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November 2018 Articles

Eagles Intercept Cherokee Threat to Earn Playoff Win

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 In was a slow start for the Waurika Eagles last Friday night in the second round playoff contest with Cherokee, but the Eagles broke loose for a 58-14 win over the Chiefs with the aid of five Cherokee interceptions.

Waurika will hit the road for the quarterfinal round. The Eagles travel to Davenport on Friday. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

 The Eagles had a few turnover problems, too, as the first two Eagle drives ended with a fumble and an interception.

Turner Mora looking for an open receiver.
Photo by Curtis Plant

But the Waurika defense held its ground and forced Cherokee to punt on its first two offensive thrusts.

 After the second punt, the Eagles took the ball at the Waurika 18 and marched 82 yards in just eight plays for the first score of the game.

Turner Mora connected with Aaron Nitka and Hunter Wesberry on two big pass plays to help the Eagles advance down the field.

Kevin Garcia racing toward the end-zone.
Photo by Curtis Plant

Zac Brown capped the drive with a six-yard run and Colton Bryant ran for the two points to give the Eagles an 8-0 advantage with 1:40 left in the first period.

Cherokee answered the score after Kade Chace returned the kickoff to the Cherokee 44 yard line. It took the Chiefs five plays to get the game-tying score.

On the first play of the second quarter, Chace found 6-8 wide receiver Blake Hall in the end zone for a 12-yard touchdown pass. Chace added the two-point conversion with 11:55 left before intermission.

Photo by Curtis Plant

The Eagles were forced to punt on the ensuing series and the Chiefs took over at their own 27-yard line.

The Chiefs drove down the field, but on a second down pass by Chace, Waurika’s Wesberry made a diving interception to thwart the drive and give the Eagles possession at their own two.

Disaster struck on the first play for the Eagles as they fumbled the handoff and Cherokee’s Damein Labato recovered just inside the end zone for the Chief touchdown. The run failed, but the Chiefs were in front, 14-8 with 7:23 left before the half.

The Waurika Defense.
Photo by Curtis Plant

This was only the second time this season the Eagles have trailed in a game, but they responded well to the challenge.

After a 12-yard kickoff return by Kevin Garcia, the Eagles were in business at their own 48. Overcoming a penalty, the Eagles drove the distance in seven plays with Mora getting the score on a one-yard plunge. Mora connected with Aaron Nitka for the two-point conversion and Waurika was back in front, 16-14, with 4:19 left in the second quarter.

Things began to turn south from this point as Treavor Green could not handle a pooch kickoff by the Eagles and Austin Dyer was there to recover the ball for the Eagles.

Cherokee forced another Waurika punt, but Payton Ream let the ball go through his hands and Edwin Garcia was downfield for the Eagles to recover the ball.

Coach Joe Allen talking with Turner Mora.
Photo by Curtis Plant

A Cherokee penalty on the play put Waurika at the Chiefs’ seven-yard line and in just two plays the Eagles’ Mora got the score from five yards out. Matt Arriolla ran for the two-point conversion giving Waurika 24-14 lead with 2:21 left in the half.

Following a Cherokee penalty on its first play, Wesberry picked off his second pass of the game and returned it to the Cherokee 24 giving the Eagles another golden opportunity.

The Eagles covered the distance in just four plays with Mora getting the touchdown on a two-yard run. K. Garcia ran for the two points and with just 40 seconds showing on the clock, Waurika held a commanding 32-14 lead.

Waurika sideline.
Photo by Curtis Plant

The second half belonged to the Eagles. The defense stepped up and thwarted three of the four Cherokee possessions by snaring interceptions. The other possession the Eagles held Cherokee on fourth down.

Meanwhile, the Waurika offense continued to churn out scoring drives to dominate the second half.

On Cherokee’s first possession of the second half, K. Garcia picked off an errant Cherokee pass and returned the ball 33 yards to the Cherokee 27 yard line.

K. Garcia went the distance on first down for the score to increase Waurika’s lead to 38-14 with 9:15 to play in the third quarter.

Waurika defensive player stopping a Cherokee runner.
Photo by Curtis Plant

 The next Cherokee drive also ended with an interception by Mora. He returned it 23 yards from the Waurika one, but a Waurika holding penalty set the Eagles back to the Waurika 15.

The Eagles engineered a 10-play, 85-yard scoring drive and the scoring play was a 22-yard pass from Mora to Nitka. After the two-point conversion failed, the Eagles held a 44-14 lead with 3:12 left in the third quarter.

Cherokee was able to pick up a first down on the ensuing possession, but the Eagle defense stuffed a fourth down and short run to take the ball over on downs.

This time it took the Eagles 12 plays to cover 60 yards for another score. Arriolla was heading into the end zone for the score but fumbled and Jordan Watkins fell on the loose ball for the Waurika touchdown. Mora ran for the two-point conversion giving Waurika a 52-14 lead with just 7:52 left in the game.

