No. 7 Sand Springs (1-2) is visiting George F. Collins Stadium for the Highway 97 rivalry game against Sapulpa (0-3). The district-opening battle is also Sapulpa's homecoming night, and they're in trouble after the first half.
The Sandites got off to a great start, scoring on their first possession, marching 80 yards in only five plays. Payton Scott snagged a first down on the first run of the game, Caden Pennington hit Kameron Adcock for an eight-yard pass and another first down, then Scott took it 55 yards to the house. Jaden Weiser made his tenth extra-point of the season and the Sandites were up 7-0 less than two minutes into the game.
Sapulpa’s first possession netted four yards and no first downs, and the Sandite offense ended up with great position after a high punt started them at the Chieftain 42. It was a rough drive, however, and the Sandites needed fourteen snaps to push it 29 yards before turning the ball over. Pennington found Braden Millican for sixteen yards on a fourth down, setting up Scott for a seventeen-yard run.
Unfortunately for the Sandites, the play was called back for holding and they couldn’t replicate the success. Ben Nortey picked up six yards, then Pennington escaped from a collapsed pocket and ended up with a gain of six, but this time their fourth-down pass was batted down and Sapulpa got the ball.
The Chieftains had their first big play on an eleven-yard screen pass from Elijah Williams to Marcus Esparza for a first down to end the first quarter. Esparza snagged a huge run for 53 yards to the Sandite redzone before Braden Askew caught up with him, but the defense rallied from there. Gage Fain pushed Williams back several yards before losing his footing. Williams regained some of the ground, but couldn’t make the line of scrimmage before being brought to earth by Hayden Cramer and Lucas Adcock. Williams grabbed nine yards on a keeper, but a fumbled snap returned it to the Sandite fifteen. A 36-yard field goal attempt from Kaivon Mortazavi hit a headwind and sailed high left leaving Sapulpa with nothing to show for their huge drive.
Sand Springs had another decent drive with 30 yards from Scott and a five-yard screen to Millican, but after picking up two first downs the Sandites turned it over with an interception from Sapulpa’s Josh Lopez.
The Chieftains didn’t hold onto the ball for long as a screen pass was tipped up into the hands of Jerry Lyons. Lyons was hit from behind and let the ball fly, but once again it found the hands of a Sandite. Kris Edwards secured the pick and the Sandite offense returned to the field after a nine-second break.
This time the Sandites executed flawlessly for a four run, 58-yard drive capped by a 19-yard carry from Scott. Weiser’s kick sailed true and the Sandites were up 14-0 with 4:19 in the half.
Weiser sent the kick to the 29, the Chieftains returned it to the 38, and Bryson Denton knocked the ball loose where it was recovered by Weiser. The ecstatic kicker spiked the ball for an unsportsmanlike penalty, but it didn’t slow the Sandite train. Nortey, Scott, and Edwards combined for 38 yards on six carries for another penetration, but the Chieftain defense held true this time. Scott was met at the line for no gain, then Garrett Clark sacked Pennington for 10. Pennington found Adcock for fifteen yards, but with a fourth-and-five opportunity in front of them, the Sandites elected to go for the field goal. Weiser connected from 25 yards for his first goal of the season and the Sandites retired the half 17-0.