The Seminole Chieftains lost the turnover battle and eventually the game to the visiting Checotah Wildcats, 13-12, Friday night.
SEMINOLE — Heartbreak. The Seminole Chieftains lost the turnover battle and eventually the game to the visiting Checotah Wildcats, 13-12, Friday night.
It was the fourth loss in a row for the Chieftains.
Seminole dominated the first half of play, taking a 12-0 lead into the half. The Chieftains gave the Wildcats a huge dose of Cameron Gunville, and he made them pay. The Chieftains’ first scoring drive took 7:16 off of the clock in a span from 2:23 of the first quarter to 7:07 left in the half.
Gunville carried the ball 11 times for 43 yards during the drive, that looked like it was stalled at the Checotah 21-yard line.
Quarterback Brendan Rodriguez had a different plan. Rodriguez, on a fourth-and-12, found Easton Wurtz in the end zone for the 21-yard score. Seminole led 6-0 midway through the second
The Seminole defense was equally, if not more, impressive in the first half. On the first play of the next Wildcat possession, the defense stripped running back Dontairre Fisher and Chieftain Lebrius Johnson pounced on the loose ball, setting up the Chieftains with a first-and-10 from the Checotah 17-yard line.
Seminole took just four plays to go up 12-0, with 5:07 left in the half. Gunville scored from seven yards out for Seminole’s second TD.
The Chieftains held Checotah to 43 yards of offense in the first half.
The third quarter, for seven minutes, looked like it was going to be more of the same, until the turnovers started to mount for the home team.
With 4:56 left in the third, Gunville fumbled and Checotah’s Malachi Harris fell on the wet pigskin at the Seminole 45-yard line.
The Wildcats scored in four plays, cutting the Seminole lead to 12-7 with 3:41 left in the third quarter. Quarterback Jacob Barrett scored from two yards out.
Seminole stalled out on its’ next drive and the defense rose up again on the Wildcats’ final possession of the third quarter.
Seminole’s Braxton Street picked off a Barrett pass and was down at the Checotah 47-yard line. The ensuing Chieftain drive ended at the Wildcats’ 24-yard line on Gunville’s second turnover of the game.
The Wildcats took full advantage of the gift and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:54 left in the game on a 12-yard scoring run by Fisher. The score was set up on a key fourth-and-three at the Seminole 31-yard line. Barrett dropped back to throw but found an opening on the outside of the Chieftain defense and sprinted 47 yards to the Seminole 12, setting up Fisher’s game-winning score.
Seminole was stopped on its’ next possession and made the decision to punt with just over three minutes left in the game.
It almost paid off, as the Chieftains used their timeouts to force a Checotah punt with 1:51 on the clock.
Gunville attempted to scoop up the punt but lost the handle and Fisher slid in to grab the loose ball and the victory for the Wildcats.
Coach Mike Snyder remains one game away from history, as the state’s all-time 11-man football wins leader at 363 games. The loss dropped the Chieftains to 1-4 in district play and 3-5 overall.
Seminole will travel to meet Tulsa Webster next Friday night.