Front row (l-r) Mallory Adkins, Nicole Burton, Lexi Streeter, Tallon Mora, Faith Roberson,
Back row: (l-r) Kaci Reynolds, Emily Waid, Regina Bradley, Gracie Walling, Olivia Ralls, Madison Christian, and Kaitlyn Washburn
Photo by Curtis Plant

On the kickoff, Cherokee failed to field the ball and Mora raced down the field to cover the ball giving the Eagles possession at the Cherokee 28. On the first play, Mora raced 28 yards for the score. The two-point conversion that would have ended the game by the mercy rule failed, but with 7:44 remaining in the game the final margin was established.

Cherokee moved the ball to the Waurika 16 on the following possession, but K. Garcia ended that threat with an interception in the end zone and Waurika successfully ran off the final 3:07 of the game to secure the win.

K. Garcia picked up 170 yards on 14 carries for the Eagles, while Arriolla, who came in for an injured Bryant, added 105 yards on 11 carries.

Wesberry and K. Garcia each had two interceptions for the Waurika defense and that helped limit the Chiefs to only 58 offensive plays compared to Waurika’s 72 plays.

EAGLE FLIGHTS:

  After the Chiefs scored their second touchdown in the second quarter it marked only the second time all season Waurika has trailed an opponent….The 58 points scored is the second highest total by Waurika in a playoff game…The 1951 state championship team put up 65 points on Okemah in the state finals that year….The 170 yards rushing by K. Garcia is the top rushing mark for the season by a Waurika player….Mora’s four touchdowns on the ground was a season-high for the Eagle quarterback….It is also the most rushing touchdowns by any Waurika player this season…The 10 penalties whistled against the Eagles is the most this season and the 85 yards in penalties against Waurika is the most yards penalized this season….The 58 points scored by Waurika is tied for the third highest number of points scored in a game in 2018…Arriolla’s 105 yards rushing is also the top mark of the season for the freshman running back…The 374 yards rushing for the Eagles is the most this year and the first time they have topped the 300-yard mark mainly because only two games went the full four quarters during the season.

                                Game in Figures

                                CHS         WHS

First Downs             12            23

Yards Rushing         34-132     54-374

Yards Passing         102          133

Passes                     8-12         9-16

Passes Int. By          1              5

Fumbles, Lost          1-1           3-2

Punts                       2-33         2-39

Penalties                  4-30         10-95

                SCORE BY QUARTERS

Cheroke   0              14            0              0–14

Waurika   8              24          12            14–58

WAURIKA – Zac Brown 6 run (Colton Bryant run), 1:40, 1st Quarter

CHEROKEE – Blake Hall 12 pass from Kade Chace (Chace run), 11:55, 2nd Quarter

CHEROKEE – Damien Labato recovered fumble in end zone (run failed), 7:23, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Turner Mora 4 run (Aaron Nitka pass from Mora), 4:19, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 5 run (Matt Arriolla run), 2:21, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 2 run (Kevin Garcia), :40, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Garcia 27 run (run failed), 9:15, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Nitka 22 pass from Mora (run failed), 3:12, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Jordan Watkins recovered fumble in end zone (Mora run), 7:52, 4th Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 28 run (run failed), 7:44, 4th Quarter

                INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

CHEROKEE: Rushing – Chace 18-76, Payton Ream 16-44, Labato 5-12; Passing – Chace 8-17-102-5; Receiving – Ream 3-38, Hall 2-27, Jacob Mustard 2-14, Blaine Hellar 1-23.

WAURIKA – Rushing – K. Garcia 14-170, Arriolla 11-105, Mora 14-54, Brown 9-39, Bryant 5-9, Austin Dyer 1- -3; Passing: Mora 9-16-133-1; Receiving: Nitka 3-62, Arriola 2-22, Hunter Wesberry 1-26, Brown 1-13, Bryant 1-5, K. Garcia 1-5

Playoff Loss Does Not Dampen 2018 Waurika Grid Success

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 The quarterfinal loss suffered by the Waurika Eagles certainly was hard to take, but it should not take away from one of the best football seasons in school history.

Waurika finished the season with an 11-1 record and that mark ties for the fifth most wins in a season for the Eagles.

The Eagles were ranked ninth in the final Class B poll by The Daily Oklahoman. The last time a Waurika team finished ranked in the top 10 was in 1997 when the Eagles were ranked seventh in the final rankings.

The 11 victories were the most since Waurika put together 12 wins in the 1988 season.

Waurika was undefeated in the regular season and that has happened only five other times in the 99-year history of the sport at Waurika.

Waurika Cheerleaders, band, and football players at the pep-rally.
Photo by Adam Brinson

Not even the state title team in 1951 finished the regular season with an unblemished record.

Two of the unbeaten seasons came in 1928 and 1933, which were before the playoff system began in Oklahoma. The records for those two years feature some tie scores in the results.

 The 1928 team finished 7-0-5 and in 1933 the Eagles were 8-0-2.

 The 2018 squad claimed the second district title since beginning eight-man play.

The season-ending loss in the quarterfinals marked the first quarterfinal playoff appearance by a Waurika team since the 1996 squad defeating Ringling, 14-6, before falling in the semifinal round.

