Tough yards

Sulphur running back Chris Turrobiartes found rushing yards hard to come by against a stingy Davis defense Friday night at Agee Field. Davis edged Sulphur 14-8.

Richard R. Barron
AdaEveningNews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

The Sulphur Bulldogs got inside the Davis 2-yard line twice in the final two seconds of the game but couldn’t get across the goal line in a breath-taking, excruciating 14-8 loss to the rival Wolves Friday night at Agee Field.

Ninth-ranked Davis improved to 5-2 overall and stayed unbeaten in District 2A-5 play at 5-0 while No. 5 Sulphur suffered its first defeat of the year, falling to 7-1 and 4-1.

The game was a defensive slugfest — as is the case during most Murray County Wars — for the first 40 minutes before things veered from the norm over the final six minutes.

With the Bulldogs trailing 7-0, Sulphur fullback Logan Grinstead scored on a nice 7-yard TD run, when he bounced to the outside after finding the middle of the line clogged up with 6:18 to play in the game. Sulphur head coach Jim Dixon immediately signaled for his team to try a two-point conversion. On the play, quarterback Zac Swartz faked a hand off and hit a wide open Dylan Anderson with the two-point pass in the left portion of the end zone to give Sulphur an 8-7 advantage.

“We call that our ‘tight end delay’. He blocks for a little bit and then we throw it to him, and he’s wide open. It’s just a good play, ” Dixon said of the two-point conversion. “An extra point isn’t a cinch. You have to get the snap, you have to get the hold, you have to get the kick and you have to hold them out. We did the right thing (going for two). There’s no doubt about that.”

After Grinstead’s kickoff sailed into the end zone, Davis started the ensuing drive on its own 20. But the Wolves carved together an impressive 16-play drive that ended when 6-1, 236-pound fullback Jerico Rogers bulled into the end zone from a yard out with just 33 seconds left on the game clock. The Wolves decided to kick the PAT, which was good by Blake Looney, and sit on the six-point advantage.

The drive featured a couple of third-down conversion and a big fourth-and-1 make . On one third-and-8 play, Davis quarterback John Collette hit receiver Matt Carter with a 15-yard gain despite tight coverage by the Bulldogs. It was Collette’s only pass completion of the night and just the second attempt as Davis used its patented wishbone running attack most of the night.

With just 33 ticks left on the clock, the game appeared to be all but over. But the Bulldogs turned those final moments into some of the most memorable in the long rivalry’s history.

Swartz hit Mark Wisdom with and 11-yard pass over the middle that got Sulphur to midfield, and the Bulldogs burned a timeout with 24 second remaining. Swartz then dumped the ball off to running back Tony Colungo, who avoided a tackle near the line of scrimmage, then bolted ahead for 25 yards, and after a spike by his QB, Sulphur was at the Davis 25 with 13 second left.

Following a timeout by the Wolves, it looked like disaster had struck for Sulphur when Swartz couldn’t hang on to a deep snap. He tried to bend down and pick it up and take off, but his knee touched the ground, resulting in a five-yard loss and seven precious seconds. The Bulldogs were forced to take their final timeout with :06 showing and facing a third-and-15 from the Davis 30.

With three receivers to his right and Nick Anderson lined up to his left, Swartz took the snap, looked down field to the right and then threw back to the left. Anderson out-dueled a Davis defender and appeared on his way to the end zone but was tackled inside the 2-yard line.

“On that pass, he was awful close to being in. I thought he was in, but I guess he was on the 1-yard line. It was real close,” Dixon said.

The Sulphur offense hurried to the line of scrimmage and attempted another spike to stop the clock. But the Bulldogs were flagged for illegal procedure — it was later learned that Sulphur had just six players on the line of scrimmage instead of the mandatory seven. So instead of second-and-goal from inside the 2, the hosts faced a first-and-goal from around the Davis 7 with just two seconds left in the game.

“We didn’t have but six players line up on the line. There should have been 10 up there. Just get up there. It doesn’t matter how many you have up there as long as you have at least seven,” Dixon lamented.

On the final play, Swartz rolled to his right and decided to tuck the ball and run, and Davis defender Blain Knapp — who ironically was the one flagged for the pass interference play that kept Sulphur’s only scoring drive alive — made a game-saving tackle again inside the Wolves’ 2-yard line as time expired.

