Panthers roll past Prague, 56-25
By Justin Scrimshire
ONL Sports Reporter
Homecoming had all of the elements that make football great as the first chill of fall arrived and two teams yet to be defeated in district play squared off inside the Pecan Bowl.
The Prague Red Devils are a familiar rival that have come out on top more often than not, but there’s a little bit of swagger starting to develop in this year’s Panther squad and with good reason, too. As the season has reached its midpoint, Coach Turner’s boys are averaging 41 points a game while their opponents average 23.
Those statistics continued to trend upward for Okemah after a dominating 56-25 win over Prague. Coach Turner emphasized the Panthers effort on the field, “we knew we were going to have to bring our A game tonight and play as good as we ever have… and we did”.
That “A game” consisted of 196 yards rushing and two touchdowns from Mikey Cruz, 133 yards passing with two touchdowns from Kurtis Wilson to Wacey Williams and Kaiden Bear, two rushing touchdowns by Makhan Harjo and one rushing touchdown each for Tyler Campbell and Kaiden Bear. The Panthers also had an onside kick recovered by Dakota Earnest and a fumble recovery on defense by Korbyn Vansant.
Okemah won the toss and deferred. Prague received the opening kickoff but their drive ended on a sack from Wacey Williams. The Red Devils punted the ball away but the Panthers turned the ball back over quickly on an intercepted pass.
Prague made it into Panther territory before turning it over on downs at the Okemah 48-yard line. The Panthers scored in just two plays after a 46-yard run from Mikey Cruz. The two-point conversion failed and Okemah led 6-0.
The first quarter ended during Prague’s next possession and their drive stalled shortly into the second quarter on a sack from Wacey Williams and Korbyn Vansant, turning the ball over on downs.
Taking over at the Prague 48-yard line, Okemah marched down the field, scoring on a short run from Kaiden Bear. The successful two-point conversion gave the Panthers a 14-0 lead with 9:44 left in the second quarter.
Prague returned their kick to the 25-yard line and managed to score a few plays later on a twice-deflected pass. The 77 yard touchdown and unsuccessful two-point conversion made the score 14-6.
Okemah took the field at their own 39-yard line following the kickoff and five plays later scored another touchdown on a 4 yard run from Mikey Cruz. The two-point conversion was successful giving the Panthers a 22-6 lead.
On Prague’s ensuing drive, the Red Devils fumbled the ball and Korbyn Vansant was there for the recovery at the Panther 39-yard line. Okemah’s offense took the field and promptly scored on a 39-yard touchdown pass from Kurtis Wilson to Wacey Williams. The successful two-point conversion extended their lead, 30-6.
Okemah maintained possession of the ball after kicking an onside kick and recovered by Dakota Earnest at the Prague 49-yard line. The Panthers capitalized on that turnover and a pass interference call to score again on a seven-yard rush from Makhan Harjo. The two-point conversion failed and Okemah held a 36-6 lead with 2:30 left in the second quarter.
Prague took the following kick at their 39-yard line and scored in just two plays on a long rushing touchdown. Their two-point conversion failed and the score stood at 36-12.
The Panthers returned to the field after the kickoff with 1:43 left on the clock. The drive started on their own 43-yard line and Okemah made good use of their remaining time, scoring in just six plays on a short passing touchdown from Kurtis Wilson to Kaiden Bear, taking a 42-12 lead into halftime.
Okemah received the kick to open the second half and started the drive at their 44-yard line. On the second play of the drive, Mikey Cruz busted it open for a 56 yard rushing touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and Okemah held a commanding lead, 48-12.
Prague returned their kick to the 42-yard line but turned the ball over on downs in just four short plays. Resting their starters, the Panthers took the field, keeping the ball on the ground and scoring on an eleven-yard scamper from Tyler Campbell. The successful two-point conversion gave Okemah their biggest lead of the night, 56-12.
Prague continued to fight back, returning their kickoff all the way for a touchdown. The two-point conversion failed and the score stood at 56-18.
Prague managed to score one more time in the third quarter and the extra point made it 56-25. The fourth quarter ended quietly with neither team scoring for the remainder of the game.
The 4-2 Panthers host the 3-3 Meeker Bulldogs on Thursday, October 17th at 7:00 p.m.