Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

September 7, 2013

Indians upend Okemah in opener

High school football roundup

No preseason scrimmages, no problem.

Okemah scored first, but Sequoyah dominated the rest of the night as the Indians won comfortably in their season opener, beating Okemah 45-13 at Thompson Field on Friday night.

Sequoyah quarterback Zach Parish completed 13 of 20 passes for 219 yards and five touchdowns. Justin Hooper also ran for 70 yards and a touchdown for the Indians, who saw their first real action of the 2013 season after being banned from any type of preseason scrimmages against other opponents by the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association.

The OSSAA implemented the penalty because it found that Sequoyah had violated the summer policy in 2012. The Indians were forced to vacate all nine of their victories from the 2012 season, so Sequoyah's win against Okemah was its first since 2011.

It didn't look too promising early.

Okemah's Tack Murray raced 80 yards for a touchdown only 56 seconds into the contest, putting the Panthers up 7-0.

No sweat, though, for the Indians (1-0).

In the second quarter, Sequoyah proceeded to put together a 13-play, 80-yard drive that took 6 minutes, 27 seconds. It was capped off by Hooper's 1-yard scoring run with 4:08 left until halftime.

That was only the tip of the iceberg for Sequoyah.

On Okemah's next possession, Sequoyah's Kyle Sanders intercepted a pass by Okemah quraterback Andrew Banta. Four plays later, Parish hit Caisen Green for a 29-yard touchdown pass.

And the route was on.

Sequoyah would tack on one more scoring pass — a 35-yard grab by Nick Kingfisher from Parish — and lead 20-7 at halftime.

In the second half, Parish had touchdown throws of 23, 25 and 49 yards. Sanders, Green and Cody Hooper, respectively, all found the end zone through the air.

Hunter Crow capped off the night for Sequoyah, racing 48 yards for a touchdown run with 3:57 left.

The Indians were able to capitalize on four turnovers by Okemah. Banta threw three interceptions, and Okemah also handed the ball over on a fumble.

Murray did run for 116 yards on 11 carries for Okemah. But he was the Panthers' lone bright spot.

The Indians pieced together 405 yards of total offense and averaged nine yards per play.

Sequoyah will continue at home next week when it hosts Beggs on Friday night.

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