Kingfisher overcomes McLoud in District 3A-1 play

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star
McLoud tailback Clint Campbell (21) cuts upfield for a gain against Kingfisher Friday night.

McLOUD – The McLoud Redskins are growing up.

After going winless in 2019 with a youthful lineup, McLoud made a statement, despite dropping a 21-13 District 3A-1 home decision to the Kingfisher Yellowjackets Friday night.

“We battled our tails off, playing a traditional power and we were an extra point or field goal of possibly winning the game,” said McLoud head coach Rusty Hall. “We told our guys before the game that we could be in a dogfight. We battled, but just a few small things did not go our way.”

Kingfisher's go-to guy Cade Stephenson had 141 all-purpose yards – 69 yards on 16 carries and four receptions for 72 yards – while scoring all three Yellowjacket touchdowns to propel the visitors to the win.

Stephenson scored off a 3-yard run and a 44-yard pass from Jax Sternberger, both in the second quarter, and capped off the night with a 33-yard TD run with just 44 seconds remaining in the game.

McLoud, 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the district, got its two scores off a 15-yard run from Clint Campbell in the second quarter and a 1-yard plunge from quarterback Collin Gibson in the third.

After pulling within 14-13 on their first possession of the second half, the Redskins ventured deep into Kingfisher territory on their next two drives, but came up empty after a missed field goal and a pass interception on their next two series. The next McLoud possession also ended in an interception.

The difference Friday, according to Hall, was simple execution.

“Executing at moments when it really counts and the game is on the line is important. We're almost there, but we're still fairly young,” Hall said. “We will return eight starters on both offense and defense next year. A lot of our kids played as freshmen and sophomores last year. All these guys are becoming veterans.”

The Redskins were intercepted three times in the game, but not before McLoud's defensive effort kept them in the game.

Kingfisher had 262 yards of offense with 150 coming through the air.

Wes Olds pilfered a Yellowjacket pass and Jaxon Rudd had one of McLoud's two fumble recoveries. Olds was in on at least three tackles for lost yards, including a quarterback sack. Massive sophomore lineman Tryce Lewis was a disruptive force as he had at least two tackles for no gain and another which led to a loss of yardage.

Hall also singled out the play of senior linebacker Caleb Summerlin.

“Caleb Summerlin probably played his best game. Tryce Lewis absolutely dominated the middle. He demands double teams which frees our linebackers up,” said Hall. “Collin kept things alive for us at times on offense.”

Gibson scrambled his way for 60 yards on 24 carries with the one touchdown while his teammate Campbell netted 63 yards on 13 attempts and the other TD.

The two teams played through a scoreless first quarter, but the Yellowjackets struck first on their opening possession of the second quarter with a 14-play, 74-yard drive which resulted in Stephenson's 3-yard scoring run with 6:07 to go before halftime. Aaron Delatorre's extra-point kick made it 7-0.

However, McLoud responded just 50 seconds later when Campbell scored from 15 yards out. The score was set up when Gibson hooked up with sophomore Coby Cardin on a 71-yard pass play. Hunter Ryan tacked on the successful PAT to make it 7-all.

But Kingfisher took a 14-7 advantage into the halftime locker room when Sternberger, younger brother of Green Bay Packers tight end Jace Sternberger, fired a 44-yard scoring pass to Stephenson. Delatorre then added the extra point with 2:33 remaining in the second quarter.

The Yellowjackets received the second-half kickoff, but Olds' interception set the table for the Redskins' other scoring drive of the night. McLoud went 74 yards in 11 plays as Gibson scored off a QB keeper with 3:27 left in the third quarter. The 2-point conversion pass failed.

The Redskins return to action Thursday with a visit to Anadarko for a 7 p.m. kickoff. It will be the first of two straight road games as McLoud plays at Perkins-Tryon on Oct. 23.