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Horns down Jackets in stunner

September 13, 2023 - 00:00
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Chisholm knocks off KHS 20-17 in OT for second win since 2020

  • Horns down Jackets in stunner
    SENIOR TAILBACK Dallen Barton searches for rushing room during Kingfisher’s 20-17 loss at Chisholm last Friday. Barton played a big role in Kingfisher’s comeback from a 14-0 deficit, including an interception on the defensive side of the ball. [Photo
  • Horns down Jackets in stunner
    KHS JUNIOR defensive back Santiago Ortega (12) looks to bring down Chisholm running back Braden Flanagan during last Friday night’s game. The Longhorns upset KHS 20-17 in overtime. [Photo by Chris Simon/www.simon-sports-photos.smugmug. com]

The results of the first two weeks of the season - while disappointing - weren’t altogether unexpected.

But this one? This one blindsided the Kingfisher Yellowjackets.

Cloaked in a number of Yellowjacket defenders, Chisholm’s Kelson Hamilton still managed to get off a pass that found Jackson Caddell for a 7-yard touchdown in overtime.

The score gave the Longhorns an improbable 20-17 victory over the Yellowjackets.

“This one has been tough to stomach,” said head coach Jeff Myers as his team fell to 0-3 for the first time in his 20-year tenure at KHS. It’s the first time a KHS football team has been winless through three games in more than three decades.

The win was improbable as the Longhorns were 1-19 in their previous two seasons and suffered a 42-0 defeat at the hands of defending Class A champ Fairview in this year’s season opener.

In their meetings the previous three seasons, KHS won by an average of 50-7.

“Anything I say is going to sound like an excuse and there are no excuses,” Myers said. “Chisholm came out and played hard and deserved to win.

“I think our kids probably went out there thinking Chisholm would just roll over and let us beat them and that certainly wasn’t the case.”

Especially early on. The Longhorns scored on their first two possessions of the game as Braden Flanagan busted loose for a 76-yard touchdown at the 7:36 mark and then - after Paytun Burnham threw his first interception of the season - the Longhorn back sprang free for a 10-yard scoring run.

Just over halfway through the first quarter, the Jackets were shellshocked as Chisholm led 14-0.

“We told them going in that even though Chisholm hasn’t had a lot of success, they continue to play hard,” Myers said. “We knew they were going to try to come after us early.”

All that while KHS was intent on physically taking control of the game from the start.

“We wanted the ball first. Even if we had won the coin toss, we were going to take the ball,” Myers said. “I wanted to see us drive the ball down and impose our will and we called plays specifically with that in mind.”

Then it didn’t happen.

“It was really disappointing to see,” Myers said.

Then the setbacks began to set in.

First, starting left tackle Bert Haag went down with a knee injury.

After the Longhorns went up 14-0, Burnham was able to spark the offense with a long scramble on third down to allow KHS to move the chains.

Just two plays later, the junior was driven into the ground on a play that broke his wrist.

Later in the half, starting right tackle Ryker Long was also lost to a left knee injury.

“That forced us to really move some things around,” Myers said. “But this is football and you have to be prepared to be the ‘next man up’ and step in.”

That was especially true for sophomore Jhett Birdwell, who took over the quarterback duties.

“Once he was able to settle down, I thought he did a really good job,” Myers said. “Especially when you consider he didn’t get a single rep the entire week…or the previous two weeks.”

As Birdwell was getting his quarterbacking feet under him, Myers was challenging his team to respond, especially at halftime.

“I challenged them,” Myers said. “I told them that all they needed to do was compete, because that’s easy to do. But we weren’t competing at all in the first half.”

Though maybe not meeting Chisholm’s intensity, Kingfisher’s defense did do its part after the first two scores.

The Longhorns had four more possessions in the first half. One ended with a punt, two via turnovers on downs and the last one saw them have possession as the half ended.

That carried over into the second half as well, but with more intensity.

The Longhorns had a turnover on downs on their first possession and punted on their second one.

A short Longhorn punt gave KHS possession at the Longhorn 29 and was set up by two pivotal plays.

One was a field position- changing punt by Kasen Blair and the other a sack by Jake Reagan on third down.

The Jackets turned the short field into their first score as Birdwell found the end zone on a 9-yard run with 1:53 to go in the third quarter.

“That was one of the few times all night where we had multiple positive plays follow one another,” Myers said.

The momentum stayed on Kingfisher’s side when Dallen Barton picked off Hamilton’s pass at the Longhorn 40 before the end of the quarter.

Birdwell drove the Jackets inside the 10, but penalties pushed KHS backward. The drive eventually ended with Birdwell throwing an interception in the end zone.

