By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
COWETA — After losing back-to-back games by a combined eight points, the Coweta Tigers had some frustration to work out Friday night.
Enter the Tahlequah Tigers, fresh off of a close Week 5 loss to Claremore.
Despite holding Coweta to only four completed passes, the Tahlequah defense could not get the ground game under control, giving up 429 rushing yards and five touchdowns en route to a 32-13 Coweta homecoming victory – their first in District 5A-4 this season.
“We just couldn’t make the plays when we needed to,” Tahlequah coach Brad Gilbert said. “Offensively, they dominated up front. We just couldn’t get things rolling.”
With three missed point-after attempts and 14 penalties on the night, Coweta (2-4, 1-2 District 5A-4) left opportunities for Tahlequah (1-5, 1-2 ) to stay close. Three Coweta penalties on a single second quarter Tahlequah possession kept the drive alive long enough for a touchdown. Two more caused the Wagoner County team to have touchdowns waived off.
However, with as many completed passes as lost fumbles on the night – two of each -- Tahlequah was unable to capitalize, with its last legitimate scoring threat resulting in a turnover.
“That last one really took the wind out of our sails,” Gilbert said.
Physically, the loss took a toll on Tahlequah, as seniors Brandon Conrad and Charles Lamons both came off of the field limping during the game. The coaching staff did not have an update on either player after the game.
“We’ve got a few banged up,” Gilbert said. “We won’t know where we are until we get back. We’ll see where we are on that. We’re a little beat up, but just about every team is at this point in time.”
Tahlequah has an abbreviated week to recover. Thanks to fall break, the Tigers’ Week 7 game is on Thursday, when they return to Doc Wadley Stadium to face Tulsa Central (1-6, 0-3). The Braves are coming off of a 20-12 homecoming loss to Collinsville (4-2, 2-1), Coweta’s next opponent.
“Hey, we’re 1-2 in district play and we still have three home games left,” Gilbert said. “We’ve got one on the road and four district games remaining. We believe if we win four of them, we’ll get in the playoffs. The goal is still there.”
TAHLEQUAH 7 6 0 0 13
COWETA 19 0 6 7 32
Coweta — Caleb Wheeler 3-yard run (kick failed)
Coweta — Kelandus Culton 19-yard run (Zach Johnson kick)
Coweta — Culton 2-yard run (kick failed)
Tahlequah — David Dick 35-yard run (Bryce Patrick kick)
Tahlequah — Brandon Conrad 18-yard run (kick failed)
Coweta — Wheeler 1-yard run (two-point attempt failed)
Coweta — Culton 23-yard run (Colton Dauer kick)
Team stats Tahlequah Coweta
First downs 19 19
Rush yards 202 429
Pass comp-att 2-5 4-12
Pass yards 16 57
Interceptions 0 0
Fumbles-Lost 4-2 1-0
Punts-avg 3-40.3 2-39.5
Penalties-yds 11-83 14-140