Story By: Devyn Lyon
The state was divided. No individual, alone, could’ve guessed that round-two of the 5A State Playoffs would determine the next 5A State Championship team. After their victory against Coweta, the Collinsville Cardinals were placed against the No.1 Lawton MacArthur Highlanders. Both teams were considered the fiercest and most dangerous competitors in the playoffs. The undefeated Highlanders were the only opponent that could possible stand in the way of a Cardinal Football State Championship. The teams were equally indomitable; coaches, reporters, and fans all were too scared to make a predicted outcome as both teams were both so incredibly equal in all size, weight, and skill. It all would come down to the little mistakes.
The Cards started with their kicking team. The Big-Red defense put a quick stop to the Highlanders, but the opposing defense did the exact same to the Cardinal offense; both teams being stopped after four plays. Lawton MacArthur began with a quick tempo offense, an offensive style that Collinsville was not yet set against. With this, the Highlanders took their senior running-back, who seemed impossible to tackle no matter how many hits were made. This opposing running-back claimed the 1st touchdown of the night and then the 2nd with another big rush. The score was made, Cardinals trailing, 14-0.
The Collinsville defense quickly adjusted in the 2nd Qtr. Wrapping up on all tackles, the Cards efficiently kept this RB in the backfield for the rest of the half. The defense kept MacArthur to only two 1st-downs and zero points in the 2nd Qtr., compared to 5 1st-downs and 14 points. in the 1st Qtr. This efficient defending game that concluded the half was able to continue after a big interception from Brett Erickson (#11). This provided a momentum for the offense, of which desperately needed it.
The Cardinal offense struggled against the Highland defense; there was a very few amount of plays where QB Seth Boomer (#12) was not scrambling for dear life from several defensive-linemen. Prior to the interception, the Collinsville offense had only six rushing yards after several attempts, only 3 of 7 passes completed, and even a missed field goal. But with the momentum of the interception, the Cards’ rushing yards extended to 37 yards total and six 1st-downs. Sadly, there was not enough time left on the clock before Collinsville could score. At the end of the 2nd Qtr., the score remained at 14-0.
There was a fire set in the hearts of the Cardinal offense at the start of the 2nd half; whether it was the realization of a possible final game for the seniors, or losing a shot at a State Championship, the offense came out looking like a different team. The Cards quickly gained grounds as they rushed repeatedly with 3 running-backs: Snr. Dylan Russell (#3), Soph. Malcolm Tillman (#24), and Fr. Brayden Burd (#22). All three players rushed for numerous yards, and Tillman immediately punching through the line twice for two Cardinal touchdowns. Tillman obtained these 2 touchdowns with 43 rushing yards total. Burd came as a huge shock to the Highlanders as a true freshman running back could take away their victory. Burd was a big final driving force for Collinsville as he acquired 53 rushing yards throughout the night, but only playing in the final two quarters. Competing in his final game, Russell obtained 61 yards and nearly every first down for the Cardinals.
Seth Boomer improved immensely in the 2nd half. With a 56% completion rate, Boomer threw 14 passes for a total of 132 yards for his final high-school game. Senior receiver, Brett Erickson, was a big receiver for Boomer. For his final game, Erickson, took 47 receiving yards and even five tackles and one interception on defense.
The defense continued to play a strong game in the final half. Many fumbles were made and almost recovered by Collinsville. Sadly, Lawton Macarthur’s running game seemed too strong for the Cardinals to handle, as they score two more rushing touchdowns. Big hits were made by the seniors: Levi Draper (#10) made 18 tackles and one sack, Chase Lorg, (#9) made 7 tackles, Jacob Harrison (#51) claimed seven tackles, and Joey Krupinski made four and then one big sack.
The Collinsville Cardinals 2016 football season finally ended, as Lawton MacArthur claimed victory with a final score of 28-14. The cards performed outstandingly this season, returning once again to the playoffs for the 3rd year in a row. With the potential many under classmen showed, the 2017 season plans to repave their path to the playoffs. It was a disappointing night for the team, but the seniors held their heads high with pride in their season’s performance.
“I cannot thank my town enough for what t has done for me.” Draper stated. “I owe my teammates, coaches, and the rest of the community more than I could possibly put into words. It was an honor to even have the opportunity to step on the field with the team mates I have! I am so proud to be with this program and town and I will cherish these last four years for the rest of my life. It’s good to be a Cardinal!”
These Cardinal athletes will continue to compete in victorious seasons in other sports. Both Draper and Boomer can be seen on the football field once again next fall. Levi Draper will compete as an Oklahoma Sooner and Seth Boomer as a Tulsa Hurricane. Each of these young athletes have exemplified just how good it is to be a Cardinal.