy falls to Cleveland

Robert Smith rsmith@pawhuskajournalcapital.com
Tommy Hayes (2) runs the ball for Hominy in first quarter action Thursday against Cleveland.

HOMINY — The Cleveland High School Tigers spoiled the party Thursday night for the Hominy faithful, who packed the stands, many of them wearing their 2018 “Get A Rat” T-shirts. The Tigers led 14-0 by the end of the first quarter, and 28-0 at the half. The final tally was 42-12 in favor of the visitors.

Cleveland is now 2-0, while Hominy dropped to 1-1.

Hominy, a Class A school, versus Cleveland, which is 4A, is an annual early season rivalry game between high school football teams from cross-river towns. Hominy fans refer to the Clevelanders as “rats,” as in “river rats,” and scrawl “Get A Rat” on their vehicle windows. The Clevelanders respond with “Get A Buck” shirts and plenty of high spirits of their own.

Cleveland won the coin toss Thursday, took the initial kickoff and marched more than 60 yards to a game-opening touchdown scored with 7:18 to go in the first quarter. With the point after, it was 7-0.

Hominy started its first series of downs at its own 11 and showed guts by going for the first down on fourth and about one. The Bucks converted and kept the ball, but were unable to do more with it. They punted, but the shanked kick went out of bounds at the Hominy 39 and set Cleveland up in position to drive for another score. Ethan Sizemore caught a touchdown pass with 1:52 left in the first quarter, the point after was good and it was 14-0.

Hominy mustered its most-promising offensive possession of the first half right before the intermission, but turned the ball over on a fourth-down pass that a Cleveland defender intercepted.

“Ain’t no need complaining to the official,” a Hominy fan said as he walked away from the vantage point from which he’d been watching the action. “It ain’t the official’s fault.”

The third quarter passed by with Cleveland up 28-0 and the two teams pushing back and forth a little, but nothing dramatic breaking loose.

And then, early in the fourth quarter, on a third and 11 play from his own 44, Hominy quarterback Blake Hipp threw it long down the left side to his brother, Mike Hipp, setting the Bucks up with a first and goal from the 6. Hominy pushed into the end zone and the home crowd came back to life. The pass for a two-point conversion fell incomplete and the score was 28-6 with 10:37 to go.

Cleveland wasted no time, however, asserting its dominance. The Tigers took three plays to cover 65 yards and go up 35-6. Hominy then fumbled the ensuing kickoff and Cleveland recovered at the Bucks’ 20 yard line. Cleveland scored again and went up 42-6.

Hominy scored another touchdown, with running back Clifford “Cliffie” Hayes pulling workhorse duty and taking the egg into the end zone with 3:33 left, but it was too little too late.

Hominy will have a bye week this week and will play its next game Sept. 14 at home against conference opponent Barnsdall.