Photos by RSP Photography
Story by Jayson Knight
Tuttle advanced to 9-2 on the season after beating Weatherford 48-21 Friday in a home game for the Tigers.
Tuttle will advance to the quarterfinal round, as one of the last eight teams still at it, to face the Bulldogs in Wagoner Friday at 7 p.m.
“Man, there’s no bad teams left,” Tuttle Head Coach Brad Ballard said Monday morning. “Weatherford played Clinton to a good game, a really close game. They played Elk City to a really good game. They had like six turnovers, which is why they lost it. They had been close in all of them. Nobody had really just blown Weatherford out. They had played Newcastle pretty evenly early in the season, with the exception of two big plays. We knew they were a good team, and that they had size. They had some skill kids that were really, really good. We knew that was going to be a tough one.”
The Tigers opened the game with a huge kick return by Brady McAdoo to the opponents’ 30-yard line. Tuttle quarterback Jackson Johnson rolled out left to hit McDoulett for the game’s initial first down. The Tigers then handed it off to McAdoo twice for the final 15 yards, and the Tigers led 7-0 just two minutes into the game.
Striking right back, Weatherford scored from their own 42 yard line with a fade route, and the game was tied with 7:53 left in the first quarter.
Tuttle running back Shawn Rounsaville ran the Tigers’ second touchdown in from 42 yards out to take a 14-7 lead the Tigers would not relinquish.
Tuttle scored the next touchdown off a blocked punt by Tuttle defensive lineman Adrian Avelar. Avelar then recovered the punt, and returned it 30 yards for a touchdown, for a 21-7 lead.
Weatherford responded with a 21-yard passing touchdown with 7:11 left on the second-quarter clock.
Johnson hit Mark Douglas over the shoulder from 18 yards out for another Tuttle touchdown in the last minute of the first half, giving the Tigers a 28-14 lead heading into the half.
Weatherford started the second half with possession, but a pass broken up by Tuttle linebacker Luke Fallwell was intercepted by McAdoo, in at safety. McAdoo finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run. Tuttle led 34-14.
Tuttle got the ball back and scored from a few yards out on a carry by Major Sharp for a 41-14 Tuttle lead.
Weatherford scored an ineffectual touchdown with a 16-yard pass with just under three minutes left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Tigers scored on their next possession with a 34-yard run by Rounsaville to beat Weatherford 48-21.
As far as what gave the Tigers the edge in the game, Coach Ballard said it was a lot of things.
“Number one: Turnovers,” the coach said. “They turned it over four times and we didn’t turn it over. Any time you can be plus-four turnovers, that’s good. We scored a touchdown on offense, scored a touch down on special teams. We had some good kick off returns. We just were pretty solid in all three phases, and didn’t make that critical error of too many turnovers the other night. That was a big swing for us.”
Tuttle will continue its playoff push into the quarterfinals against Wagoner, an undefeated defending champion that came into the season as a favorite to win it all.
“They’ve been number one all year,” Coach Ballard said, “Them and Poteau. They’re the defending state champion and until somebody beats them, they’ll be that. Every year, they’re good. Every year, they’re loaded. They’ve got a defensive end that committed to OU last week, and he’s just a junior. They’ve got some pretty good players. They got a quarterback named (Kale) Charboneau who played for them last year, and he plays linebacker and quarterback. He’s a really, really good football player. Just like always, they’re talented everywhere and play extremely good defense, and they try not to turn the ball over.”
With the Tigers’ first playoff win of the season, Coach Ballard has won his 100th game as Tuttle’s head football coach in his tenth season at the helm. Ballard led the 2018 Tigers to a State Championship victory over Bethany, 35-28.