SHAWNEE – With seven minutes left in the third quarter, Shawnee held a 28-21 lead, but was unable to match Sapulpa’s scoring output and fell to the Chieftains 63-35 Thursday evening.
Sapulpa scored first on a 27-yard run from Te’zohn Taft. Kavion Mortazavi’s extra point gave the Chieftains a 7-0 lead with 11:09 remaining in the first quarter.
On Shawnee’s first play from scrimmage, Heath Hunter and Scout Cawvey hooked up for an 80-yard touchdown play. The two-point conversion failed after the score.
With 5:31 left on the first quarter clock, Tre’Juan Shaw gave the Wolves a lead on a one-yard touchdown run. Kossi Kodoe converted the extra point and Shawnee led 13-7.
Sapulpa’s Marcus Esparza kept up the first quarter scoring fest, punching one in from four yards out. Mortazavi’s extra point gave the Chieftains a 14-13 lead with 1:15 remaining in the first quarter. Esparza scored his second touchdown of the evening, this time from two yards out. Another extra point gave Sapulpa the 21-13 lead with 8:27 left in the first half.
Right before halftime, the referees missed a blatant holding call and Shawnee was unable to convert a fourth and short. The ruling on the field was a tipped ball, but the defender had Jaylon Orange wrapped up immediately after the snap.
In the third quarter, Shawnee played some of its best football. With 9:30 left in the quarter, Shaw tied the game up after a 13-yard run and two-point conversion.
The momentum seemed to favor the Wolves momentarily, as Shaw found Cawvey on a 48-yard score. Kodoe’s kick went through the uprights and Shawnee led 28-21 with 7:06 remaining in the third frame.
On the Chieftains’ next possession, Esparza scored his third touchdown of the contest on a two-yard run. Sapulpa knotted the game at 28-28 after the extra point.
Hunter and Con’Cere Spencer gave the Wolves the lead once again after a 48-yard touchdown play. Kodoe kicked his third extra point and Shawnee took a 35-28 lead.
Then the wheels fell off.
Sapulpa’s Eli Williams found Taft for a 72-yard touchdown up the middle of the field.
The Chieftains recovered the onside kick and scored on the ensuing possession. Williams tossed a touchdown to Wyatt Hall. Williams scored a rushing touchdown on the Chieftains’ next possession and Sapulpa never looked back.
Shawnee had a chance, but lost a fumble on the three-yard line and never seemed to regain their will to win.
In the fourth quarter, Esparza punched in his fourth touchdown and Hall capped off the scoring with a 52-yard pick six.
Hunter completed 21 of 31 passes for 426 yards and three touchdowns. The only downfall to Hunter’s game was five interceptions. He also carried the ball 14 times for 65 yards.
Cawvey continued his impressive play with his second consecutive big game. Cawvey hauled in eight passes for 236 yards and two scores.
Spencer was the team’s second leading receiver with four receptions for 82 yards and one touchdown. Orange caught six passes for 73 yards and Trenton Skinner caught three passes for 35 yards despite playing with a cast covering a broken finger.
Shaw led the Wolves with 79 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 16 carries.
Hudson Davis led the team with eight tackles and .5 sacks. Elijah Powis recorded five tackles and 1.5 sacks.
Sapulpa’s Taft had a game-high 212 yards rushing on 22 attempts. Williams was the second Chieftain ball carrier over the century mark with 114 yards.
Esparza led the team with four rushing touchdowns.
Williams completed seven of nine passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns.
Shawnee (2-6, 2-3) will travel to Bixby next week.