“We faced some adversity on that drive and we kept compounding it,” Myers said. “That’s definitely one of the things we have to improve on. We have to learn how to handle adversity, which comes with maturity.

“As a whole, that’s not something our team has a lot of right now.” But the Jackets weren’t done.

Though Chisholm was able to chew some valuable minutes off the clock, Kingfi sher eventually forced a Longhorn punt.

The Jackets had 65 yards to cover and 4:34 to work with in order to try to tie the game.

And they did just that. Methodically marching down the field, the Jackets found themselves facing a 4th-and-1 at the Chisholm 8 with 47 seconds left.

Birdwell covered 2 yards on a designed QB run to keep the drive alive.

Two plays later, he threw his first career touchdown with just 13 seconds left in the game when he found senior Ethan Karcher in the end zone.

That pulled KHS within 14-13, making the extra- point that much more pivotal.

JakeSiskcalmlydrilledthe extra-point, but Chisholm jumped off-sides before the snap, which forced another attempt.

Same result. In the overtime period, the Jackets got the ball first, but couldn’t find the end zone.

Again Sisk delivered as he put a 25-yard field goal attempt through the uprights.

That kick gave KHS its first lead of the game, 17-14.

“I was really proud of him,” Myers said. “Those were two - actually three pressure-packed kicks and he didn’t back down. He stepped right up and made them all.”

The lead didn’t last as ultimately, Hamilton and Caddell were able to combine on the game-winning play.

That ended a marathon of a night, the length of which wasn’t only spurred on by the extra period.

The two teams combined for 30 penalties - 15 apiece - and nearly 300 penalty yards.

“That wasn’t the reason we lost. There were some things we definitely saw differently, but that wasn’t why we lost,” Myers said.

Hamilton completed 14 of 25 passes against the Jackets for 106 yards.

The Longhorns ran for 124 yards on 29 attempts, but 28 of those carries netted just 48 yards.

Kingfisher’s defense was led by Jairo Velarde’s nine tackles. Hunter Delozier and Karcher added eight stops each.

The Jackets again struggled to move the ball on the ground.

They had just 77 yards on 28 attempts.

Barton netted 38 yards on 13 carries. He also had four tackles to go with his takeaway on defense.

“That guy is going to play hard every game and every snap,” Myers said. “He’s not one that I have to worry about from that aspect.”

Birdwell added another 37 yards on 12 attempts.

He ended up 8 of 15 through the air for 62 yards.

Before being injured, Burnham was 3 for 6 for 24.

Blair caught a pair of passes for 42 yards.

Thequestionnow:Where do the Jackets go from here?

“I told them after the game that it was time to do a self-check,” Myers said. “I told them that the rest of the season can go in two directions: we can go up or we can continue our downward trend.”

They’ve got this week off before Perkins-Tryon visits in the District 3A-1 opener on Sept. 22.

Myers said the team will go to work in the meantime and coaches will search for ways to find ways to “inspire” this group to improve.

“I’ve already watched the Chisholm film several times and I’m just very disappointed more and more on how we competed as a whole,” he said.

“Sothat’ssomethingwe’ll be looking for as coaches as we move forward. What kind of effort are we putting out there and how are we competing as a team?”


• Myers said the original prognosis of the injuries to Haag and Long was that they weren’t severe injuries. “(Trainer) Wade (Sundbye) said he thought maybe they were Grade 1 MCL’s from what he could gather on the field,” Myers said. While neither player returned to the game, both were able to stay on the sideline for its entirety.

• Burnham was taken by his family to the Mc-Bride Orthopedic Hospital in Oklahoma City soon after his injury. According to his mother, Kristina Burnham, Paytun broke his left wrist at the growth plate. He will consult with a surgeon this week to see if surgery is necessary to repair the break, she said.

• In the first two weeks of the season, Haag started at left guard and Landon Rempe at left tackle. The two switched positions for the Chisholm game. After Haag was injured, Rempe moved back to left tackle and junior Jose Santoyo stepped in at guard.

• After Long was injured, freshman Taegen Pool played the right tackle spot. “I thought he did a pretty good job, especially since he was just thrown in there,” Myers said. “But overall, we’ve got to be better at all five spots up front.”

• In a rarity, Chisholm school officials were forced to replace a member of the “chain gang” - the three people who run the down and distance markers on the sidelines - at halftime. Apparently the worker audibly voiced his dismay with some of the calls by the officials, who then prompted his dismissal. Ironically, said Myers, the dismissed chain gang member was even voicing displeasure with calls that went in Chisholm’s favor.

• The Jackets return home Sept. 22 for the first time since their opener… way back in August. They’ll play twice at home, including homecoming on Sept. 29 against Mount St. Mary, before a two-game road slate at Mannford and at Metro Christian in Tulsa.