Tahlequah Daily Press

High School Sports

November 2, 2013

Keys upended at home by Jay

bjohnson@tahlequahdailypress.com

PARK HILL — A sullen Dakota Matlock was making his way to the door. As he prepared to exit the Cougars' locker room, Keys head coach Gary Willis had a message for his 5-foot-9, 165-pound tailback.

"You were the best player out on the field tonight," Willis proclaimed. "No one else was as good as you."

Matlock acknowledged his coach with a nod before vanishing into the chilly autumn air at Cougar Stadium on Friday night.

Matlock had just polished off another 100-yard rushing performance for the Cougars, racking up 131 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. But those statistics came in a 42-6 loss to Jay, resulting in mixed emotions from Matlock.

Willis, despite his team's fifth straight loss, raved about his sophomore ball carrier.

"Dakota was the best player on the field tonight, regardless of the score and regardless of what Jay has," Willis said. "He's been the best athlete on the field a couple of times this year."

Keys' lone touchdown against the Bulldogs (5-4, 3-3 District 3A-7) came on Matlock's 69-yard scamper down the left boundary with 6:27 left in the second quarter.

But by that point, Jay was already in full control.

The Bulldogs scored on their first four offensive drives — each starting inside Keys territory — to race out to a 28-0 advantage at the 6:48 mark in the second quarter.

After forcing Keys (1-8, 1-4) to go three-and-out on its first drive, Jay took over at the Cougars' 42-yard line and scored a touchdown in nine plays. Quarterback Brandon Weaver capped off the drive with a 9-yard touchdown pass over the middle to Hayden Cunningham.

The Bulldogs followed that same script for their next two scores.

After two more three-and-outs by the Cougars, Jay took over inside Keys territory and scored on eight- and seven-play drives. Before the first quarter ended, Christian Duffield logged a 1-yard touchdown run, and the Bulldogs struck quickly in the second quarter on Derick Shrum's 4-yard scoring run, which put Jay up 21-0 with 9:45 left until halftime.

Duffield added another 1-yard touchdown run to give Jay a four-score edge.

Contributing to Jay's easy navigation on offense in the first half was field position. The Cougars snapped the ball 21 times on offense in the first half, and only one of those plays took place on Jay's side of the 50-yard line (and it wasn't even Matlock's touchdown run).

The Bulldogs obliterated Keys in field position and used it to their advantage to build a big lead in the first 24 minutes.

"Part of it was we wanted to get (Keys) in some second- and third-and-longs, and then we thought we could bring some pressures and be tough on them," Jay head coach Darrin Wegner said. "And our kids did that. We were able to get short fields, and we were in four-down territory when we were getting the ball, and we were kind of calling plays knowing that we had four snaps to pick (first downs) up."

Jay led 28-6 at halftime, and the Bulldogs added two more touchdowns — a 19-yard run by Shrum and a 4-yard pass from Weaver to Kongmong Vang — in the third quarter to eliminate any suspense.

Weaver was the model of efficiency for Jay, completing 14 of 16 passes for 157 yards. Brett Pritchett was Weaver's favorite target with four catches for 62 yards, but Vang, Shrum and Cunningham all had three receptions apiece.

A week after posting 217 rushing yards against Sequoyah, Jay settled for 123 yards on 41 carries against the Cougars. Brooks Carroll recorded a team-high 57 yards on 12 carries.

"The whole bunch of us do it," Wegner said of his team's offensive production. "We don't have any big home run threat or anything, but we have some solid, hard-working kids that can catch and they run hard and block hard."

Other than Matlock's production, Keys struggled to churn out yardage. Garett Willis' 46 rushing yards was the next-highest contribution.

The Cougars finished with only 171 yards of total offense.

The loss eliminated any chance Keys had of making the playoffs. The Cougars will close out the season on Friday at home against Locust Grove, who has already won the district title.

"It's been kind of the same old, same old for this club this year," Willis said. "We just keep challenging them to play hard, and I thought we played harder in the second half than in the first. I just thought we came out flat."

For Jay, the playoff picture now gets complicated. In Week 10, the Bulldogs will have to have to hope for a Sequoyah loss — or a slim Sequoyah victory — against Lincoln Christian. If the Indians lose or win by four points or less, Jay will secure a playoff spot in 3A-7. Anything other than that and Jay will become a spectator in the playoffs.

That means Jay will be keeping an eye on the 3A-7 scoreboard when playing at Blackwell in the final week of the regular season.

"Not what everyone likes to do in Week 10 before the playoffs," Wegner said of the three-hour-plus drive to Blackwell. "But we just need to keep getting better, and then we'll find out who we play then."

Text Only
High School Sports
  • Date set for Keys football physicals

    Before scheduled practices can begin in order to prepare for the season, players must first receive a physical.
    Next Tuesday, Aug. 5, Keys High School will be administering physicals in the high school cafeteria.

    July 31, 2014

  • Keys-Dakota.jpg Playing both sides of the line

    Recently, Keys High School football standout Dakota Matlock was nearly severely injured in a terrifying car wreck.

    Matlock is coming off a stellar gridiron season for Keys High School. On offense, Matlock ran for over 1,000 yards for the Cougars. In his sophomore season, Matlock led Keys in tackles from the safety position.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hooper.jpg Sparking the flame

    Sequoyah High School’s Justin Hooper looking to lead this year

    Last season was Justin’s last chance to play alongside Cody at Sequoyah High School.
    Justin had to battle to win the Indians starting tailback. The coaching staff did not know who was going to be the Indians starting running back coming into fall practice.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnson, East win easily at All-State

    Jake Johnson was able to hold off Lawton MacArthur’s Trent Meisel at the Class 5A state tournament in May. On Monday at the All-State tournament at Cherokee Hills Golf Club, Johnson had it much easier against Meisel.

    July 29, 2014

  • TAH-MORGAN.jpg Brett’s ball club

    Brett Morgan taking over as Tahlequah’s softball coach

    July 15, 2014 2 Photos

  • Morgan taking over as Tahlequah’s softball coach

    July 14, 2014

  • -1.tif Playing through pain

    Tahlequah's Chase Campbell playing football despite an injured shoulder

    July 11, 2014 1 Photo

  • o'donnell3.jpg Randee repairs shoulder

    Former Tahlequah standout Randee O’Donnell has shoulder operation before starting college career

    July 1, 2014 2 Photos

  • OSSAA to coaches: No more criticism of officials

    June 27, 2014

  • Benson.jpg Former Tahlequah coach hired at Duncan

    June 25, 2014 1 Photo

Poll

Do you think "blue laws" related to Sunday alcohol sales in Oklahoma should be relaxed? Choose the option that most closely reflects your opinion.

Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars, and liquor stores should be open.
Alcoholic drinks should be sold Sundays in restaurants and bars only; liquor stores should stay closed.
Liquor stores should be open Sundays, but drinks should not be served anywhere on Sundays.
The law should remain as it is now; liquor stores should be closed, and drinks should be served on Sundays according to county option.
No alcohol should be sold or served publicly on Sundays.
Undecided.
     View Results
Tahlequah Daily Press Twitter
Follow us on twitter
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Stocks