TULSA — Historically, the second round of the playoffs have not been good for the Checotah Wildcats. The same was true in this year of COVID-19 as the Wildcats fall again in the second round.
Second-ranked Holland Hall put the end to the Wildcats' season in a 52-0 outcome in the Class 3A playoffs at Hardesty Field on Friday night.
“I have to give them (Holland Hall) credit, they are a good team,” said a disappointed Checotah head coach Zac Ross.
For part of the first quarter, the Wildcats (5-6) held their own. For starters, they forced Holland Hall (9-0) to punt on its opening series. But a three-and-out by the Checotah offense set the hosts up with a short field.
Taking over at the Checotah 37-yard line, the Dutch used seven plays to score their opening touchdown, a nine-yard toss from quarterback Wallace Clark to Marc Gouldsby.
Checotah’s second drive lasted six plays and was aided by a pass interference penalty, but stalled to bring up a punting situation. A fake punt with a pass that fell incomplete set the Dutch up at the Wildcat 36-yard line.
This drive needed just two plays as Zane Woodham scored on a six-yard run that was set up by a 30-yard scamper by Gouldsby.
Checotah’s Jake Vernon was picked off on the next possession by Woodham who returned it to the Wildcat nine-yard line. Clark connected with Hunt Heldebrand for a four-yard score to put Holland Hall up 21-0.
In the second quarter, Holland Hall added a 39-yard field goal by Magnus Lepak, a fumble recovery for a touchdown by Ethan Roush and a 27-yard pass from Clark to Woodham to balloon the lead to 38-0 at halftime.
Holland Hall added two more scores in the second half — one on a nine-yard scamper by Clark and a three-yard run by Keaton Sterling.
Even trailing 38-0 at halftime, Checotah did not quit and that was something was pleased with.
“That’s what we have been talking about is when you get to that breaking point and you’re getting beat. Do you shut down or do you keep playing?" he said. "I was proud of them. I mean the score is what it is but they just kept playing.
"We got stops and it’s not like we couldn’t do it, but it is the consistency of doing every play by all 11 guys.”
Dontierre Fisher and the Wildcat offense was held in check for most of the night. One of the area’s leading rushers, Fisher was held to 82 yards on 22 carries with a long of 22 yards.
“My line was blocking but they (Holland Hall) had everybody in the box and we just couldn’t block all of them,” said Fisher.
The future for Checotah appears bright as the Wildcats only lose five seniors from this year's squad.
“We have a lot coming back and we have some young players that will help next year,” said Ross.
HOLLAND HALL 52, CHECOTAH 0
Checotah 0 0 0 0—0
Holland Hall 21 17 14 0—52
HHHS: Marc Gouldsby 9 pass from Wallace Clark (Magnus Lepak kick) 5:07
HHHS: Zane Woodham 18 run (Lepak kick) 1:22
HHHS: Hunt Heldebrand 4 pass from Wallace (Lepak kick) :57
HHHS: Lepak 39 yard field goal 8:31
HHHS: Ethan Roush 35 yard fumble recovery (Lepak kick) 3:57
HHHS: Woodham 27 pass from Clark (Lepak kick) :05
HHHS: Clark 9 run (Lepak kick) 8:56
HHHS: Keaton Sterling 3 run (Lepak kick) 2:58
First downs 11 6
Rushes-Yards 27-144 30-66
Passing Yards 121 118
Passes C-A-I 10-16-0 9-20-2
Punts-Avg. 3-32 5-30
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-Yards 9-80 6-45
Rushing: CHS, Dontierre Fisher 21-82. HHHS, Keaton Sterling, 10-45 (TD).
Passing: CHS, Jake Vernon 9-19-2 118. HHHS, Wallace 10-16-0 121 (3 TD).
Receiving: CHS, Trenton Dan 2-57, Bailey McIntosh 2-28; HHHS, Woodham 2-43 (TD).