By Andrew Glover
CUSHING, Okla. —
In three of their four districts games, the Cushing Tigers struggled at the beginning of games. Friday night against Seminole was no different as the Tigers were held scoreless in the first quarter and this time weren’t able to overcome in a 48-19 loss to the Chieftains.
“They are big and physical and a good football team,” Cushing coach Barrett Shupe said. “We got to give them credit, they played well.”
The game turned in the middle of the second quarter. The Tigers were down by seven points and had Seminole in a third-and-20 situation, thanks to a snap that went over quarterback Doc Harvey’s head two plays earlier. Harvey connected with Papi White on a screen, and White weaved his way through the Tigers’ defense for a 52-yard touchdown. The Chieftains went for an onside kick and recovered at Cushing’s 49. With 12 seconds left, White scored on a 6-yard run, giving the Chieftains a 28-7 halftime lead.
“That long run and the onside kick or pooch kick we aren’t able to recover put us down 28-7 from 14-7,” Shupe said. “In the second half, they make it 35-7 and we hadn’t touched the ball since it was 14-7. That was definitely the key stretch, no doubt.”
Seminole (8-0, 5-0) got the ball first in the second half and in no time expanded its lead. After White returned the kickoff to the Cushing 35, the Chieftains only needed 49 seconds to score. Trenton Newson scored his third touchdown on a 6-yard run.
The Tigers had to punt on their opening possession of the second half but looked like they caught a break on defense. Seminole was driving but Newson fumbled and the Tigers recovered at their own 15. The momentum would be short-lived as Bingham Hightower threw an interception and the Chieftains retained possession at the Tiger 45. Cushing looked like it would escape without harm as it had Seminole in a third-and-20 situation at its own 45 after a personal foul penalty. Newson took a hand-off and made a couple defenders miss, scoring his fourth touchdown on a 55-yard run.
The Tigers finish with a non-district game at Bethany next Friday.
“The kids are resilient,” Shupe said. “We just got to get back to work on Monday. We’ve had a setback before this year and we responded with a five-game winning streak.”
Cushing (7-2, 4-1) started the game with a three-and-out. The next possession looked promising but stalled at the Seminole 30 as senior quarterback Hightower threw an incompletion on fourth down. Hightower struggled passing, completing only one of his first seven attempts.
Though he finished with 128 yards rushing, Seminole was able to keep Gage Stallworth in check. The junior running back only had three rushes of 10 or more yards.
The Chieftains had no problem moving the ball on its first two possessions as they were successful moving the ball on the ground. Newson put Seminole on the board with a 9-yard run with 7:05 left. At the end of the quarter Newson scored from 34 yards, giving the Chieftains a 14-0 lead.