Photo by Adam Brinson

In Waurika’s 11 wins they have played beyond halftime only three times. Waurika was involved in a total of 10 games that did not go the full four quarters.

 The Eagles outscored opponents by an average of 49.3 to 13.3. Waurika scored an incredible 498 points in the first half against their opponents while surrendering only 146 – and 52 of those points came in the loss to Davenport.

Opponents only scored 14 points in the second half against the Eagles, but that is mainly due to most games ending at halftime because of the 45-point mercy rule.

Certainly, the 2018 squad coached by first-year mentor Joe Allen accomplished a great deal. But, there were also some outstanding individual performances during the season.

Turner Mora was outstanding directing the Eagle offense from the quarterback slot. The talented junior signal-caller finished with 24 rushing touchdowns, two kickoff returns for scores and 18 two-point conversion runs for a total of 192 points during the season. He also threw 12 touchdown passes during the season.

Colton Bryant, a senior running back for the Eagles was the second leading scorer on the team. He rushed for 15 touchdowns and had three touchdown receptions. He also returned three interceptions for scores and had 20 two-point conversions.

The longest run from scrimmage for a score during the season came in the Eagles’ critical win at Wilson. Zachary Brown raced 80 yards for a score to top the list of long-distance touchdown runs.

Bryant and Mora also had long scoring runs. Bryant had a 78-yard run against Grandfield, while Mora scored from 71 yards out against Bray-Doyle.

The longest scoring pass play came against Central High when Mora connected with Hunter Wesberry from 44 yards out.

The Eagles had only two kickoff returns all season and Mora had both of those. A 75-yard return against Carnegie was the longest of the season.

Bryant’s 50-yard interception return against Ryan was the longest of three interceptions returned for a touchdown and Bryant had all three of them.

Waurika returned five opponents’ fumbles for scores. Edwin Garcia’s 55-yard scoop-and-score against Caddo was the longest return of the year.

The Eagles will try to build on the success of the 2018 campaign next season and will have seven returning starters to help provide some stability for the 2019 squad, which will likely be tabbed to repeat as district champions.

Waurika Squads Split Doubleheader with Geronimo in Opener

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 Waurika opened the 2019 season on the road Tuesday night as the Eagles and Lady Eagles traveled to Geronimo.

The Lady Eagles won a thriller, 44-43, while the Waurika boys fell to Geronimo, 45-35.

Both teams will be in action tomorrow night when Waurika will play host to Elmore City-Pernell. Tipoff is 6:30 for the girls’ game at the Waurika gym.

The Lady Eagles trailed Geronimo much of the first quarter until Madison Roberson completed a traditional three-point play to knot the score at 10 with 2:56 remaining in the initial period.

Waurika ended the quarter with five straight points and held a 17-12 lead.

The Lady Eagles dominated the second quarter. Waurika outscored Geronimo 8-1 in the first six minutes of the second quarter and went to the locker room with a commanding 28-16 lead after Asia Smith’s three-pointer with six seconds showing on the clock.

Geronimo rallied in the third quarter and a 6-0 spurt to end the period cut Waurika’s lead to 35-33.

Waurika extended the lead to 38-33 on Gracie Walling’s layup with 6:46 left in the game, but Geronimo scored the next six points to grab the lead at 39-38 with 2:47 left in the contest.

A free throw by Geronimo’s Lottie Deere gave Geronimo a 40-38 advantage with 2:24 left and Smith tied the game with a short jumper with just over two minutes left.

The teams traded turnovers and with 58 seconds to play Jade Bessemer nailed a three-pointer to put Geronimo back in front, 43-40.

The Lady Eagles got within one when Roberson got an offensive rebound and put the ball in the basket leaving Waurika trailing, 43-42, with 33.5 seconds left.

The final 30 seconds had both teams scurrying. Waurika had not committed enough fouls to send Geronimo to the free throw line.

Madison Dees made two big plays to end the game. Dees got a steal with 15 seconds left and was fouled with 11.3 showing on the clock. She missed both free throws, but Roberson grabbed the rebound and missed.

Dees was right there to get the miss and put the ball in the basket with 5.3 seconds showing.

The Lady Blue Jays turned the ball over to help preserve the Waurika win.

Roberson was outstanding for the Lady Eagles and dominated the inside. She finished with 22 points and Gracie Walling chipped in 11 points.

Geronimo stayed in the game by taking advantage of 23 Waurika turnovers. The Lady Eagles held the edge in rebounds, 34-23.

In the boys’ contest, it appeared Waurika would record a sweep as the Eagles led after one, 13-10 and held onto the lead at halftime, 20-17.

Geronimo got two free throws to open the third quarter, but Waurika reeled off six straight points for a 26-19 advantage with 5:13 left in the quarter when Turner Mora put back a missed shot.

That would be the largest lead of the game for Waurika.

