Cardinals Muzzle the Bulldogs

Story By: Devyn Lyon

As the Cards took the field last Friday night, everything laid out on the line for them. One of the longest, most intense high-school rivalries in Oklahoma was about to kick-off, the Collinsville Cardinals against the Skiatook Bulldogs; both teams fiercely needed this victory. For Collinsville, if they won then they obtain a home playoff game for the 1st round and a shot at District Champions or District Runner-up. If they lose, the Cardinals take 3rd in their District and no home playoff games, as well as a very tough side of the State Playoff bracket. If Skiatook wins, they make the State Playoffs and capture an easier side of the bracket. Both teams also relied heavily upon one other team each. Collinsville needed Tahlequah to beat Bishop Kelley, in order for them to become District Champions. Skiatook needed Pryor to win against Claremore or they would have no chance at the playoffs. What occurred at these four games could contain a massive impact on the State Championship. The Cardinals and Bulldogs clashed helmets once again in the Highway 20 Bowl. Collinsville, after losing the last 2 seasons to Skiatook, were more than ready to claim victory Friday night and return the Highway 20 Bowl trophy back in its rightful place.

Starting on defense, the Cards put a quick stop to the Bulldogs offense repeatedly in the 1st half. The massive Cardinal defense made the Bulldogs behave. Putting a leash on them, Collinsville kept Skiatook to zero points the entire half.

Collinsville’s offense appreciated all the offensive drives the Bulldogs gave them. They stuck to their running-backs. The two backs constantly pushed for more and more yards and QB, Seth Boomer (#12), surprised the dogs with big passing plays when they were least expected. The Cards scored in the 1st Qtr. off of an 11yrd rush by Dylan Russell (#3). The snarling Bulldogs were caught lucky as the score at the end of the half remained 7-0.

After receiving at the start of the 2nd half, the Cards scored off their 1st drive with another touchdown, rushed in by Russell once again. Skiatook finally bit back at Collinsville with a big 74yrd touchdown pass, but the Cardinals answered back with a 23yrd field goal completed by Seth Weiser (#6). The score at the start of the 4th Qtr. was placed at 17-7.

The Dogs fought back in their next drive as they claimed another 3 points with a 20yrd field goal. As the final half was nearing its conclusion, Collinsville strived to stall the clock with numerous runs by Russell and Malcolm Tillman (#24). Several penalties were called, but the Cardinals made one final touchdown with an amazing 46yrd pass caught by Walker Robards (#23), extending their lead to 24-10.

These big passing plays were not rare for the Cardinals. Seth Boomer threw for 247yrds with a 78% completion rate and 1 touchdown pass. These yards were dispersed among several receivers. Two of these being, Brett Erickson (#11) had 70 receiving yards and Hayden West (#33) claimed 93yrds. Rushing stats were also very impressive for both of Collinsville’s running-backs. Tillman rushed 21 times for 121yrds total. Russell rushed for 107yrds in 20 attempts with 2 touchdowns as well.

Though the points were all made on offense, Collinsville owes their victory to their Big-Red Defense. West and Erickson were big players on defense as well. West made 6 tackles against the Bulldogs. Erickson made 7 tackles, 2 sacks, and 5 blocked passes. The Cardinals’ defensive line performed with power. Completely shutting down Skiatook’s running game, the D-line muzzled the Bulldogs and forced them to stay.

Collinsville claimed victory at Skiatook 24-10, and brought home the trophy to the Highway 20 Bowl along with a home playoff game and a great side of the bracket. Tahlequah lost their game against Bishop Kelley, placing the Cards as District Runner-up this season. “We’ll take it.” Boomer stated. “District Champs would’ve been nice, but we got a home playoff game so we’ll take it for sure.”

After this big rivalry win, the Cards have finished their season games and now move on to the State Playoffs and await the announcement of their opponent. But whoever stands against them on Cardinal turf, Collinsville will fight in the grind and make their way to the 5A State Finals.

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