OKLAHOMA CITY — Seminole’s comeback year, capped by a return to the playoffs, was ended 31-16 by Oklahoma Christian’s Saints Friday night.
Oklahoma Christian jumped out to a 24-8 halftime lead, then held on in the Class 3A quarterfinal matchup.
After going 3-7 and missing the playoffs in 2016, Seminole concluded the 2017 campaign at 8-4, including a district runner-up finish.
“We had a good year, especially with all of the injuries we had,” Seminole assistant coach Brian McAlvain said. “We graduate just seven or eight seniors, so we basically return everybody on both sides of the ball.”
Mike Snyder has failed to make the playoffs in just three of his 38 years at the Chieftain helm.
Seminole junior quarterback Cade Hammond, who missed the final two games of the regular season and last week’s 8-6 first-round victory over Anadarko in concussion mode, completed 14 of 26 passes for 187 yards with two interceptions.
Cameron Gunville , who provided Seminole with an 8-0 lead after one quarter on a 17-yard touchdown run and 2-point conversion run, rushed for 116 yards on 17 opening-half runs. But the sophomore standout got dinged up in the second quarter and didn’t play the second half.
Jamon Dennis, who recorded a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to bring Seminole within 24-16, finished with 72 yards on 19 rushes.
The Chieftains outrushed the hosts 202 to 156 but OC netted 235 yards passing, including second-quarter touchdown strikes of 26 and 88 yards by quarterback Calyn Halvorson. Both of the touchdown catches were by Ben Smith.
Junior Justin Hamilton of Seminole notched two interceptions, the latter at the Seminole 28 early in the third quarter. That pilfer set up a 72-yard scoring drive capped by Dennis. Hammond’s 2-point conversion run made it 24-16.
Seminole’s defense stymied Oklahoma Christian’s next possession, but the Chieftains also failed to move the ball, then bobbled a punt snap with the Saints recovering the ball at the 20. The Chieftain defense again held, thanks to a sack by Jarrod Stewart, but Oklahoma Christian’s defense held suit.
The backbreaker for Seminole came when Halvorson, facing a 3rd-and-17, uncorked a 53-yard completion to the Chieftain 21 in the fourth quarter. OC also converted a 4th-and-1 at the 10 before Mason Arnold scored from 2-yards out with just 1:58 to play, climaxing an 83-yard drive.
Seminole posted one final scoring challenge, driving from its 35 to the Saints’ 5 before an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and several incompletions ended the game.
Seminole racked up 389 total yards of offense but was penalized 13 times for 102 yards.