Tahlequah Daily Press

Sports

November 9, 2013

Playoffs elude Indians with lopsided loss at Lincoln Christian

TULSA — For Sequoyah, the goal entering Friday night’s Week 10 game at Lincoln Christian was simple: win by at least five points and live to play another week.

The execution was not quite so easy.

Surrendering 26 first downs on the Bulldogs’ Senior Night, Sequoyah fell behind 6-0 in the second quarter and never caught up, dropping its third straight game, a 35-14 season-ending decision Friday at Dennis Boyd Stadium.

Lincoln Christian sophomore quarterback Micah Wilson threw for four touchdowns on the night and had 215 passing yards in the first half alone. By comparison, Sequoyah senior quarterback Zach Parish did not complete a pass until midway through the third quarter and went 4-for-16 for 55 yards with two interceptions.

“We just couldn’t break up their rhythm,” Sequoyah coach Shane Richardson said. “Our blitzes couldn’t get there when we blitzed at times. We just played a little too soft in some coverages and didn’t take advantage of some of the opportunities we had.”

With the loss, the Indians fall to fifth place in District 3A-7 behind Jay for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Class 3A state playoffs. All four Cherokee County high schools will miss the postseason this year for the first time since 2004.

“We have something to build on. We have a lot of young guys who needed the experience and got it this year,” Richardson said. “We have something we can build on for next year.

“We have a lot to look forward to. Our best days as a football program are ahead of us.”

Almost all Sequoyah’s offense came courtesy of Justin and Cody Hooper. Justin had 146 rushing yards on 25 carries. With kickoff returns of 93 and 80 yards, Cody accounted for both of the Indians’ touchdowns and two of the team’s three kickoff returns on the 2013 season.

With the win, Lincoln Christian (6-4, 4-2) finishes third in District 3A-7 and will open the playoffs at the District 3A-8 runner-up, Stigler.

With redistricting kicking in next season, the win also ends the Bulldogs’ tenure in District 3A-7. Lincoln Christian and district runner-up Hilldale leave Sequoyah and Keys’ district and will be replaced by Inola and Claremore Sequoyah, two teams also bound for the 2013 playoffs.

“I’m excited,” Richardson said about the scheduling shift. “Our coaches are excited. Our athletic director’s excited. Regardless of who’s on our schedule, we feel like we can be successful in any league.”

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