The Sallisaw High School football team moved the ball well for most of the game between the 20s, but the Black Diamonds never could find the end zone in a 7-0 loss to the Ada Cougars in the District 4A-4 opener for both teams at East Central University’s Norris Field.
The Black Diamonds (2-2 overall, 0-1 in district play) entered the game averaging 38.7 points per game. In contrast, the Cougars (4-0, 1-0), ranked sixth in Class 4A, has now shut out its opponents for six consecutive quarters. It was the Cougars’ second shutout of the season.
Behind the hard running of senior running back Cole Stephens, the Black Diamonds piled up 186 rushing yards, but senior quarterback Brock Streun never could get in any kind of rhythm, resulting in an anemic passing performance that produced just 34 yards. Streun ended up 5-of-13 through the air with an interception.
One of Salisaw’s first drives of the contest stalled at the Ada 26 when the Black Diamonds turned the ball over on downs. When they got the ball back via a fumble recovery by Cole Mayfield, the second SHS possession ended when Ada’s Chase Bailey intercepted Streun at the Ada 28.
Sallisaw came up with another big turnover when Kash Keepes poked the ball away from an Ada ball carrier, and Mayfield was Johnny on the spot again. He scooped up the loose pigskin and raced 56 yards downfield before being chased down by Ada’s Kolden Carlock, who made the TD-saving tackle.
Still, the Black Diamonds had the ball first-and-10 from the Ada 13, but again the offense stalled. They had to settle for a 23-yard field goal attempt by Brian Castor, but his kick bounced off the left upright to leave the game scoreless at the 7:45 mark of the second period.
With time running out in the first half, Ada drove from its own 20 to the Sallisaw 8, but the Black Diamonds turned the Cougars away when Cooper Cox grabbed an interception in the end zone.
The two teams went into the halftime locker rooms engaged in a scoreless tie.
The Cougars finally broke the ice on their second drive of the third quarter. Facing a secondand- 12 from the Sallisaw 40, Ada receiver Deante Lindsay faked out an SHS defender at the line of scrimmage and took off down the field. The Cougars had thrown several short passes Lindsay’s way, and he acted like he was ready for another short catch before hustling down the field. Ada quarterback Brock Boyles hit Lindsay in stride for a 40-yard touchdown. Kaden Mitchell’s extra point put the home team ahead 7-0 at the 5:41 mark of the third period.
There was no more scoring.
Sallisaw again tried to answer, driving to the Ada 8, but two incomplete passes ended that march.
Stephens finished with 126 yards on 16 carries to pace the Sallisaw offense. Streun added 42 yards on 12 totes.
Mayfield led the SHS defense with 10 tackles to go with his two fumble recoveries. Braxton Lamb and Noah Flores followed with nine tackles apiece.