“He has the option of throwing it or running it. He got real close. That one kid that was there made a great play and saved the game for them,” Dixon said.

The biggest difference in the game may have been the fact that Sulphur managed just 16 rushing yards and 56 total in a lackluster first half. In fact, 17 of those yards came when Swartz hit Peyte Blevins across the middle on a successful fake punt play.

The Wolves led 7-0 at the break after Rogers tumbled into the end zone from a yard out at the 7:05 mark of the second quarter. Sulphur’s final drive of the first half stalled out at the Davis 8 when Looney — who had a big 35-yard gainer on a counter play during the DHS scoring drive — picked off Swartz near the goal line on fourth down with just 14 seconds left. It was one of two Sulphur first-half turnovers.

“We just made too many mistakes. That’s what it comes down to. In the first half, we made enough mistakes for four or five ballgames. You have to play good to win, especially in a big game like this,” Dixon said. “When you get inside the 20 four times and you only score once, you shouldn’t win.”

The veteran head coach said he was pleased with his team’s comeback bid after watching Davis drive the length of the field to score the go-ahead touchdown.

“That was a good drive by them. We made them go to third down nearly every time and made them go to fourth down once,” Dixon said. “Our kids played their hearts out, but you have to play four quarters. It’s as simple as that. We just got off to a slow start. But I was proud of our kids the way they came back. Our kids have a big heart.”

Swartz ended up completing 9 -of-20 passes for 133 yards to pace the Sulphur offense despite suffering a shoulder injury while making a tackle in the first quarter.

“It was just a wonder that he could throw the ball at all,” Dixon said. “But he still threw it pretty decent and made some big plays. He’s definitely dinged up. Hopefully he’ll be able to play next week against Plainview.”

Grinstead was also forced to leave the game with an injury during the Wolves’ late scoring drive but the SHS coaching staff feels like he should be ready in time for the Bulldogs’ trip to battle No. 4 Plainview. The Indians dismantled Kingston 65-24 Friday night to stay unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the district.

Davis was also led statistically by its quarterback Collette, who rushed for 109 hard-earned yards on 24 tries.By JEFF CALI

Sports Editor

SULPHUR — The Sulphur Bulldogs got inside the Davis 2-yard line twice in the final two seconds of the game but couldn’t get across the goal line in a breath-taking, excruciating 14-8 loss to the rival Wolves Friday night at Agee Field.

Ninth-ranked Davis improved to 5-2 overall and stayed unbeaten in District 2A-5 play at 5-0 while No. 5 Sulphur suffered its first defeat of the year, falling to 7-1 and 4-1.

The game was a defensive slugfest — as is the case during most Murray County Wars — for the first 40 minutes before things veered from the norm over the final six minutes.

With the Bulldogs trailing 7-0, Sulphur fullback Logan Grinstead scored on a nice 7-yard TD run, when he bounced to the outside after finding the middle of the line clogged up with 6:18 to play in the game. Sulphur head coach Jim Dixon immediately signaled for his team to try a two-point conversion. On the play, quarterback Zac Swartz faked a hand off and hit a wide open Dylan Anderson with the two-point pass in the left portion of the end zone to give Sulphur an 8-7 advantage.

“We call that our ‘tight end delay’. He blocks for a little bit and then we throw it to him, and he’s wide open. It’s just a good play, ” Dixon said of the two-point conversion. “An extra point isn’t a cinch. You have to get the snap, you have to get the hold, you have to get the kick and you have to hold them out. We did the right thing (going for two). There’s no doubt about that.”

After Grinstead’s kickoff sailed into the end zone, Davis started the ensuing drive on its own 20. But the Wolves carved together an impressive 16-play drive that ended when 6-1, 236-pound fullback Jerico Rogers bulled into the end zone from a yard out with just 33 seconds left on the game clock. The Wolves decided to kick the PAT, which was good by Blake Looney, and sit on the six-point advantage.

The drive featured a couple of third-down conversion and a big fourth-and-1 make . On one third-and-8 play, Davis quarterback John Collette hit receiver Matt Carter with a 15-yard gain despite tight coverage by the Bulldogs. It was Collette’s only pass completion of the night and just the second attempt as Davis used its patented wishbone running attack most of the night.

