TULSA -- Tahlequah couldn't generate any offense and was shut out for the first time since 2017 in a 35-0 loss to Bishop Kelley in the second round of the OSSAA Class 5A Playoffs Friday in Tulsa.
The Tigers finish their season at 6-5 overall under head coach Brad Gilbert.
Tahlequah was limited to 188 total yards and converted just four of its 14 third downs. The Tigers took just eight snaps in Bishop Kelley territory, all in the second half, and went three and out four times.
"We couldn't generate anything offensively," Gilbert said. "I thought we had a good gameplan coming in, but obviously it needed to be better and it's completely my fault. Anytime you get shut out, it has nothing to do with the kids, it has everything to do with me as the coach. I take full responsibility for that."
The Comets, who finished with 368 total yards, led 14-0 at halftime on a pair of touchdown runs by running back Owen Heinecke. Heinecke had a game-high 179 yards on the ground, averaged 7.8 yards per carry, and found the end zone for a third time from 17 yards out that gave Bishop Kelley a 28-0 lead with 15 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bishop Kelley's other two scores came on a Will Pickard 2-yard run in the third quarter and a Gabe Harju 43-yard touchdown pass to receiver Jeremiah Besses in the fourth.
Tahlequah junior quarterback Tyler Joice completed 11 of 19 passes for 86 yards and also led the Tigers with 97 rushing yards on 22 carries. Junior running Malik McMurtrey was held in check for a third straight week, finishing with 19 yards on 11 attempts. Senior receiver Kobey Baker finished with four receptions for 31 yards, and Parker Lane had one catch for 31 yards.
Bishop Kelley (9-1) advances to next week's quarterfinal round and will take on top-ranked Carl Albert, who defeated Ardmore, 49-14, on Friday.
Tahlequah advanced to the playoffs for a seventh straight season under Gilbert, which matches the longest playoff streak in program history.
"I'm proud of our kids," Gilbert said. "Those young men play hard, they represent who we are in a way that everyone should be proud of. They had an upbeat attitude throughout the course of the game no matter the direction it was going. They encouraged each other on the sideline, and that speaks to the volume of the leadership and the understanding of what is important."