Slow start proves costly for Seminole

Fred Fehr

SEMINOLE —A slow start was too much for Seminole to overcome Friday night in a 45-28 non-district setback to Tulsa Metro Christian.

Poor field position was costly for Seminole in the opening quarter.

Metro Christian drove 71 yards in seven plays on its first possession with senior running back Levi Korir scoring from 7 yards.

Two plays later, Seminole fumbled the ball away at its 23. The Patriots required six plays to score — on a 2-yard run — as Seminole fell into a 14-0 hole. Prior to the touchdown, Metro Christian faced a 4th-and-7 dilemma but connected on a 13-yard pass to the 4-yard line.

On its third possession, Seminole opted to go for a 4th-and-1 situation at its 29 but quarterback Vcake Wassana was stoned at the line of scrimmage. Following an offsides infraction against Seminole, Korir took a screen pass and sped 24 yards to the end zone with 1:01 left in the first quarter.

The Patriots, on their next possession, drove to the Seminole 1, only to be repelled on fourth down.

Seminole responded with a 99-yard scoring drive in four plays, including a 54-yard run by Garrett Chaffin to the Patriot 37. On the next play, Wassana, operating on a bootleg, hooked up with Easton Wurtz on a scoring pass.

Undaunted, Metro Christian used 16 plays to trek 65 yards, capped by a 19-yard touchdown pass on a wheel route :35 before halftime. The pass came on 4th-and-14 as the Patriots took a 28-7 lead into halftime.

That lead mushroomed to 31-7 on a 33-yard field by Caden Combs but Seminole retaliated with back-to-back scoring drives of 70 and 55 yards. Chaffin scored the first touchdown on a 1-yard run before Wassana’s 4-yard scamper brought Seminole within 31-20.

Metro Christian rebounded with 61-yard scoring drive concluded by Korir’s 3-yard TD run with 11:07 to play.

Seminole ended its scoring on Chaffin’s 4-yard run and 2-point conversion run, then successfully executed an onsides kick. But Wassana was sacked for a 9-yard loss on first down and William Campbell intercepted a Wassana pass three plays later.

The Patriots then kept the ball for 12 plays before scoring on a 3-yard pass with 1:34 left to end the scoring.

Quarterbacks Colton Cook and Kirk Francis combined to hit 24-of-37 passes for 347 yards without an interception. Wassana was 10 of 17 through the air for 179 yards.

Seminole’s rushing defense was outstanding, allowing the Patriots just 69 yards on 29 carries.

Seminole amassed 168 rushing yards on 33 carries as Chaffin earned 118 yards on 19 attempts.

Wurtz recorded four catches for 78 yards. Braxton Street caught three passes for 54 yards and Miguel Conley latched onto two aerials for 35 yards.

Metro Christian, in raising its overall record to 7-2, didn’t commit a turnover and didn’t punt. Seminole committed two turnovers.

Seminole, which finished the regular season at 5-3 overall and 4-2 in district play, will launch playoff action Friday night against visiting Berryhill.

Note: Report compiled by contributing writer Fred Fehr.