Kevin Garcia got a layup off an inbounds play with 1:46 left to give Waurika a 31-25 lead, but Geronimo closed the third quarter on a 7-0 run and took a 32-31 lead when Jadyn Taylor hit a 14-footer at the buzzer.

The Eagles never recovered. Taylor opened the fourth quarter with a bucket before Cache Arellano tied the game at 34-34 with a trey at the 6:09 mark.

Arellano moved the Eagles in front for the final time by converting one of two free throws putting Waurika on top, 35-34, with 5:50 left. That would be the final point scored by the Eagles.

Geronimo finished the game on an 11-0 run which was fueled by excellent free throw shooting by the Blue Jays. Geronimo hit seven of nine free throws to seal the victory.

The game was somewhat sloppy with Waurika committing 25 turnovers and Geronimo recording 23 turnovers. Waurika dominated the boards with a 42-28 advantage.

The Eagles showed the effects of just a couple of practices after having ended the football season last Friday.

Waurika will hit the road again Tuesday when they travel to Temple and then one week from today the basketball squads will begin play in the Comet Classic at Velma-Alma.

WAURIKA 44, GERONIMO 43 (G)

Waurika 17              11            7              9-44

Geronimo 12           4              17            10-43

WAURIKA – Asia Smith 3-0-7, Faith Roberson 0-1-1, Tallin Mora 1-0-2, Hope Cummings 1-0-2, Madison Dees 1-0-2, Gracie Walling 4-3-11, Madison Roberson 8-5-22. TOTALS: 18-9-45. Three-pointers: Smith.

GERONIMO – Elizabeth McCarthy 6-1-15, Hailey Werger 1-0-2, Jade Bessemer 2-1-7, Precious Reeder 3-6-12, Lottie Deere 3-1-7. TOTALS: 15-9-43. Three-pointers: McCarthy 2, Bessemer 2.

GERONIMO 45, WAURIKA 35 (B)

Waurika   13            7              11            4-35

Geronimo 10           7              15            13–45

WAURIKA – Turner Mora 1-0-2, Aaron Nitka 3-4-10, Payton Fletcher 1-0-2, Kevin Garcia 2-0-4, Cache Arellano 6-2-17. TOTALS: 13-6-35. Three-pointers: Arellano 3.

GERONIMO – Jadyn Taylor 3-1-7, Collin Barvientos 1-0-2, Wyatt Johnson 1-2-4, Christian Ussery 7-5-22, Billy Allen 1-0-3, Spencer Jones 1-3-5, David Leveille 1-0-2. TOTALS: 15-11-45. Three-pointers: Ussery 4, Allen.

District Champs!

The Waurika Eagles won the District Championship tonight at home against the Empire Bulldogs. It was an exciting game. Obviously the complete story will be in this upcoming week’s paper told by Trey Smart, but for now we just wanted to say congratulations to the Waurika Eagles on a perfect season.

Waurika Wins District Championship

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 The Waurika Eagles overcame a somewhat sluggish start to the first and second half of last Friday’s contest with Empire to claim a 68-22 victory over the Bulldogs.

The win earned the Eagles their first district title since 2016 and will ensure the squad of two home playoff games.

Photo by Adam Brinson

 The first game will be tomorrow night at Cy Sloan Stadium when Waurika will play host to Cyril in a rematch of last year’s first-round contest. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.

Empire took the opening kickoff and moved 66 yards in 11 plays to get the first score of the game.

Rodolfo Martinez found a wide-open Lucas Contreras on a 23-yard touchdown pass and Martinez ran for the two points to put Empire in front, 8-0, with 7:58 to play in the first quarter.

Austin Dyer
Photo by Adam Brinson

The score by the Bulldogs apparently ignited the Eagles as they took the ensuing kickoff and in just two plays traveled 56 yards for the game-tying score. Turner Mora connected with Colton Bryant on a 43-yard pass play for the touchdown. Zac Brown added the two-point conversion to tie the game at 8-8.

Empire looked like it would answer the Eagle challenge as they drove the ball deep inside Waurika territory before a fourth down stop ended the threat at the Eagle 16.

Gatlin Black shutting down an Empire ball carrier.
Photo by Adam Brinson

On Waurika’s next possession the Eagles could not pick up a first down and on fourth down Empire blocked the Waurika punt and took possession at the Eagle 12.

The Bulldogs, however, handed the ball right back to Waurika as they fumbled at the Eagle 10 and the Waurika offense was back on the field.

The Eagles looked poised for the go-ahead score as a long drive ended the first quarter, but early in the second quarter the drive ended on a failed fourth down play just inside Empire’s 20-yard line.

Empire gambled on its next drive and it proved to be a costly one. On a fourth and short the Bulldogs elected to go for it but were stopped giving the Eagles excellent field position at the Bulldog 32-yard line.

Zac Brown looking for an opening in the Empire defensive life.
Photo by Adam Brinson

In just three plays the Eagles got the go-ahead score as Mora found Kevin Garcia for a 33-yard touchdown pass. Mora ran for the two points and Waurika’s lead expanded to 16-8 with 5:47 to play in the half.

