STIGLER – Jacob Barrett was looking for a little revenge and to make a statement. He and his Checotah Wildcats did just that.
Barrett accounted for 272 yards of offense and five total touchdowns as Checotah outlasted No. 8 Stigler, 49-47, to spoil the Panthers homecoming Friday night at Panther Stadium.
“This was the best week of practice we’ve had all year,” Barrett said. “We wanted a little revenge after losing to them last year. We led at halftime then so we were focused on finishing things this year. I think this was our statement game. You can’t count us out.”
Checotah (5-1 and 3-0 in District 3A-3) went up by two scores late in the first quarter on a 65-yard run by Dontairre Fisher. From that point on, Stigler (4-2, 1-2) was forced to play catch up and Checotah answered every punch the Panthers threw at them.
“We talked all week about how good Stigler was,” said head coach Chad Hendricks. “It would be silly for us to think they wouldn’t get their points. It was up to us as to how we would respond.”
Checotah responded in a variety of ways. Barrett returned a kickoff 85 yards after Mason Peery’s second touchdown run cut the lead to 16-13.
Grayson Gilmore’s 16-yard run cut it to 22-20. But once again Barrett came up with a big play. Barrett started to run then stopped and threw to Brenden Dan who went 66 yards to set up a 2-yard run by Barrett to give Checotah a 29-20 halftime lead.
Statistically the third quarter was dominated by Stigler. Checotah ran just three offensive plays and one was a fumble inside their own 10. But the Wildcats scored on a 65-yard kickoff return by Dan and an 89-yard run by Barrett that made it 43-32 going into the final period.
“Special teams were the difference,” Hendricks said. “After Jacob’s return, they pooch kicked it high and deep to Dan. He fair caught the first one. The next one we set up and return.”
While the offense was scoring at will, it was a big play by the defense that protected Checotah’s lead. The Wildcats fumbled inside their own 10 giving Stigler first and goal at the 6. A holding penalty backed the Panthers up to the 19. Stigler was unable to move and despite converting on three fourth down attempts, this time is was Fisher who got to Peery for a loss.
But Stigler wasn’t done. After stopping Checotah on fourth down at the Panther 36, Stigler went the length of the field in just 48 seconds to cut the lead to 43-40 on a 10-yard pass from Peery to Jaxon Calhoun with 5:02 remaining.
Stigler had used all three timeouts in the third quarter and Checotah was looking to run the clock. On third and long, Barrett found Trenton Dan for 38 yards to the Stigler 23. Three plays later, Barrett scored to make it 49-40.
“We have a lot of guys that can make plays,” Barrett said. “That catch by Trenton on the last drive was huge. Bailey McIntosh made some key plays. Our offensive and defensive lines have worked their tails off. I’m finally back in the groove of things after moving back to quarterback. I want to get everyone involved.”
Stigler took over with two minutes remaining and moved down field with the aid of a couple of pass interference penalties. Peery found Jackson Winkle open for an 11-yard scoring pass that cut the lead to 49-47. But the Panthers onside attempt was unsuccessful and Checotah was able to run out the clock.
Fisher finished with 161 yards rushing for the Wildcats while Barrett added 112 yards. Barrett passed for 160. Peery led Stigler with 203 yards passing and 109 yards rushing. Bridge McClary also rushed for 82 yards for the Panthers.
CHECOTAH 49, STIGLER 47
Score by quarters
Checotah 16 13 14 6 – 49
Stigler 7 13 12 15 – 47
STI – Mason Peery 1 run (Enrique Juarez kick) 7:26
CHE – Brenden Dan 19 pass from Jacob Barrett (Barrett run) 4:53
CHE – Dontairre Fisher 65 run (Trenton Dan run) 0:25
STI – Peery 6 run (pass failed) 4:55
CHE – Barrett 85 kickoff return (pass failed) 4:43
STI – Grayson Gilmore 16 run (Juarez kick) 2:37
CHE – Barrett 2 run (Angel Llamas kick) 0:11
STI – Peery 1 run (kick failed) 6:45
CHE – B. Dan 65 kickoff return (kick failed) 6:35
STI – Ridge McClary 6 run (kick failed) 2:56
CHE – Barrett 89 run (T. Dan pass to Brock Butler) 0:16
STI – Jaxon Calhoun 10 pass from Peery (Peery pass to McClary) 5:02
CHE – Barrett 5 run (kick blocked) 2:02
STI – Jackson Winkle 11 pass from Peery (Juarez kick) 0:52
First downs 12 27
Rushes-yards 31-260 48-268
Passing yards 160 226
Passes 5-11-0 14-33-2
Fumbles-lost 3-2 0-0
Punts-average 2-27 0-0
Penalties-yards 14-124 10-81
RUSHING – Checotah, Dontairre Fisher 18-161 TD; Stigler, Mason Peery 22-109 3TD.
PASSING – Checotah, Jacob Barrett 5-11-0 160 TD; Stigler, Peery 13-31-2 203 2TD.
RECEIVING – Checotah, Brenden Dan 2-85 TD; Stigler, Jaxon Calhoun 5-90 TD.