Chickashanews.com

September 27, 2013

Dramatic ending sees Chicks narrowly lose

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star

CHICKASHA —

In another drama-filled night, Altus just edged Chickasha with a field goal on their second attempt in the second overtime and won 32-19 to spoil Chickasha’s homecoming night.

Fightin’ Chicks quarterback Cade Morris ran for over 100 yards, but Taven Birdow ran for an astounding 218 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs to victory.

The game started brightly for Chickasha, who forced a fumble on the first play of the game after kicking off to Altus. That gave them the ball at the Altus 30, and they quickly took advantage. Cade Morris hurled one into the end zone where it was caught by Daniel Neff on the Chicks’ first game.

Chickasha held Altus in their first true series, but a three and out meant they had to punt the ball back. Penalties made life hard for the Bulldogs, but a 16 yard run on third and long by Birdow was a sign the Chicks had to shore up the line and stop the opposition’s star man. 

They weren’t able to do that in time. After helping his team drive 71 yards down the field, Birdow broke two tackles on a 20 yard run to the house. The point after made it 7-7 with 5:39 left in the half. 

It was a quiet first half offensively for Chickasha, but their defense made up for it. Taray Thomas got an interception with about three-and-a-half minutes left when Altus’ Tanner Cross tried to air one out long. Thomas did well to stay with his man and came down with the ball to set Chickasha up on their own 40. Later, the defense then made a stop on fourth down to keep the score tied going into halftime.

Chickasha thought they took the early lead in the second half. Morris kept the ball on an option play, juked to the outside and was off to the races for a 60 yard run to the end zone. But, it had to be called back for a holding call down field, meaning Morris only got about 21 yards out of it and the scores remained equal.

With the penalty denying one score, Altus made sure another one didn’t on their big play to start the third quarter. It was that man Birdow once again who broke through the Chickasha line and went all of 62 yards for the touchdown. The Bulldogs took the lead 14-7 about halfway through the third frame.

But as is the case when you upset the Fightin’ Chicks flow, you wake up Morris. A big play on a short pass to Lindbergh Cary kept the drive going, and Morris made some tacklers miss and hit the gaping holes created for him when he zipped his way into the end zone from 23 yards out. Once again, the game was tied at 14-14.

Unfazed, the Bulldogs answered with Birdow the big contributor again. On his way to over 200 yards for the game in just three quarters, he spearheaded an 80-yard drive to make the score 21-14 Altus, with Cross getting the touchdown on a quarterback sneak to end the quarter.

If the first half was about holding steady, the second was all about trading blows. A nice drive downfield to start the fourth quarter ended with Tresjon Davis running 15 yards on a delay for his first touchdown of the season. With eight-and-a-half remaining, the scores were tied 21-21.

On the ensuing drive, Altus converted on a fourth down with T.J. McGill getting eight yards. But with five minutes left, the momentum suddenly shifted. Birdow fumbled after a seven yard run, and Chickasha jumped on it at their own 15 yard line. A 23 yard run by Josh Latham took the Chicks into Bulldog territory, and Chickasha had their own fourth down conversion to make, and it was Latham again on a ten yard run down to the red zone. With one second left, the Fighin’ Chicks called a timeout to try and win by a field goal. Sterling Claphan had the distance, but was just wide left on the accuracy and the game went into overtime.

After trading touchdowns in the first overtime period, Chickasha got the ball first in the second, but an interception in the end zone meant Altus had the chance to win it. They went for the immediate 20 yard field goal, which was blocked; but, the Bulldogs made it on their second chance.