Tahlequah Daily Press

October 12, 2013

Tough Vian team batters Keys, 55-13

Special Writer

TAHLEQUAH — The Keys Cougars lost a tough one to a stout Vian team, 55-13, in a 3A vs. 2A football matchup Friday night.

“As ugly as the score was, we made progress. Vian is a great football team, and you have to play perfect to beat them,” said Keys head football coach Gary Willis.

Keys has tons of young players throughout its lineup. Out of 22 starters on offense and defense rosters, Keys lists 1 freshmen, 13 sophomores, six juniors, and only two seniors.

“ We are very young, and we have make mistakes that young players make this year,” said Willis.

Keys had several bright spots in the game against Vian, though. The offense put up 390 yards on Vian, led by quarterbacks Garett Willis and Dillion Stratton. Willis was 4-5 for 84 yards, and Stratton was 5-8 for 119 yards, and both quarterbacks threw for a touchdown.

A number of the quarterbacks’ passes were aimed toward Chase Girdner’s way, and he picked up catches for 169 yards and two touchdowns against Vian.

Keys has had a notable rushing attack all season long, led by Dakota Matlock, who racked up 88 yards on 13 carries against the rock-solid defense of the Vian Wolverines.

Vian was led by a combination of quarterback Rylee Simon to Eric Casey at wide out.

“Eric Casey and Rylee Simon would start on any team in the state of Oklahoma in any class,” said Willis.

Willis remains unfazed.

“We are getting better and improving each week through the season,” he said.

Keys, now 1-5 on the year and 1-1 in district, will next week take on Lincoln Christian – a team that is 3-3 on the year after a loss to Hilldale last night.

Lincoln Christian comes into the matchup next week 1-1 in district play.

The game will be a key one for Keys’ playoff hopes.