PAWNEE – In a flash, Colcord High appeared as if it was going to give Pawnee a good game Friday night at Memorial Stadium.
However, it was a mere flash by Colcord running back Trey Duncan. His speed was too much for Pawnee to handle.
That was all Colcord could do in a first half that ultimately settled the Class A playoff game. Pawnee answered Colcolrd’s game-tying touchdown run with score after score and a defense that bottled up the visiting Hornets.
Pawnee ultimately won, 58-15, moving on to the state quarterfinals next week. It was the second-straight year Pawnee ended Colcord’s season. Pawnee won 54-0 last year in the first round of the playoffs.
“It feels great to move on to the quarterfinals,” Pawnee senior quarterback Blake Skidgel said. “It just feels great and everybody is happy. I’m just proud of the team and how they went out here and competed tonight.”
The Black Bears (9-1) dominated the first half, taking a 36-7 lead into the break. Colcord’s one highlight came after the Black Bears drove 76 yards in five plays and grabbed a 7-0 lead on an 18-yard run by Skidgel.
After the ensuing kickoff, Duncan ran through the right side of his offensive line and left everyone in his dust. Duncan ran 65 yards for the score. The 13-second play was the Hornets’ lone highlight in the half as they finished the half with only 119 yards of offense.
Colcord (10-2) didn’t score again until late in the third quarter.
“That touchdown got us fired up real quick,” Skidgel said. “We had to wake up and get going. We knew what happened, so we made a quick adjustment and we were ready to go.”
Meanwhile, Pawnee had 402 yards – all on the ground – in the half. Skidgel had 216 of those on 17 carries with senior Trevor Mitchell rushing the ball 16 times for 132 yards.
The Black Bears’ duo finished the game with 231 and 212 yards, respectively. Barrett Stevenson also added 110 yards on the ground.
Pawnee scored touchdowns on its first five drives with the sixth running out of time as the second quarter expired. After Colcord tied it up, Pawnee marched 77 yards in seven plays. Mitchell scored the first of his four touchdowns on a six-yard run.
Three plays later, Duncan fumbled the ball and Pawnee’s Harlan Britt recovered to give his team possession at the Colcord 27-yard line. Pawnee scored eight plays later after a penalty slowed the drive down.
After a three-and-out on Colcord’s ensuing drive, Pawnee went 75 yards in four plays and essentially put the game on ice. Mitchell scored on a five-yard run to record his third touchdown. It was set up by a 64-run by Skidgel.
The Black Bears took advantage of another Colcord fumble a few plays later. It was an 11-play, 81-yard drive. It was the final score before half.
“I’m really proud how our line has been competing this year,” Skidgel said. “They came out and stepped up again tonight. I’m just super proud of them.”
The second half began with much of the same as Pawnee put the Hornets away quickly into the third quarter. In a matter of nine offensive plays, Pawnee went 103 yards on the two drives combined to grab a 50-7 lead midway through the third quarter.
The second drive was set up by the first of Mitchell’s two interceptions in the game. His other came almost a quarter later, and Pawnee was able to run out the final 6 minutes and 36 seconds to claim a dominant victory.
Pawnee will play Thomas-Fay-Custer, which beat Tonkawa, 44-8, on Friday, in the next round. The game’s location is undetermined as of press time.
Follow News Press sports reporter Jimmy Gillispie on Twitter @jgillispie_stw for updates on prep sports.