With just 33 ticks left on the clock, the game appeared to be all but over. But the Bulldogs turned those final moments into some of the most memorable in the long rivalry’s history.

Swartz hit Mark Wisdom with and 11-yard pass over the middle that got Sulphur to midfield, and the Bulldogs burned a timeout with 24 second remaining. Swartz then dumped the ball off to running back Tony Colungo, who avoided a tackle near the line of scrimmage, then bolted ahead for 25 yards, and after a spike by his QB, Sulphur was at the Davis 25 with 13 second left.

Following a timeout by the Wolves, it looked like disaster had struck for Sulphur when Swartz couldn’t hang on to a deep snap. He tried to bend down and pick it up and take off, but his knee touched the ground, resulting in a five-yard loss and seven precious seconds. The Bulldogs were forced to take their final timeout with :06 showing and facing a third-and-15 from the Davis 30.

With three receivers to his right and Nick Anderson lined up to his left, Swartz took the snap, looked down field to the right and then threw back to the left. Anderson out-dueled a Davis defender and appeared on his way to the end zone but was tackled inside the 2-yard line.

“On that pass, he was awful close to being in. I thought he was in, but I guess he was on the 1-yard line. It was real close,” Dixon said.

The Sulphur offense hurried to the line of scrimmage and attempted another spike to stop the clock. But the Bulldogs were flagged for illegal procedure — it was later learned that Sulphur had just six players on the line of scrimmage instead of the mandatory seven. So instead of second-and-goal from inside the 2, the hosts faced a first-and-goal from around the Davis 7 with just two seconds left in the game.

“We didn’t have but six players line up on the line. There should have been 10 up there. Just get up there. It doesn’t matter how many you have up there as long as you have at least seven,” Dixon lamented.

On the final play, Swartz rolled to his right and decided to tuck the ball and run, and Davis defender Blain Knapp — who ironically was the one flagged for the pass interference play that kept Sulphur’s only scoring drive alive — made a game-saving tackle again inside the Wolves’ 2-yard line as time expired.

“He has the option of throwing it or running it. He got real close. That one kid that was there made a great play and saved the game for them,” Dixon said.

The biggest difference in the game may have been the fact that Sulphur managed just 16 rushing yards and 56 total in a lackluster first half. In fact, 17 of those yards came when Swartz hit Peyte Blevins across the middle on a successful fake punt play.

The Wolves led 7-0 at the break after Rogers tumbled into the end zone from a yard out at the 7:05 mark of the second quarter. Sulphur’s final drive of the first half stalled out at the Davis 8 when Looney — who had a big 35-yard gainer on a counter play during the DHS scoring drive — picked off Swartz near the goal line on fourth down with just 14 seconds left. It was one of two Sulphur first-half turnovers.

“We just made too many mistakes. That’s what it comes down to. In the first half, we made enough mistakes for four or five ballgames. You have to play good to win, especially in a big game like this,” Dixon said. “When you get inside the 20 four times and you only score once, you shouldn’t win.”

The veteran head coach said he was pleased with his team’s comeback bid after watching Davis drive the length of the field to score the go-ahead touchdown.

“That was a good drive by them. We made them go to third down nearly every time and made them go to fourth down once,” Dixon said. “Our kids played their hearts out, but you have to play four quarters. It’s as simple as that. We just got off to a slow start. But I was proud of our kids the way they came back. Our kids have a big heart.”

Swartz ended up completing 9 -of-20 passes for 133 yards to pace the Sulphur offense despite suffering a shoulder injury while making a tackle in the first quarter.

“It was just a wonder that he could throw the ball at all,” Dixon said. “But he still threw it pretty decent and made some big plays. He’s definitely dinged up. Hopefully he’ll be able to play next week against Plainview.”

Grinstead was also forced to leave the game with an injury during the Wolves’ late scoring drive but the SHS coaching staff feels like he should be ready in time for the Bulldogs’ trip to battle No. 4 Plainview. The Indians dismantled Kingston 65-24 Friday night to stay unbeaten at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in the district.

Davis was also led statistically by its quarterback Collette, who rushed for 109 hard-earned yards on 24 tries.