Seminole 'D' shows improvement in home win over Tecumseh

Brian Johnson
The Shawnee News-Star
Seminole's Lantz Fixico (23) tries to avoid the tackle of Tecumseh's Marquan Krush (12) after catching a pass Friday night in Seminole.
Tecumseh's Daveon Mays (6) runs to the outside as Seminole's Miguel Conley (9) tries to pursue on the play Friday in Seminole.

SEMINOLE – Coach Mike Snyder wanted to see vast improvement out of his Seminole Chieftain defense.

He received it Friday night as Seminole rolled to a 35-7 non-district victory over the Tecumseh Savages in a battle of the Highway 9 rivals on Mike Snyder Field at Chieftain Stadium.

“Defensively, we played a little better than we did last week (against Harrah). We were coming off the ball better. We had a little more intensity and weren't back on our heels,” said Snyder.

Though Seminole knocked off Harrah last week (19-14), the Chieftains had their share of defensive struggles.

“Intensity...we came out with a lot more intensity and aggression tonight,” said sophomore defensive back Joe Fixico, who was in on at least four tackles for loss and teamed up with junior linebacker Isaiah Cochrane to register a quarterback sack for a loss of eight yards. “We had a super good week of practice all four days. We were locked in and ready to go.”

A slight adjustment in his defensive position played a key role, according to Fixico.

“Coach Blake (Johnson) put me in a new defensive position. It's like a standup defensive end,” Fixico said. “He said 'Go sic em'.”

Cochrane, in combining with Fixico on the sack, was involved in at least two other defensive plays for lost yardage.

Junior Garrett Chaffin had at least two stops for minus yardage as well.

“Defensively, we were locked in. We came out with a lot of enthusiasm,” said Chaffin. “We did better getting to the ball and getting pressure on the quarterback.”

While the defense swarmed the Savages, the Seminole offense was efficient, especially in the second half. The Chieftains, leading just 7-0 at halftime, scored on their first four possessions of the second half in taking control.

Quarterback Vcake “Joggie” Wassana completed 16-of-21 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns of 40 yards to his brother Braxton Street and 35 to Daylan Saxon. Wassana also ran for 50 yards and another score of 13 yards.

Street was on the receiving end of five passes for 111 yards and the one TD. Saxon had two receptions for 44 yards and the one score. Dontre Garfield and Lantz Fixico had three grabs apiece for 69 and 45 yards respectively.

Seminole piled up 414 yards of total offense and 14 first downs.

Tecumseh, 0-2, picked up its only touchdown with 3:15 to go in the game to break up the Chieftains' shutout bid as Conner Barksdale scored from a yard out and Dylan Graham booted the extra point.

That scoring drive was fueled by the running of reserve sophomore quarterback Marquan Krush, who netted 51 yards on the series.

The Savages saw two potential scoring drives wiped out in the first half. The first was Tecumseh's first series of the game which was terminated at the Chieftain 12-yard line and the second was Street stripping the ball on the goal line for a potential game-tying score late in the second quarter. The ball rolled out of bounds in the end zone.

The only touchdown of the first half came on Chaffin's 3-yard run with 9:16 left before the break. Brendan Rodriquez then kicked the extra point.

After the Savages were unable to get anything going after taking the second-half kickoff, Seminole moved 64 yards in just five plays, capped by Wassana's fake handoff led to him zipping up the middle for a 13-yard scoring run. The PAT by Rodriquez was successful as the Chieftain lead grew to 14-0 with 8:05 remaining in the third.

On the next Seminole scoring drive, Garfield ripped off a 33-yard run. Three plays later, Wassana hooked up with Street on the 40-yard scoring connection and Rodriquez kicked the extra point for a 21-0 Chieftain cushion with 5:24 to go in the third.

Then after forcing a turnover on downs, Seminole journeyed 70 yards in six plays which resulted in Vcake's TD 35-yard TD pass to Saxon. Another good PAT by Rodriquez made it 28-0 with 1:08 left in the third.

Cochrane's 1-yard scoring run with 8:05 to go in the fourth and a fifth PAT by Rodriquez rounded out the Chieftain scoring.

Defensively for Tecumseh, Jace Frazier was involved in 10 tackles, including six solo efforts. Wyatt England was in on eight tackles (two unassisted) with one stop for lost yards and a quarterback sack. Mason Whitman also had a sack among his eight tackles (one solo). Brynnen Epperley forced a fumble to go with his seven tackles and Keegan Plumley had two tackles for loss and a fumble recovery.

Seminole is at home again Friday against Evangel Christian of Shreveport, Louisiana for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff. Tecumseh plays at Elgin Friday for a 7 p.m. start.