Thompson Field, at Indian Stadium on the Sequoyah campus, had lots of things to celebrate Friday night. Unfortunately, winning the football game was not one of them, as the Sequoyah Indians, despite a hard-fought comeback, fell to the visiting Okemah Panthers, 42-26.
Pregame festivities included homecoming, where well-known, and obviously well0-loved senior Shailey Hair was crowned Homecoming Queen.
Back to the game, the first quarter offered little to cheer about for either team, until, with the seconds ticking off the first quarter clock, Okemah had a 50 yard run for a touchdown, and a 6-0 lead.
The rest of the quarter, prior to the long touch, was pretty much a game of trading fumbles. Three-fourths of the way through the period, Okemah put together a series of plays that ended in a five-yard touchdown run. The two point conversion again failed, but Okemah led 12-0 with 3:17 left in the first half clock.
Okema attempted an onside kick, but the Indians covered it, and set up shop at the Okemah 45 yard line. Quarterback Brody Young nailed Aiden Armontout for a 22 yard pass, catch and run play. Five plays and a couple of penalties later, the Indians lit up the home side of the board on a nine-yard pass from Young to Lawson Morgan. The two point conversion attempt failed, but the Indians were within six, 12-6, with less than two minutes left in the half.
That was all Okemah needed, as they polished off a 51-yard possession with a five yard touchdown run, taking an 18-6 lead into halftime.
As bland as the first period had been, the third quarter made up for it. First, Josiah Foreman bulled his way through the line, then outran everyone else to the goal line 46 yards away. Todd Davis added the PAT, and the Indians had closed to five, 18-13. Okemah would have none of it, and promptly made it 26-13.
Then it was Sequoyah’s turn, scoring on a 25-yard p[ass from Young to Eli Hammer. Davis’ kick was good, and the score was now 26-20.
Okemah fired right back, scoring on a 60 yard pass play, added the two point conversion, and had now pushed the lead out to 34-20,
An ensuing onside kick attempt by Okemah worked this time, and the Panthers had boosted the lead to 432-20 in just a matter of seconds.
Later in the fourth quarter, Eric Walters intercepted an Okemah pass, setting the Indians up for their final score, an 18 yard run by Young with 4:30 left in the game. The Indians recovered an onside kick, but could not get into the endzone, and that’s how it ended, 42-26.
Hammer led the Indians with 160 rushing on 16 carries. Foreman finished with 73 yards and a touch n nine totes. Young had 61 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, and Armontrut ran twice, gaining 12 yards.
Yung completed 8-of-16 passes, for 93 yards, two touchdowns, and one pick. Hammer was Young's favorite receiver, hauling in five passes for 53 yards and a touchdown. Armontrout caught one pass for 22 yards, Morgan caught one touchdown pass for nine yards, and Tanner Samples caught one for none yards.
The Indians drew seven penalty flags for 70 yards.
Coach Chad Hendricks said they just made too many mistakes.
“Our youth showed tonight,” Hendriucks said. “We had plenty of chances to be right in there, but we didn’t take advantage of them.
As he has said so often before, Hendricks said, “We learn from this, but now it’s time to move on. It’s time to look ahead to Henryetta.”
The Indians, at 0-4, 0-1 in District play, will travel to Henryetta next Friday for a 7:00 p.m. game.