 Another failed fourth down attempt on Empire’s next drive set Waurika up inside Bulldog territory at the 41-yard line.

 On the first play, Mora swept to the left side and scooted down the sideline 41 yards for the score. The try for two failed, but Waurika held a 22-8 lead with 4:11 left before intermission.

The Eagles were not through lighting up the scoreboard in the quarter as Empire failed on yet another fourth down attempt and gave Waurika the ball at the Empire 37.

Waurika could not move and was in punt formation on fourth down when Mora from punt formation took the ball and after being forced to reverse his direction, picked up 12 yards to keep the drive alive.

Edwin Garcia scoring a touchdown in Waurika’s game against Empire.
Photo by Adam Brinson

After an incomplete pass, Mora spotted a wide open Garcia for a 25-yard touchdown pass. Bryant added the two points and Waurika held a commanding 30-8 advantage heading to the locker room.

Empire threatened to tighten the game early in the second half. After stopping Waurika’s opening drive, the Bulldogs went 59 yards on three plays for a touchdown. The big play was a 38-yard scoring run by Peyton Booth and Brandon Mendenall caught the two-point conversion pass from Martinez to make it a 30-16 game with 8:52 left in the third quarter.

Again the Eagles shook off the uninspired effort and after a failed onside kick by Empire Waurika took the pigskin and traveled 49 yards on four plays. Mora found a wide open Edwin Garcia for a 35-yard scoring pass. After Bryant ran for the two-point conversion, the Eagles held a 38-16 advantage with 7:46 left in the third quarter.

Empire did not fold, however, and drove all the way to the Waurika 11-yard line before a fourth down effort resulted in a four-yard loss.

The Eagles took the ball and marched the length of the field helped a pass interference penalty and two unsportsmanlike conduct fouls on Empire. The score came on a 14-yard pass from Mora to Aaron Nitka to extend the Waurika lead to 44-16 with 11:19 to play in the game.

Turner Mora and the Waurika offensive line.
Photo by Adam Brinson

After another failed attempt on fourth down, Waurika took over at the Bulldog 27. On the first play, Brown found paydirt on a 27-yard scamper to the end zone. Bryant ran for the two points and the Eagles were firmly in command with a 52-16 lead.

The Bulldogs’ final score of the night came on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Martinez to Meray Weber. This put the margin at 52-22 with 5:44 to play in the game.

Empire attempted another onside kick, but this time Mora picked up the ball and sprinted 50 yards for a touchdown. Matt Arriolla ran for the two points and Waurika held a 60-22 lead with 5:35 left in the game.

Waurika’s offense.
Photo by Adam Brinson

The Bulldogs could not move on the next drive and punted to the Eagles. Brown capped the drive with a 29-yard run and after Bryant ran for the two-point conversion the game ended on the mercy rule with 3:14 left in the game.

With the Eagles getting a short field most of the night, the top ball carrier for Waurika, Mora, had only 73 yards on the ground, but the talented quarterback threw for 189 yards on the night. Brown added 64 yards and Bryant had 50 to help the Eagle offense.

Coach Joe Allen is congratulated with a Gatorade bath following Waurika’s victory over Empire.
Photo by Adam Brinson

EAGLE FLIGHTS: Waurika now holds a 21-11 advantage in the series with Empire that started in 1974 when Empire began playing football…The two schools have split the two meetings in eight-man competition…The 68 points scored by the Eagles is the most in the history of the series with the Bulldogs….The 22 points scored by the Bulldogs was the most for Empire in a losing cause in games with Waurika….The 46-point margin of victory for Waurika is tied for the third highest margin of victory in the 32 games with Empire…The game turned a bit ugly in the second half as the Empire bench was called for a total of three unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and the head coach for the Bulldogs being ejected last in the game….This will be the fourth straight playoff appearance for Waurika after going 14 years without a playoff appearance….Waurika head coach Joe Allen is the first coach in school history to compile an undefeated regular season in the first year as a head coach.

Game in Figures

                             EHS        WHS

First Downs             11            9

Yards Rushing         45-214     37-203

Yards Passing         61            189

Passes                     3-12         6-13

Passes Int. By          0              0

Fumbles, Lost          2-2           0-0

Punts                       N/A          N/A

Penalties                  3-45         3-35

                SCORE BY QUARTERS

Empire     8              0              8              6–22

Waurika   8              22            8              30-68

EMPIRE – Lucas Contreras 23 pass from Rodolfo Martinez (Martinez run), 7:58, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Colton Bryant 43 pass from Turner Mora (Zachary Brown run), 7:06, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Kevin Garcia 33 pass from Mora (Mora run), 5:47, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 41 run (run failed), 4:11, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Garcia 25 pass from Mora (Bryant run), 1:00, 2nd Quarter

EMPIRE – Peyton Booth 38 run (Brandon Mendenall pass from Martinez), 8:52, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Edwin Garcia 35 pass from Mora (Bryant run), 7:46, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Aaron Nitka 14 pass from Mora (run failed), 11:19, 4th Quarter

