STILLWATER — There was a sudden and uncomfortable stop by the Alex train in Stillwater Friday night when they dropped a big 58-26 decision to Pond Creek-Hunter in the Class B semifinals.
The Panthers were efficient in their march into the state final next week, scoring on all but five of their possessions as the Alex defense was overwhelmed, especially in the first half. The Longhorns were undefeated up until this point.
P.C.-Hunter didn’t take long to score. An opening 56-yard drive was capped by a one-yard quarterback sneak by senior Josh Irvin. Irvin and running back Harley Comeau showed early signs of being the trouble makers for Alex, and they delivered again on the second drive.
Alex’s potent postseason offense was stopped on the opening drive and forced to punt on a three-and-out. It pinned P.C.-Hunter to their own 33, but Comeau quickly rectified that. His pass and catch with Irvin and a long run down the right side took the Panthers to the 17. Full back Trenton Grimes made sure it was two-for-two in trips to the red zone as P.C.-Hunter took a quick 16-0 lead.
With just 16 total players on the field, everything seemed so open. But, it all boiled down to one single pressure point, and P.C.-Hunter was not budging. When Alex did try to escape through the air, the Panthers were there, too. Zach Rayner intercepted Dalton Alcorn’s pass to end the first quarter, and the opening frame belonged completely to the Panthers.
They stopped them once to start the second quarter, but a second opportunity did not go wanting. After driving to the 8 yard line, Irvin was faced with an open field as he dropped back to pass. The senior stepped up and suddenly saw Rayner at the back of the end zone. Another two points converted, and P.C.-Hunter were in charge up 24-0 with 5:43 left in the first half.