Wolves' offense struggles in 34-7 loss to Coweta

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star
Shawnee's Joe Maytubby (1) and Hudson Davis-Barkus (6) pursue Coweta's Gage Hamm (16) during action Friday night at Bixby.

BIXBY – Unable to get into a groove offensively Friday night, the Shawnee Wolves suffered their first District 5A-3 loss of the season, falling to the Coweta Tigers, 34-7, in a game played at Bixby High School.

Shawnee, which dropped to 4-3 overall and 4-1 in the district, managed just 110 yards of offense and picked up its only touchdown of the game on the defensive side of the ball, a 40-yard interception return by senior defensive end Joe Maytubby late in the first quarter.

“We struggled to get anything going offensively in the first half,” said Shawnee head coach Jason Sexton. “We played well defensively at times, but we missed some tackles. I would call it a decent defensive game.”

Coweta, 7-1 and 5-0, generated 296 yards of offense with 175 coming on the ground and 121 through the air.

The Tigers' Gage Hamm was 9-of-16 passing for the 121 yards and the one TD of 3 yards to Gunnar McCollough and the one pick thrown to Maytubby.

Coweta's rushing attack came from five different players as Mason Ford led the way with 58 yards on six carries.

The Wolves also had struggles in the kicking game as one punt was blocked for a safety and another went for minus-1 yard.

“We've got to do a better in all three phases (offense, defense and special teams), especially when you play teams as good as Coweta,” Sexton said.

Shawnee did show signs of some pretty good defense as nine of the Tigers' plays in the rushing department went for zero yards or less (outside of the two plays in which Coweta took a knee to run out the clock, ending the game).

Wreaking havoc on a majority of those defensive plays for the Wolves were Maytubby and Justice Simpson.

“Justice Simpson and Joe really stood out defensively,” said Sexton.

Maytubby, the 6-foot, 5-inch, 253-pounder, was in on at least four tackles which led to zero or negative yards while Simpson, a 6-3, 210-pounder, was credited with a couple of quarterback sacks.

Na'Kylan Sparks had an 8-yard touchdown run, Luke Morgan recovered a fumble from teammate Ford in the end zone for a score, William Mason scored from six yards out and Brody Rucker booted a 24-yard field goal for the Tigers' other scores.

McCollough caught five passes for 77 yards and Ford had three grabs for 44 yards to go with his 58 rushing yards.

For Shawnee, Maytubby caught a pair of passes for 14 yards while Karran Evans had one for seven yards.

The Wolves achieved just one first down in the opening quarter, ended up with only five by halftime and finished with just nine for the game. Coweta compiled 18 first downs on the night.

Shawnee is scheduled to hit the road for the second straight week this Friday as they play at McAlester for a 7 p.m. kickoff. McAlester knocked off the Wolves, 34-13, earlier this season in a non-district game at Jim Thorpe Stadium on Sept. 12. That contest was a replacement for Shawnee's game against Ardmore, which was canceled due to COVID-19 issues with Ardmore's Tigers.

The Wolves are scheduled to close out the regular season at home on Nov. 6 against Tulsa Kelley. Shawnee will then be at home for the opening of the Class 5A playoffs the following week.

It was determined Friday that district standings over voting will take priority in determining playoff seeds. The Wolves have beaten the bottom four teams in the district. That means Shawnee can finish no lower than fourth in the district, thus earning a first-round playoff host berth. Due to COVID-19 and the abnormal number of games played by each team, all teams, if they choose, are eligible for the playoffs this year.