WAURIKA – Brown 27 run (Bryant run), 9:49, 4th Quarter

EMPIRE – Meray Weber 30 pass from Martinez (run failed), 5:44, 4th Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 50 kickoff return (Matt Arriolla run), 5:35, 4th Quarter

WAURIKA – Brown 29 run (Bryant run), 3:14, 4th Quarter

                INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

WAURIKA: Rushing – Mora 17-73, Brown 5-64, Bryant 9-50, Garcia 6-16; Passing – Mora 6-13-189-0; Receiving – Bryant 2-78, E. Garcia 1-35, K. Garcia 1-33, Brown 1-29, Nitka 1-14

Eagles Play Host to Cherokee in Second Round of Playoffs

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 Cy Sloan Stadium will continue to be the place to be in Waurika on Friday night as the Eagles take on Cherokee in the second round of the Class B playoffs.

Waurika will be looking to advance to the state quarterfinals for the first time since 1996 when they play host to the Chiefs.

Waurika advanced with a 48-0 victory over Cyril in the first round, while Cherokee earned a second-round playoff berth with a 36-16 victory over Turpin.

Much like the Eagles, the Chiefs have exceeded expectations during the 2018 season.

Cherokee was tabbed to finish third in District B-2, but earned the runner-up spot in the district after falling to Pioneer-Pleasant Vale, 58-40, in the final regular season game.

The Eagles were picked to finish third in District B-4, but rolled through the district competition to claim their first district title since 1988. Waurika scored mercy-rule victories over every district opponent except for Wilson.

The third round will be tougher for the team that advances from this encounter.

The winner will take on the winner of Davenport and Weleetka. Davenport, 11-0 on the year, is ranked second in Class B, while Weleetka, with an 8-3 mark, is ranked eighth.

Cherokee at Waurika

Time and Place: Friday at 7:30 p.m. on Norman West Field at Cy Sloan Stadium

Records: Cherokee is 7-4 on the year and was the runner-up in District B-2 with a 4-1 mark in district play. Waurika is 10-0 and was the champion of District B-4 with a 5-0 record.

State Rankings: Waurika is ranked ninth in the Daily Oklahoman’s Class B poll, while the Chiefs are unranked.

Coaches: Bryce Schanbacher is in his 11th season at the helm of the Chiefs and has a 96-52 mark with eight playoff appearances. Joe Allen is the first-year mentor for Waurika and has not lost in 10 games in 2018.

Series History: First meeting

Playoff History: Cherokee is in its 20th appearance in the playoffs with 12 of those coming in eight-man competition. The Chiefs have compiled a 19-17 mark in the playoffs and have won state titles in 2013 and 2010 when the Chiefs competed in Class C. The Chiefs also were state runner-up in 2014. The Chiefs missed the playoffs in 2017 ending a seven-year streak of qualifying for post-season play.

Waurika is in its 28th appearance in post-season play and the fourth time in eight-man play. Waurika has a 27-25-2 playoff record and one state championship in 1951. The Eagles earned their first district title in eight-man competition this season. Waurika will be looking for its 10th quarterfinal appearance in the playoffs win a win against Cherokee.

Team Capsules: Cherokee features a one-two punch on offense led by quarterback Cade Chace and running back Payton Ream. In the team’s win over Turpin, both players rushed for over 100 yards with Ream getting 112 yards and Chace finishing with 146 yards. Both scored two touchdowns in the game. Chace has been splitting time with Rustin James after the starting quarterback suffered a season-ending injury midway through the season. Ream had 124 yards in a loss to Pioneer-Pleasant Vale on the final night of the regular season in a game that settled the District B-2 race. Ream had five touchdowns, rushed for 262 yards and had 131 yards receiving in a wild 82-48 win over Kremlin-Hillsdale. Chace had all three scores in a tense 18-12 overtime win over Ringwood in week nine. The Chiefs are averaging 34.9 points per game on offense, but are surrendering 32 points a game. Cherokee racked up a season-high 678 total yards in the win over Kremlin-Hillsdale. The Chiefs have won five of their last six games.

The Eagles continued what will no doubt be one of the greatest seasons in school history with the first-round playoff win over Cyril. Waurika has the advantage as the district champion of hosting for the second round of the playoffs. If you are looking for impressive numbers by the Eagles, they are scarce because Waurika has ended its games early in nine of the 10 games making it difficult to compile any impressive statistics. Waurika played into the third quarter for only the third time in 2018 against Cyril. Turner Mora, Colton Bryant, and Zac Brown will be counted on in the running game, but Kevin Garcia had one of his best games last week in the first-round victory over Cyril. Aaron Nitka has been a favorite target of Mora when the Eagles have gone to the air. The Eagles have played beyond halftime only three times in 10 games. The Eagles are averaging an astounding 53.4 points a game while giving up only 4.2 points a game.

