Tahlequah Daily Press


September 23, 2012

Colcord too much to handle for injured Riders

HULBERT — The Hulbert Riders entered their game against Colcord this week losers of their last two games. Hulbert coach Mitchell Crittenden and his team were ready to play in front of their home crowd and win their first game since topping Yale in the season opener.

Yet, it was Colcord who prevailed in the District 2A-8 matchup, 27-12.

The Colcord Hornets kicked the ball away to the Riders to start the game. Senior quarterback Chris Vance drove the ball down the field for the Riders on the first possession of the game and threw a 22-yard touch down pass to senior wide receiver Craig Potts.

“After I caught that touchdown pass I told myself that I needed to step up on defense and give the offense more chances to drive down and score like we did on our first series,” Potts said.

Hulbert failed to convert the point after and took a 6-0 lead early in the first quarter. The Rider defense went on to hold the Hornets to a quick punt on their first possession.

“After scoring on our first possession and stopping them on theirs, I thought we would set the pace for the game,” Crittenden said.

The second offensive possession for Hulbert was also promising, as the Riders drove the football from their own 17-yard line all the way to the Colcord 21-yard line. On the second play of the second quarter, Vance threw an interception in the end zone and the Hornets took control of the ball at their own 20-yard line.

Senior quarterback Austin Gilbert of Colcord took a quarterback sweep for 80 yards on the opening play of the series following Vance’s interception.

“Once I got the ball I knew I had a good chance of scoring; I saw an opening in the defense and just ran hard,” Gilbert said.

The Hornets then converted a two-point conversion off another Gilbert run. Colcord kicked the ball away to Hulbert where they would begin their next series at the 20-yard line trailing the Hornets 6-8.

A few minutes into the second quarter, Vance threw another interception in his own territory, but the Rider defense stripped away the ball and senior Terry Cook recovered the fumble on Colcord’s next play.

The Riders regained control of the ball on the Hornet’s 35-yard line. Vance ran for an 11-yard pickup on a huge third down and then his sophomore teammate John Hamby found the end zone for a 7-yard rushing touchdown. The Riders failed to convert the two-point conversion but regained in the lead, 12-8.

Colcord returned the kickoff following the Rider touchdown and took the lead 14-12 after another non-conversion of a two-point attempt.

A few plays after Colcord kicked to the Riders, they fumbled and the Hornets took possession of the ball with a very short field. A 7-yard touchdown pass gave the Hornets their third touchdown of the game and a 20-12 lead after a missed point-after attempt.

With two minutes left in the first half, Vance would leave the game for the rest of the evening due to a re-injured ankle. Vance played a solid half throwing two for five for 31 yards in the air and rushed for 78 yards on the ground. Vance’s injury sent backup junior quarterback Brandon Thompson in for the Riders to finish the game.

“Our staff was still confident about our offense with Brandon (Thompson) as our quarterback,” Crittenden said. “Chris (Vance) was hurt last week and Brandon played well that game.”

The second half was full of defense from both teams. Thompson and his Rider offense showed potential in a few of their drives but could not score.

The Riders’ next game will be Friday at Wyandotte.

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