Claremore-Sequoyah 37, Keys 7
Stats on this game were not submitted to the Tahlequah Daily Press. This will be updated once information is relayed to the Daily Press.
Yale 40, Hulbert 8
By LENZY KREHBIEL-BURTON
Press Special Writer
YALE — The Hulbert Riders’ 2013 season got off to an inauspicious start Friday night at McGee Field.
In the 40-8 loss to Class A Yale, Hulbert (0-1) never led and gave up 12 first downs, including eight in the second half. The Riders, who have 19 freshmen and sophomores on their 45-man roster, were also flagged for seven penalties, including a holding call on their only two-point attempt of the night.
“That was pretty disappointing all the way around,” Hulbert's first-year coach Gary Riley said. “We’re struggling with our identity. We have three quarterbacks who can play the position, but they’re limited in what they can do.”
Bulldog sophomore Austin Reams returned an interception 27 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter to give Yale (1-0) its initial lead. On Yale’s previous possession, Reams caused a would-be touchdown to be waived off by blocking a Hulbert player in the back. Hulbert’s lone score came on the following series, when sophomore Anthony Howard ran into the end zone from the 11-yard line with 92 seconds left before halftime.
However, what little momentum Howard’s score built up for the Riders was quickly quashed, as Bulldog senior quarterback JR Wakely threw a 22-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing possession. Yale succeeded on the two-point conversion attempt and never looked back the rest of the night.
“Have to give credit to Yale – they came and played harder than we did,” Riley said. “They came out and scored 32 unanswered points. There’s not a whole lot to say about that.”
With temperatures in the low 90s and upper 80s throughout the evening, multiple Hulbert players had to be helped off of the field due to injuries and cramps.
“I really thought we were in great shape coming in, but apparently we are not,” Riley said. “We are going to have to work on that.”
Among the Riders hurt Friday night was senior defensive back Lazarus Chavez, who had to be helped off of the field in the third quarter after taking a stinger from a Yale lineman. Chavez was treated by Cushing paramedics on the sidelines and left in an ambulance after the game ended. Riley did not have an update on his condition during a post-game interview.
Despite the injuries, there were a few bright spots for the Riders.
Senior quarterback Brandon Thompson, who strained his ACL in last week’s tune-up at Savanna, was Hulbert’s leading rusher with 46 yards on eight carries.
Junior Johnathan Hamby, who is also playing with a knee injury, had interceptions on consecutive Yale possessions in the second quarter.
“We’re just really banged up,” Riley said.
Hulbert’s extended road trip continues in Week 2, as the Riders play at Warner (0-1) Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Class A Eagles opened their season with a 24-18 loss at Chouteau Thursday night. Yale plays Class 2A Wellston at home next week.