Outlook: Waurika must come up with another outstanding defensive performance similar to last Friday’s impressive performance against Cyril. But, the Eagles have been dominant on defense most of the year. It should be strength against strength as both teams have been able to score lots of points throughout the season. The Eagles’ quickness on defense should be the determining factor and if Waurika is prepared to handle the offensive onslaught of the Chiefs, they should move on to the quarterfinal round of the Class B playoffs.

Chiefs’ 2018 Results

Cherokee 38, Sharon-Mutual 18

S. Barber, KS 46, Cherokee 26

Cherokee 24, Waynoka 16

Seiling 38, Cherokee 14

Laverne 52, Cherokee 22

Cherokee 32, Waukomis 22

Cherokee 52, Garber 26

Cherokee 82, Kremlin 48

Cherokee 18, Ringwood 12 (OT)

Pioneer 58, Cherokee 40                       

Cherokee 36, Turpin 16*

Waurika Rolls to First Round Playoff Win over Cyril

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It took a little longer than most of Waurika’s victories in the 2018 season, but the Eagles eventually came away with another 48-0 mercy-rule victory over Cyril last Friday night in the first round of the Class B playoffs.

 The Eagles will host a second-round playoff game and will face Cherokee tomorrow night (Friday). Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. at the newly-named Norman West Field at Cy Sloan Stadium.

Waurika Head Coach Joe Allen
He has said in an interview that he is proud of the staff and how well they have worked together as well as the team.
Photo by Adam Brinson

 The Eagles totally dominated the game especially on defense giving up only 40 total yards through just over three and half quarters of play before Waurika ended the game by the 45-point rule.

 Waurika got the first break of the game when a fourth-down punt attempt went awry when the ball was snapped over the punter’s head.

 The Eagles took possession at the Cyril 23 and in just two plays scored the first touchdown. Turner Mora covered the final 21 yards. Zac Brown ran for the two points give Waurika an 8-0 advantage with 9:51 left in the first quarter.

Gatlin Black and Edwin Garcia
Photo by Adam Brinson

 The Pirates had snap issues on the next possession and Cyril was forced to punt after two bad snaps and a quarterback sack by Aaron Nitka.

 The Eagles set up at their own 42 and marched the 58 yards in just three plays Waurika had its second score of the night.

 Mora scooted down the left sideline and was tackled just inside the Cyril one for a 41-yard gain. Colton Bryant took the ball over the goal line on the next play to give Waurika a 14-0 lead with 7:17 showing on the first quarter clock.

Kevin Garcia
Photo by Adam Brinson

 After holding Cyril to another three-and-out, the Eagles started another drive at the Waurika 26. In just three plays the Eagles covered the 74 yards for another score. The big play of the drive was a 54-yard pass to Edwin Garcia that put the Eagles deep in Pirate territory.

 Two plays later, Mora picked up a bad snap and walked into the end zone from seven yards out. The two-point conversion failed, but Waurika held a 20-0 lead with 4:09 still to play in the first quarter.

Aaron Nitka tackling a Cyril player.
Photo by Adam Brinson

 After a series of exchanges in possessions, Cyril finally got something going as the Pirates moved from their own 48 to the Waurika one, but on a fourth down play, Gatlin Black crashed through to drop the Cyril quarterback for a five-yard loss.

 On Cyril’s next possession, Hunter Wesberry picked off a Pirate pass, but the Eagles were stymied after being stopped short on a fourth down play.

Hunter Wesberry, Aaron Nitka
Photo by Adam Brinson

 The Pirates took over on downs but on first down, Black pounced on a Cyril fumble giving the ball back to the Eagles.

 This time the Eagles took advantage of the turnover and in just two plays moved the 33 yards for the score. Kevin Garcia scored from 17 yards out and after the two-point conversion failed, the Eagles held a 26-0 lead with just 11 seconds left in the half.

Waurika’s offense.
Photo by Adam Brinson

 The second half opened with a failed Cyril onside kick that Austin Dyer recovered at midfield.

 On first down, K. Garcia went the distance for the score. The two-point conversion failed, but Waurika was in front, 32-0, with 11:48 left in the third quarter.

Colton Bryant
Photo by Adam Brinson

 Cyril could not move on its next drive and after Waurika took possession, Cyril’s Jose Rivera intercepted a Mora pass giving the Pirates possession at Cyril seven-yard line.

 On first down, the Cyril quarterback scrambled back into the end zone and was met by Mora and Jordan Watkins for a safety that increased the Waurika lead to 34-0 with 7:50 left in the third quarter.

 The free kick was returned to the Cyril four and Bryant scored on a four-yard run on first down. Brown got the two-point conversion and Waurika held a commanding 42-0 advantage with 7:40 left in the third quarter.

 With the mercy-rule victory now in sight, the Eagles attempted an onside kick which Waurika’s Dyer was able to retrieve giving the Eagles the ball. In six plays the Eagles were able to get the game-ending score as Mora scored from one yard away with 5:45 left in the third quarter.

