The Edmond Sun

November 17, 2012

Saints put down Leopards, will host in round 3

Drew Harmon
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — The Oklahoma Christian School Saints were firing on all cylinders Friday night and had little trouble taking a 41-14 Class 2A playoff win from an injury-plagued Lindsay team.

Lindsay and OCS also met in the second round of the 2011 state tournament; the Leopards knocked the Saints out of contention in that game, but had no such fortune Friday night as OCS took charge early.

“I’m excited. These kids have just worked so hard, it’s great to see them get rewarded,” OCS coach Derek Turner said after the game.

“Lindsay is a great program. Those kids played with heart, they played with respect. (Coach) Tommy Ferguson has really coached those kids up.”

After missing a field goal on their first possession, the Saints forced a Leopard punt and then wasted little time scoring their first touchdown, keyed by a 33-yard strike from quarterback Austin Brooks to Connor Sikes. A missed PAT left OCS up 6-0 with 7:00 to play in the first quarter.

But the Saints weren’t content to leave their offense on the sideline for long. After the ensuing kickoff, defensive back Blake Barnes walked in front of a Lindsay pass and returned it to the Leopards’ 35-yard line. OCS pounded the ball on runs by Luke Frankfurt to the 12-yard line before the drive stalled. Kicker Nathan Blakely knocked in a 29-yard field goal to make the score 9-0 Saints.

OCS kept firing, as after a defensive stop, Barnes returned the Lindsay punt into enemy territory, then in the first play from scrimmage took a pass in the flat from Brooks and dodged up the Saints sideline for a 40-yard touchdown, and OCS led 17-0 after a two-point conversion run.

The defense stepped up again on the ensuing Lindsay possession, as OCS linebacker Stephen Wood got a big sack of the quarterback to bring up fourth down. The Leopards fumbled the punt snap and the Saints ended up with prime field position at the Lindsay 23.

A few plays later, Brooks tossed a 13-yard pass to Frankfurt for a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter to put OCS up 24-0.

Lindsay got on the board later in the quarter, as the Saints were called for a pass interference penalty and on the ensuing play Leopards quarterback Dru Brayton hit Colt Taylor, who motored 58 yards for the touchdown. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Saints led 24-6 with 6:38 remaining in the half.

As time wound down in the half, OCS appeared to be on the way to scoring again. After a 57-yard Brooks-to-Frankfurt touchdown was called back on a Saints block in the back, OCS drove down to the 11-yard line. As the final seconds ticked away, Brooks buzzed a pass that was just out of reach of Will McKinnis in the front right corner of the end zone. A 28-yard field goal by Blakely made it 27-6 Saints as time expired in the half.

OCS returned to action in the second half, scoring with 9:53 left on a Garrett Kilborn run that put the Saints up 34-6.

OCS forced a Lindsay turnover on downs, then after a long drive went for it on fourth-and-1 deep in their own territory. Brooks hit Barnes on a 24-yard strike for the Saints’ final touchdown, and OCS led 41-6.

Early in the fourth quarter, Lindsay runner Hayden Eubank broke through several tacklers and scored from 25  yards out. The ensuing two-point conversion run was good, and put the score at 41-14 OCS.

Turner pulled his starters midway through the Saints’ first fourth-quarter possession.

The Saints dominated the line of scrimmage on defense and offense. The defense registered two sacks and 11 tackles for loss. In addition to Barnes’ pick, Kilborn also had an interception that stopped a Lindsay drive.

“I liked the effort and the fact that they just don’t stop,” Turner said. “I think we played really good defense, we swarmed at them.

“They have so many kids out with injury. They played three different quarterbacks the last few weeks. So we had to prepare for three different people and it was a long, hard week to get prepared. We had to make a lot of adjustments on the fly. They’ve got some really talented kids.”

OCS, District 2A-2 champs, will be at home for the third straight week, taking on Stroud, the District 2A-5 champions.

“It’s unusual to get another home game, but the way district worked out, it just happened that we got lucky and we got the game.”

Stroud is 11-1 and beat Nowata 21-6 Friday night.

“I know they’ve got a really good defense and they run the ball really well,” Turner said of Stroud. “Nobody gets this far without being a pretty good football team.”