By: Virgil Noah, Staff Writer
The No. 3 ranked Charles Page High School football team (7-4, 4-2) put on an incredible defensive show against No. 4 Midwest City High School (7-4, 6-1), defeating the Bombers on the road by a final score of 23-14 to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
Things got started on the right foot for the Sandite defense, as they stifled the initial Bomber drive at their own 33 yard line forcing a turnover on downs. When the offense took the field, they looked sharp as could be, executing a 9 play, 70 yard drive capped by a six yard run from Payton Scott. Alejandro "Alex" Hernandez added the extra point and the lead was 7-0. Scott led the offensive attack for the Sandites with 142 yards and a pair of scores on the night.
Midwest City showed that they were more than capable of making the game competitive, by answering the Sand Springs score with one of their own. Junior Tyree Young scored on a 14 yard run up the middle and Reece Blasingame hit the PAT to bring the game level with 2:26 left in the opening stanza.
Senior Quarterback Hunter Greathouse and Scott marched the offense straight down the field again on the ensuing possession, but were turned away without adding any points when Greathouse's fourth down pass attempt was knocked away from the hands of Caleb Wash.
The Bombers then captured their first lead of the game, taking the ball 95 yards for the one yard touchdown run from Sophomore signal caller, Preston Colbert. The touchdown made the score 14-7 in favor of the home team, but those would be the final points to hit the scoreboard for the champions of District One. Colbert was under duress from the Sandite defense, left scrambling looking for receivers to throw to. He was 13-20-159-2 on the night.
After the teams traded punts to end the half, the Sandites came back to the field with a newfound energy. After receiving the kick to start the third quarter, Greathouse and company took just 1:45 to score. Greathouse hit his favorite target, Senior receiver Kasey Bales for a 41 yard gain down to the 4 yard line, and Scott punched it in from 4 yards out. Hernandez cleaned up the extra point and the game was back to a dead draw. Bales led the Sandites in receiving, hauling in six passes for 85 yards.
Just five plays later, Dalton Morgan intercepted a Colbert pass and from that point on the Sandite defense was electric. Delvin Jordan ended two Bomber drives with third down sacks, and, after a special teams miscue, Greathouse and the offense got the ball in enemy territory at the 18 yard-line. After a one yard quarteback sneak the Sandites had a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Greathouse finished the game 9-18-140-1 and a score on the ground.
Treyce Tolbert intercepted Colbert, and the offense began to milk the clock, running the ball every play, until being stopped on fourth and goal. A fumble recovery allowed the Sandites to run all but 14 seconds off the clock, and on a last ditch attempt to tie the game a block in the back occurred in the end zone, awarding a safety to the Sandites for the final points of the game.
The second half was completely dominated by the visitors, outscoring Midwest City 16-0. The Bomber offense was not allowed past mid-field for the duration of the half. Leading the way defensively for Sand Springs were Jordan and Morgan, each notching six tackles apiece. Jordan had three sacks and a forced fumble, while Morgan added an interception. The entire defensive unit was in sync, with nine defenders finishing the game with at least three tackles.
Sand Springs will return to action next week against the No. 2 Bixby Spartans (8-3) who trounced No. 7 Putnam City West Patriots (7-4) 49-7 in their playoff game. The Spartans topped the Sandites 35-19 in their regular season finale last week.