EAGLE FLIGHTS: The 48-point margin of victory is the third best in school history behind the 55-point margin against Haileyville in 1988 and the 51-point win over Okemah in the 1951 state finals….The 48 points scored by the Eagles is the sixth most in school history during post-season play…The Eagles are 2-3 in the playoffs since moving to eight-man play and both wins have come over Cyril….This was the third time the Eagles have held an opponent to less than 40 yards of total offense during the 2018 season….Cyril still leads the series with the Eagles with four wins in the seven meetings….Waurika is 10-0 for only the second time in school history….This is the second time since beginning eight-man play the Eagles have advanced to the second round and only the third time since the 1996 season.

Game in Figures

                                CHS         WHS

First Downs             3              6

Yards Rushing         36-5         26-226

Yards Passing         35            54

Passes                     1-2           1-6

Passes Int. By          1              1

Fumbles, Lost          4-1           0-0

Punts                       3-31         1-40

Penalties                  2-20         0-0

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Cyril         0              0              0              x-0

Waurika   20            6              22            x-48

WAURIKA – Turner Mora 21 run (Zac Brown run), 9:57, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Colton Bryant 1 run (run failed), 7:17, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 7 run (run failed), 4:09, 1st Quarter

WAURIKA – Kevin Garcia 17 run (run failed), :11, 2nd Quarter

WAURIKA – Garcia 50 run (run failed), 11:48, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Safety, Brent Smith tackled in end zone by Mora and Jordan Watkins, 7:50, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Bryant 4 run (Brown run), 7:40, 3rd Quarter

WAURIKA – Mora 1 run (no try), 5:38, 3rd Quarter

                INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Waurika: Rushing – K. Garcia 6-107, Mora 9-86, Bryant 9-31, Brown 2-8; Passing: Mora – 1-6-54-1; Receiving: Edwin Garcia 1-54

Ryan Opens Season with Split at Homecoming Contests

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It was the season opener for the Ryan Cowboys and Cowgirls Tuesday night and both games came down to the wire.

 The Cowgirls fell to Grandfield, 34-32, while the boys picked up a 37-31 victory over the Bearcats.

 Ryan begins play today in the St. Jo, Texas Tournament. The Cowgirls will play Alvord, Texas in the first round, while the Cowboys are set to play Paradise, Texas junior varsity.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

Both teams will return to action on Friday.

The Cowgirls trailed 11-10 after the first quarter, but managed to tie the game at the half, 17-17, despite hitting only three of 11 from the free throw line.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

 

Photo by Sheree Hanson

The Lady Bearcats managed to outscore the Cowgirls, 8-6, in the third quarter setting up a dramatic ending to the contest.

That two-point edge ended up being the difference in the game as the two teams battled on even terms in the fourth quarter.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

The Cowgirls had a game-winning three-pointer rim out at the buzzer.

Samantha Good led the Cowgirls in scoring with 14 points. Lily York was the only other Cowgirl in double figures as she finished with 10 points.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

Free throw shooting, which hampered the Cowgirls most of the 2018 season, was the Achilles heel for Coach Steve Spangler’s squad in the season opener. Ryan connected on only seven of 17 from the charity stripe in the game.

 

In the boys’ contest, the Bearcats looked like they would run the Cowboys out of the gym.

The Bearcats took a 7-2 lead after the first quarter and increased the lead to 20-11 at intermission.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

The two teams played on even terms in the third quarter and the Cowboys entered the fourth quarter trailing, 29-19.

However, in the final frame, the Cowboys caught fire and outscored the Bearcats, 18-2, to capture the victory.

The game did not exactly feature great shooting. The Cowboys managed to shoot 36% from the field but were only one of nine from the three-point line.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

The Bearcats were much worse. Grandfield connected on only nine of 35 two-point field goal attempts and only connected on two of 25 three-pointers for a dismal 18% from the field.

The Cowboys might have stayed closer in the first half, but they made only three of 11 free throws and finished the game hitting only 25% from the line.

Defensively, the Cowboys had 10 steals and out-rebounded the Bearcats, 42-34.

Photo by Sheree Hanson

Grayson Tomberlin led the Cowboys in scoring with 15 points and was the only Cowboy in double figures.

Cowboy coach Austin Masoner garnered his first coaching win with the victory over Grandfield.

After competing in the tournament at St. Jo, the Cowboys and Cowgirls will be off until one week from today when they begin play in the Black and Gold Classic at Wilson.

GRANDFIELD 34, RYAN 32 (Girls)

Grandfield 11           6              8              9–34

Ryan        10            7              6              9–32

RYAN – Samantha Good 6-2-14, Lily York 4-1-10, Alicen Williams 1-4-6, Lilybet Harmon 1-0-2. TOTALS: 12-7-32. Three-pointers: York.

RYAN 37, GRANDFIELD 31 (Boys)

Grandfield                7              13            9              2–31

Ryan                        2              9              8              18–37

RYAN – Grayson Tomberlin 6-2-15, Skyler Parkhill 3-1-7, Andrew Villerreal 2-1-5, Brock Smith 2-0-4, Travis Fristoe 2-0-4, Landon Alexander 1-0-2. TOTALS: 16-4-37. Three-pointers: Tomberlin.

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