Jackets sting Sapulpa, 27-21
Choctaw comes from behind to outlast Chieftains
Choctaw High School opened the season Friday night with a road win over Sapulpa, 27-21.
The Yellowjackets showed they can overcome adversity as they battled back from trailing Sapulpa 7-6 going into halftime.
“We talk all the time about overcoming adversity, and how adversity is an opportunity. We saw halftime as a tremendous opportunity to show how we can overcome obstacles,” said head coach Jake Corbin.
“We know that sometime this season we’re going to be put in a position for keeps, and we’re going to have to come and battle out a second half win. We wanted to see our grit and toughness, and they handled it exactly like I knew they would.”
Despite success on offense and big stops by the defense, things were close between the Jackets and Chieftains early due largely in part to problematic penalties. Several trips to the red zone were undone by flags, but Choctaw never let up.
“Some penalties backed us up, but I’m really proud of our kids. Every time you play your first game you have some ideas of what you can do and you don’t know about, since you haven’t been tested live. I was extremely proud of the way our kids moved the ball. We had some penalties, and that I can live with. They weren’t all unforced penalties, they were all hustle penalties. We had some holding with guys giving tremendous effort, and I’ll take that any day. We’d like to eliminate those, but we’re happy with how hard our kids played,” explained Corbin.
Choctaw’s offense put up over 500 yards of offense, 285 on the ground and 227 through the air, to outscore the Chieftains 27-21.
“I think we marched up and down the field all night, and don’t think we were ever really stopped. Both our run game and pass game went well. I was extremely happy about how we executed our offense as a whole,” said Corbin.
Quarterback Hudson Woods connected on 18 of 28 passes for 227 yards and one touchdown throw to Ethan Crews. Woods also ran for 115 yards including three TDs.
On the night, Crews led receiving with eight catches for 64 yards.
Collin Armstrong followed completing four receptions for a total of 58 yards, Zane Coleman had 32 yards receiving, Jaryn Curry was credited 27 yards, Raymond Navarro had 17 yards and Dakota Armstrong caught a 15-yard pass.
Curry did the bulk of Choctaw’s running as he put in 162 yards on 13 carries.
Choctaw’s defense was tested Friday as the Jackets only gave up seven points in the first half.
After the break the CHS offense found their rhythm and went to work adding 21 points, while the defense made big stops allowing Choctaw to outlast the Chieftains.
Christian Dix was credited 11.5 tackles, Blake Muse had 11 and five of those were solo, Jaden Brown had 10, five of which were solo and Deysean Moore had seven stops.
Caden Young, Isaiah Sumlin and Tae Gibbs each had six tackles.
Choctaw (1-0) will head east again this Friday as the Jackets travel to Sand Springs (0-0) for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
The Sandites are looking to get back to a state championship game for the second time in three years, but Choctaw will be looking to beat the power from the east for a second straight year.
Last season Choctaw stopped Sand Springs 45-41 at home, and the Jackets will be looking to build momentum off of the Sapulpa win to repeat and push that 2017 record to 2-0.