David Reeder

VERDIGRIS - Football season came to an unceremonious conclusion for Colcord Friday night in Rogers County as the Verdigris Cardinals took advantage of six Hornet turnovers on the way to a convincing 48-14 postseason victory.

†††††† Things started off well enough for the visiting Hornets after they commenced their first offensive possession.† Featuring a 9 yard Jordan Cowan (11 carries for 70 yards) rush and a 10 yard scamper by Canaan Sherrell ( 12 carries for 78 yards), Colcord picked up a pair of first downs, as they moved toward midfield.

Following a 5-yard infraction by the Cardinals, the Hornets faced a 4th and inches on the 50, where they chose to go for the first down.† But the visitors put the ball on the ground and Verdigris emerged from the pileup with the football.†

The Cardinal offense took control of the ball and used the prolific talents of their running back Daniel Burke (15 for 177 yards) to pound out 9 snaps and 3 first downs, moving the ball to the 6.†

And with 4:17 to play in the first quarter, Verdigris QB Kevin Stout put his team on top with a keeper to the end zone.† Cardinal kicker Tyler Hanslovan tacked on the extra point for the 7-0 lead.

†††††† After another touchback on the ensuing kickoff, the Hornets started on the 20-yard line again. And this time it appeared that they were going to make a game of the affair. After connecting with Ethan Shelly for a 5 yard gain, Sherrell improvised a huge 33-yard run, for a first down just across midfield.

On the heels of Sherrellís big gain, Colcordís Darwin Davis (9 touches for 72 yards) added a 24-yard carry deeper into enemy territory.† The Hornets followed that with a 25-yard Sherrell to Davis completion all the way to the Verdigris 1 yard line.† And with 1:44 to play in the period, Cowan put Colcord on the scoreboard with 1 yard scoring run.†† Shelley added the extra point to knot things at 7.

And for all intents and purposes that would be the Hornetís last offensive hurrah until the closing seconds of the fourth quarter.

†††††† After trading punts, the Cardinals found themselves on their own 20, where on the third snap from scrimmage, Burke tore off a 50 yard gain to the visitorís 1.† Stout called his own number again to put Verdigris on top for good.†

Some good kickoff coverage pinned Colcord back on their own 11 yard line.† And on a third down, Sherrell was forced to scramble to his right, where with a couple of defenders closing in, he put up a desperation pass.† The untimely toss was hauled in by the Cardinalís DB Brandon Melton who raced the last 7 yards for a defensive score.† Hanslovanís PAT gave Verdigris a 21-7 lead 7:04 to play in the half.†

But the Hornet fortunes continued to sour as they fumbled the ball away on the 41-yard line. Staying exclusively on the ground, the Cardinals needed 9 snaps before Burke scored again, this time from 3 yards away.

†††††† Trailing 28-7, Colcord kicked off to start the second half and Verdigris got a good return to the 47.† It took only 3 plays and 1:14 before Burke rumbled 37 yards for his third score of the game. A botched long snap resulted in a failed two-point conversion attempt, but the Cardinals had extended the margin to 27 points.

On the next series, Colcord turned the ball over again when Kyle Parnell intercepted Sherrellís pass in Hornet territory.† Five plays later Stout hit his wide receiver Matt Cegielski for an 11 yard TD, that, in addition to another Hanslovan point after salted the game away for the Birds.†

Substituting freely, the teams exchanged fourth quarter touchdowns accounting for the 48-14 final.