TULSA – Shawnee saw their season come to an end Friday with a 41-28 loss to Bishop Kelley in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs.
The Wolves couldn't find consistent footing but put on four touchdowns in the final 12 minutes to shrink Kelley's lead down from 34-7 going into the fourth – all on touchdown passes from Jack Diamond.
Diamond hit freshman Scout Cawvey with 40 and 50-yard touchdown passes and Malik Tate bobbled a 3-yard pass but come up with it just in time in the end zone.
Cawvey, a freshman, could be a big factor for the Wolves in the coming years as they lose several key seniors after this season.
Diamond, Tate, Creed Humphrey, Hunter Mackey and Christian Patterson are just a few of the big-name Wolves that will be departing the team after graduating this year.
“We'll lose a good group and we always do, but those other kids have to step up,” coach Billy Brown said. “Scout, a freshman receiver, caught some good balls tonight so those kids will come around and learn from those seniors what they've taught them through the years and be productive next year.”
Patterson came up with the only touchdown of the first three quarters for Shawnee. Diamond and Patterson had a 45-yard connection to end Shawnee's shutout with 3:31 left in the second.
Patterson led receiving with 166 yards on 10 catches and Cawvey was 4-141. Tate went 2-26 through the air and rushed for 79 yards on 14 carries.
Diamond had a rough game numbers-wise, but the majority of his incompletes were due to drops that he had little control of and could have kept the game a lot tighter early on.
“Today we started off slow, dropped some passes early that were touchdowns, dropped an interception that would have been a touchdown,” Brown said. “Against good teams like this, you can't afford those mistakes and those have got to happen. And then we're in the game the whole way and not having to catch up from behind.”
Diamond finished the game 16 of 37 for 333 yards and gave up three interceptions, including a pick-6 on a pass to Trenton Skinner. He was disrupted in the pocket and beyond throughout the night, getting sacked five times in the process.
On defense, Mackey came up with an interception in the red zone during Kelley's first drive of the game and Humphrey recorded a sack in the third. Patterson came up with an onside kick on special teams to get the Wolves in position for Tate's touchdown as time was winding down.
Shawnee had their ups and downs throughout the season, but was able to find a little bit of a groove over the past few weeks to get them into the playoffs, and if a few more things went their way during Friday's game, could have pulled off an upset.
One place where the team had to readjust led to a rocky district start was in the loss of receiver Tyree York after suffering a bruised rib against Coweta in the third week of districts. That injury forced Brown to shuffle up the receiving core, giving Patterson, Skinner and Cawvey more crucial roles.
Once everyone got more comfortable in their new positions things started paying off and the team earned a playoff spot with three straight wins before falling to Noble in a back-and-forth game for the fourth playoff position to face Bishop Kelley.
The Wolves finish the season 5-6 overall and 5-3 against district opponents.
“We played, we were in every game, we played well at times and just couldn't finish games,” Brown said.