October 28, 2013

Eagles comeback downs Chickasha

Adam Troxtell
The Express-Star


For at least one first half of football, Chickasha was on top of the world.

In the end, inches made the difference. Del City (5-3, 4-1), a top-ten ranked team, needed a game-saving performance in the second half to pull out a 14-12 victory to remain in second place in 5A District 1. It was very much a game of two halves, with penalties and turnovers plaguing the Eagles but providing Chickasha (3-5, 1-4) with earned momentum. A field goal attempt with 55 seconds left shaved the right post and went wide. 

The Eagles started with a disastrous first half. Oron Bowman jumped on Del City’s first fumble of the night at midfield, and the Chicks quickly had the ball back. Their offense could do nothing for the time being, but they found ways to capitalize on the visitors’ misfortune as the half went on.

Del City Quarterback CJ Watford found the Fightin’ Chicks’ Hunter Ford in the end zone for the interception. Again, Chickasha was only able to get it to midfield and had to punt, but it pinned the Eagles deep.

Del City were forced to begin at their own 1 yard line, which spelled trouble. The third turnover of the game for the visitors gave Chickasha the lead. The ball hit the ground almost immediately after the snap, and it wriggled around like a fish on the deck, into the end zone where linebacker Evan Copeland fell on it. Just inside the second frame, Chickasha lead 7-0.

Another fumble was recovered by Chickasha on Del City’s next drive, providing the Fightin’ Chicks solid field position at the Eagles’ 25. Sterling Claphan’s 40 yard field goal extended their lead to 10-0.

The kickoff provided for more entertainment. A Chickasha team, steaming forward with momentum, swarmed the return man before he knew what happened. It put Del City on their own 1 yard line for the second time of the half, and that spelled disaster for them. Watford, under pressure, tried to throw the ball away, and he was called for intentional grounding in the end zone. The resulting safety put Chickasha up 12-0 and gave them the ball back. That score line would stand through halftime.

The Eagle offense settled down in the second half, but the more they pushed, the harder the Chicks defense hit. Taray Thomas looked to save a Del City score when he laid a perfectly timed hit on Tre Hill. But, it only prolonged an 11 yard touchdown pass caught by Michael Johnson. The receiver also caught the two point conversion off a fake field goal to make the score 12-8.

He barely made a peep in the first half, but Del City’s Anthony Mason was a big figure in the second, making big runs to propel the Eagles down field en route to 84 yards on the ground. Davion Freeman gave Del City the 14-12 lead on an 11 yard pass from Watford. That put momentum firmly back with the Eagles. A late drive by Chickasha down to the 36 yard line provided one last bit of drama, but ultimately ended in loss.