, Muskogee, OK


September 29, 2013

Quick-strike Bacone zips past Haskell

The Bacone Warriors wanted to set the tone early and that they did in beating Haskell Indian Nations 38-6 Saturday on Creek Nation Field at Indian Bowl.

After forcing the Indians to a three-and-out in their first possession, the Warriors hit paydirt on their first play from scrimmage, a 51-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Kuban to David Chapman. They never looked back, improving to 3-2 on the year. The loss dropped the Indians to 0-5.

“That was just a designed play that we have,” Chapman said. “They called the play and we executed it and the offensive line blocked. (Kuban) threw it and I caught it.”

The defense kept Haskell at bay all game long, limiting it to 11 first downs, four in the first half with two coming on penalties on the Indians’ final drive of the half. That drive ended when Gergio Walton dove for a tipped pass from Haskell quarterback Maverick Lang and snared it in at the Warriors’ 20-yard line with 29.5 seconds remaining in the half.

“Coach told us at half to quit hurting ourselves,” Walton said. “Just calm down, play the game and have fun.”

Chapman led all receivers with 78 yards on three catches. Kuban and Karl Birkenfield split duties as they have all season. Birkenfield completed 10 of 19 attempts for 162 yards and a touchdown while Kuban was 4 of 17 for 89 yards and the touchdown to Chapman.

The running game was also in force as the Warriors rushed for 217 yards on 34 carries. Eric Horsley, Jr. led the way with 118 yards on seven carries including a 73-yard burst late in the third quarter to put the Warriors up 35-0.

“The ground game came through for the passing,” Chapman said. “That opened up a bunch of lanes because the safeties were in a cover-3 and would bite so hard on the run that it would leave our tight end or slot open.”

While all looked good on the scoreboard, the same problem reared its ugly head that has been on Bacone’s sideline all season – mistakes at critical points.

Two came on Haskell’s final drive of the first half. The first occurred with the Indians punting on their own 20 — a roughing the kicker penalty that gave Haskell a first down on its 35. The second was a pass interference on Walton that kept the Indians at Bacone’s 29 and came three plays prior to Walton’s interception.

“We’ve got to be smart in situations like that,” said Bacone coach Trevor Rubly. “I had just told them ‘Hey, there’s two minutes left. Let’s get off the field and give the offense the ball back.’ We’ve still got work to do.”

After the Warriors got on the board first, the defense took over and forced the Indians to two more three-and-outs before Bacone’s Keshaun Malone picked off Lang and returned it to the Nations’ 31-yard line. From there, the Warriors took four plays to score with Birkenfield banging in from the 1-yard line to make the score 14-0 with 6:47 left in the first quarter.

The second quarter started with Bacone at the Indians’ 47. Bacone went the 53 yards in 13 plays and was capped with Aron McCoy running in from the 6-yard line to make the score 21-0.

“We kind of talked about that all week – starting fast,” Rubly said. “Tonight was the first night that we kind of got on top. Defense three-and-out and offense goes and scores.”

Both teams started the second half with no movement on their first possession but it was the Warriors that put another score on the board. That’s when Birkenfield hit Reinaldo Reyes with a 39-yard strike to make the score 28-0.

Bacone’s final points came on a Chad Ducharme 30-yard field goal. Haskell avoided the shutout when Lang found Stewart Yazzie on a screen pass and Yazzie waltzed in, making the score 38-0 when the 2-point conversion was no good.

“This week, we just focused on ourselves,” Walton said. “We calmed down and tried to have fun and play our ball.”

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