Historic perfect season comes to an end for Tigers in quarterfinal loss
NEWCASTLE — The historic perfect season the Central Tigers football team was enjoying came to a halt Friday night as they lost 41-0 to the Hooker Bulldogs in the Class A state quarterfinals.
The Tigers end the season at 12-1, while the ’Dogs (11-2) will meet Hominy at 7 p.m. this Friday at Northwestern Oklahoma State University’s Ranger Field in Alva.
The Bulldogs led 21-0 at halftime, then outscored the Tigers 20-0 in the second half.
For the game, Coy Blackburn led Central in yards rushing with 52 yards, followed by Joseph Lee with 30 yards rushing before he had to leave the game in the third quarter with an elbow injury.
Cade Tucker caught three passes for 42 yards, while Connor Green caught an 8-yard pass.
“We struggled on the offensive side,” Central coach Jeremy Thompson said. “I think their team defensive speed was as good as we’ve seen all year. They had a very fast secondary. They played man coverage, and their guys up front were a lot for us to handle. They have a good football team across the board on both sides of the ball. We tried to get the running game going, and we started throwing it more than we usually do. We had some turnovers. We always hate to see it end, and you never want that to happen, but I’m very proud of what they’ve done. It’s something (making the state quarterfinals) that has never been done here.”
Defensively, Blackburn led the way with 10 tackles, followed by Gibby Mitchell with six tackles, Mekko Ariza with six tackles and a fumble recovery and Josh Marino with five tackles and a caused fumble.
“The first half, they only had one (offensive) drive,” Thompson said. “We gave up a pick-6 and a long touchdown on third down which put us down three scores going into halftime, but I couldn’t be more proud of a group of boys as I am this one.”