By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
There’s a new number-one team in Class 6A-II football and they hail from Sand Springs. The No. 4 ranked Charles Page High School varsity football team (5-2, 3-0) upset the No. 1 undefeated Muskogee Roughers (6-1, 3-1) Thursday night at the Indian Bowl in a down to the wire 26-25 thriller with one of the most unbelievable two-point conversions in Sandite history.
Muskogee got on the board early in the first quarter, driving 70 yards with four first downs before scoring on a 10 yard screen pass from quarterback Jacob Medrano to University of Tennessee commit Kamren Curl. Trent Dennis sent in the extra point for the 7-0 advantage with 8:10 in the quarter.
The Sandites put together a solid drive, moving the ball 63 yards in 11 plays before giving up the turnover on downs after three incomplete passes.
Muskogee’s corresponding drive took them from their 20 to the Sandite 9 where Molijah Gilbert ran in the 6-yard touchdown to make it 14-0 after Dennis’s kick.
Sand Springs QB Hunter Greathouse threw an interception on the second play of their drive, but the stout Sandite Defense gave up only one first down on the corresponding Muskogee drive and pushed them back to fourth and seventeen on a ten-yard sack by Gage Fain and Tre Finch.
Sand Springs put up yet another impressive drive to nowhere, churning out three first downs with several great plays. Kasey Bales broke a pair of tackles on the opening play for seven yards, then Greathouse grabbed the first down on a designed run. He then sent a 13-yard pass to Caleb Wash. After an incomplete pass, the Sandites ran a double lateral to Bales who picked up 11 yards, capped by an impressive hurdle over a Rougher defender. The Sandite magic finally mustered out around midfield, however, and the boys were forced to punt.
The magic wasn’t out for the Defense, however, and the Roughers gave up a first down after a Rougher receiver hauled in a ten-yard pass, but then ran back behind the line-to-gain to try and dodge Brett Freeman. Freeman got the tackle a few yards short of the first down and Sand Springs got the turnover with 1:09 to play in the half.
Sophomore running back Payton Scott picked up 9 yard on the first play, then grabbed four more for the first down at the Sandite 24. Greathouse sent a 16-yard pass to Bales, but his next two passes fell incomplete. On third and ten with 0:15 left, Greathouse sent a pitch to Dalton Morgan who ran it 17 yards and broke a pair of tackles to make it out of bounds and stop the clock.
With 0:09 left Greathouse sailed a 43 yard pass to Wash who hauled it in under heavy coverage and dragged his defender into the endzone with him for the touchdown with 0:06 to play. The Sandites failed their first of four two-point conversion attempts, but drew blood before the half to retire 14-6.
The Sandites got the ball to start the second half but were unable to muster a first down, and Muskogee handily moved it 54 yards to penetrate the red zone before the infamous Sandite defense held them to fourth and four and a 28-yard field goal from Dennis.
Sand Springs found the endzone once again on the first play of the fourth quarter with a two yard touchdown run from Payton Scott to cut the gap to 17-12. For the second time that night, the Sandites failed to execute a two-point conversion.
The Sandite defense rallied on the corresponding Muskogee drive with a five-yard tackle-for-loss by sophomore Hayden Cramer, followed by a pass break-up from Treyce Tolbert. Medrano completed a nine yard pass to Curl, who was brought down on a tackle from Cody Motes to hold them at fourth and six and force a punt.
The Sandites drained two minutes off the clock while racking up a pair of first downs, then punted away with 8:27 to play. Muskogee returned it to the Sandite 48-yard line, but was pushed back on an unsportsmanlike penalty. This time Cramer got in with a pass breakup, Finch downed Gilbert for a gain of 1, and Delvin Jordan forced a fumble that was recovered by Nathan Simonton. Another unsportsmanlike call gave Sand Springs great field position at the Muskogee 32 with 7:42 to play.
This time the Offense found the endzone on a 7 yard pass from Greathouse to Wash for their first lead of the game, 18-17 after a third failed two-point conversion.
With 3:35 to play, the Sandite defense had their work cut out for them and ultimately gave up a 4-yard run to Gilbert to sacrifice the lead. Medrano converted a two-point pass to Devin Hillmon to make it 25-18 and the Sandites had only 0:47 to work with.
Most teams would have counted themselves out by that point, but not the Sandites. Bales picked up 11 yards on the kickoff return to the 35. Greathouse found Scott from 25 yards out for a first down at the Muskogee 40, then hit Mack Thompson for 21. On second and 10 at the 18, Greathouse connected with Bales with 0:06 to play. The Sandites needed to kick their first PAT of the night to tie it, or pull off their first two-point conversion of the evening after failing three. The Sandites elected to go with the latter and it was beautiful.
Greathouse lined up for a pass to the endzone but had the pass broken up. The ball traveled up in the air and back at him and he hauled it in swung out right, still looking for a receiver. As four defenders closed in on him, he pitched the ball to Josh Taber who headed left and broke a major tackle from Curl and dove for the endzone, bringing the ball down on the goal line half a second before a pair of Roughers came crushing down on top of him.
With 0:06 to play, the Sandites had taken the 26-25 lead on the number one team in the State.
After a ten-minute delay for an injured Muskogee player, Bales sent an onside kick to the Muskogee 41. The Roughers had time for one play, and Tolbert broke up the pass to secure the victory.
Greathouse finished 16-32-1-221 for the evening with three passing touchdowns, while Scott led the ground game with 25 carries for 116 yards and a touchdown. Bales hauled in 10 passes for 100 yards and a touchdown while Wash completed four receptions for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Cramer and Motes led the defense with six tackles each.
Medrano finished 16-25-0-136 with one touchdown while Gilbert led the offense with 22 carries for 142 yards and two touchdowns.
Sand Springs is now the only undefeated team remaining in the district and will take on another top dog next Thursday when they host No. 3 Booker T. Washington (4-3, 2-1) in their final home game of the season.