By Nick Hampton
The night opened with hopes of a resurgent Muskogee Roughers football team that just missed a big upset last week. But it ended with nightmarish flashbacks of a crushing loss last year
In the end, the Roughers were just outmanned in every facet of the game as Class 6A’s No. 4-ranked Broken Arrow Tigers repeated the assault with a 65-10 victory Friday night in the District 6A-2 opener for both teams on Creek Nation Field at Indian Bowl. Last year, the Tigers pounded the Roughers 61-6.
Even with leading rusher Devon Thomas out with injury, the Tigers didn’t miss a beat with backup running back Jamal Shaw. The 5-foot-11, 180 pound sophomore battered the Muskogee defense for 212 yards rushing and three touchdowns on 18 carries before retiring to the sideline early in the third quarter.
Muskogee coach Josh Blankenship, who said before the game that, on paper, Broken Arrow looked like one of the best in 6A, didn’t mince words about the Tigers or his Roughers after the game.
“It’s kind of hard to evaluate them when we don’t show up,” said the third-year coach. “Their guys played well. Our guys didn’t. So I really don’t how to evaluate their talent.”
An omen of things to come came early as Broken Arrow (3-1, 1-0) took the opening kickoff and easily drove it 65 yards in seven plays with Tiger quarterback Coleman Key passing the final 13 yards to Austin Reed to make it 7-0 with the extra point.
The Roughers fumbled away the ensuing kickoff, but brought the Indian Bowl crowd alive two plays later when Bryson Bell picked off a deflected pass and returned it to the Broken Arrow 26 yard line. Muskogee could get only as far as the 19-yard line on three plays and had to settle for a 36-yard Chase Soper field goal to make it 7-3.
From that point on, it was mostly all Tigers.
Shaw had touchdown runs of 1, 4, and 41 yards. Key, who completed 14-of-18 passes for 139 yards, hooked up with Myles Smith for touchdown tosses of 42 and 10 yards.
The Roughers’ lone touchdown came with quarterback Quintahj Cherry finding big tight end Tramal Ivy on a 74- yard pass. Broken Arrow tacked on a 27-yard field goal from Riley Hathhorn at the end of the half to make it 45-10 at intermission.
The Roughers (0-4, 0-1) showed another spark of offense to open the second half as Tyriq Beasley got loose on a 43-yard run on the third play from scrimmage to set Muskogee up with at the Broken Arrow 20 yard line. But, in what was typical of the night for the Roughers, they fumbled the ball away on the next play.
The Tigers turned the running chores over to scatback runner Warren Leak. The 5-4, 140 junior, who scored four touchdowns last year in a reserve role against Muskogee, scored from 10 yards out to a cap a 66 yard drive to make it 51-10 as the extra point failed with 6:45 to play in the third quarter.
Following a three-and-out by Muskogee, the Tigers turned to backup quarterback Alex Lewis who engineered a 71-yard drive ending with a 19-yard pass to Samuel Akem to increase the Tigers’ lead to 58-10 with 10:50 left in the game. With a running clock for the final 10 minutes of the game, the Tiger reserves got one more score for the final margin.
While the Roughers had a couple of sparks of offense, Blankenship had few encouraging words about the effort.
“We had the touchdown throw to Ivy and the long run by Beasley, but we didn’t do anything else consistently,” the Rougher head coach said. “Sparks are great but they’re only sparks if you do something after that.”
Things don’t get any easier for Muskogee as they hit the road to play No. 5-ranked Westmoore next Friday.
BROKEN ARROW 65, MHS
BA 21 24 6 14–65
MHS 3 7 0 0–10
BA-Coleman Austin Reed 13 pass from Coleman Key (Hathhorn kick) 9:25
MHS- Chase Soper 36 field goal 7:25
BA-Myles Smith 42 pass from Key (Hathhorn kick) 2:47
BA- Jamal Shaw 1 run (Hathhorn kick) :20
BA-Shaw 41 run (Hathhorn kick) 9:50
MHS-Tramal Ivy 74 pass from Quintahj Cherry (Soper kick) 9:09
BA-Shaw 4 run (Hathhorn kick) 6:47
BA-Smith 10 pass from Key (Hathhorn kick) 2:38
BA-Hathhorn 27 field goal :05
BA-Warren Leak 10 run (kick failed) 6:45
BA-Samuel Akem 19 pass from Alex Lewis (Hathhorn kick) 10:50
BA-Jordan Davis 16 run (Hathhorn kick) 10:25
First Downs 24 2
Rushes-Yards 42-333 12-18
Passing Yards 158 88
Passes (C-A-I) 15-19-1 4-12
Fumbles-lost 2-1 3-3
Punts-Avg 0-0 7-35
Penalties-yards 3-40 9-75
RUSHING- BA, Jamal Shaw 18-212; MHS Tyriq Beasley 9-55
PASSSING- BA, Key 14-18-3 139; MHS Quintahj Cherry 2-8-1 88
RECEIVING- BA, Myles Smith 6-77-2; MHS Tramal Ivy 1-74-1