With a first and second place finish — or a home playoff game — no longer a possibility, Muskogee High School’s football team looks to be resilient this week.

The Roughers, now 7-2 overall after a 17-14 double overtime loss to Owasso last Friday, need to bounce back when they close out the regular season at Sand Springs.

Coach Matt Hennesy is confident his team will rebound from the loss.

“We’ll do it the same way we do all of the time,” he said. “I mean, we lost five games last year. It’s no big deal.

“It probably makes our playoff hurdle tougher, but the bottom line is we were going to have to play Jenks or (Tulsa) Union anyway in the playoffs. So what does it matter if it’s in the first, second or third round.”

While the Roughers look to beat Sand Springs, they are also will be listening for the winner between Owasso and Booker T. Washington.

If Owasso wins, Muskogee plays at either Broken Arrow or Stillwater in the opening round of the playoffs. If Washington wins, the Roughers pack up for a trip to Union.

Depending on what Washington does, it could finish in first or fourth.

“That’s what happens in a district race,” Hennesy said. “If Booker T. gets first, that’ll put Jenks, Union and us on the same side of the bracket.”

Regardless of the bracket, Hennesy knows the Owasso loss was a particularly tough one to swallow, especially after Dre Stout was stopped inches from the goal line in the second overtime. Owasso then kicked a 27-yard field goal to win it.

“If you can’t score from a half-yard or one yard out, you don’t deserve to win the game anyway,” Hennesy said. “There’s no way anybody should stop us right there.

“It was one of those deals we didn’t block it very well. We had the right front, the right call but we didn’t block it. Owasso played a great game defensively.”

Looking back, Hennesy said it would’ve been hard to try a field goal from that point on the field.

“From that angle, you’re not going to make a field goal,” he said of his team at the one-yard line and hash mark. “We would probably have to take two delay-of-game penalties to get the angle where you can make it.”

The good news coming out of the loss was the game marked the return of Rell Lewis at quarterback. It was his first game since tearing his right medial collateral ligament on the opening kickoff against Jenks on Oct. 6.

Though he passed for 45 yards and ran for nine, the senior had a four-yard run for a first down in the third quarter.

“Ideally, our goal was to play him a full quarter but he’ll play more (this) week and by the playoffs, he’ll be ready to go,” Hennesy said. “We just have to get his knee back in shape. I thought he did a job.

“The thing about Rell is he knows what he’s supposed to do. He’s a leader and a warrior. “

Hennesy now hopes his team is warrior-like in recovering from the loss that dropped them to No. 7 from No. 2 in the Associated Press Class 6A poll this week.

“Our goal is to win a state championship. That hasn’t changed,” he said. “I think we’re good enough to win state. We’re going to play who we’ve got to play.”

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