Tahlequah Daily Press


September 10, 2012

Keys game a total wash

All the Keys fans that ventured roughly 100 miles round trip to Ogle Field in Checotah on Friday night did nothing but waste fuel.

Sure, they got to see the Cougars play 24 minutes of game action. But in the end, all they witnessed was a game that had no conclusion.

After a lightning delay halted play as the third quarter was getting ready to start, Checotah coaches and administrators opted to call the game off for the night. The plan was to resume the game on Saturday night with Checotah leading 14-7 and two quarters to play.

However, that plan was squelched early Saturday morning.

“Checotah didn’t want to do it,” Keys coach Gary Willis said Saturday morning about continuing the game the next day. “They said they had trouble getting people to come out to work the game.”

Wills said that Checotah wanted the end result to be a draw. Willis, though, said he’ll consider it a “no decision” and “it won’t go on the record either. It’ll just be a nine-game season.”

Checotah and Keys swapped early touchdowns, with the Cougars getting on the board on Trevor Eubanks’ 65-yard touchdown run. The Wildcats would follow with a 65-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Addy to Deondre Owens to go up seven.

Keys could not cut into Cheoctah’s lead with a field goal late in the first half, instead going into the locker room down a TD.

Little did the Cougars know, they wouldn’t have another chance to get any closer.

“We went in at halftime and it was raining,” Willis said. “Right when we were warming up before the third quarter, the lightning hit. We were delayed for 45 minutes.”

Willis and Co. were willing to wait the necessary length to be able to conclude the game. Checotah — the school without a bus trip to make — decided not to play on.

“We wanted to wait it out, but the Checotah coach (Brandon Turley) didn’t want ‘his kids to play in those conditions,’” Willis said. “It was only going to be rain after a certain point.”

On Saturday, the frustration was evident in Willis’ voice over not getting to finish the contest.

“Yeah, I understand it’s a non-district game,” he said. “But you’re always taught to finish. It’s a weird feeling not being able to go and play a second half.”

The Cougars will hope to get a full game in Friday night when they host Eufaula.

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