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Aggies Grind Out Fifth Victory

KSCB News - October 20, 2014 9:07 am

Goodwell, Okla.-On October 18, 2014, the Oklahoma Panhandle State Aggie
football team hosted the Bacone College Warriors at Carl Wooten Field. After
a slow first quarter, the Aggies gathered the momentum they needed and took
it to the Warriors by winning 37-27.

The Aggie defense lit the flame quickly by causing a turnover in the
beginning of the game. On the second play from scrimmage, defensive lineman
John Pitts intercepted a deflected pass to set the Aggies up with a 26-yard
field goal by Gabriel Ortega. Frustration was evident for the Aggie offense
throughout the rest of the first quarter as multiple accounts of
miscommunication led to one three-and-out after another.

The game continued to drag for both teams, until the Aggie defense lit up
the home crowd in the second quarter with a 99-yard interception return for
a touchdown by Xazier Murry to boost the lead to 10-0. Later, the Warriors
looked to their lead wide receiver David Chapman and would come up
successful with a 13-yard touchdown pass from Bacone quarterback Corey Ward.
No less than a minute later, the Warriors would add to the scoreboard as
defensive back Alex Wilson intercepted a tipped pass and returned it for a
60-yard touchdown to gain a 14-10 lead over the Aggies. Before the half
ended, the Aggies executed on an impressive two-minute drive with a
five-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Caleb Holbrook to running back
Chris McClendon sending the team to the locker room with a 17-14 lead at

To start the second half, the Aggie offense marched down the field and
scored on the first drive with a 24-yard play-action touchdown pass from
Holbrook to wide receiver Zacari Lavender to make the score 24-14 Aggies.
The Warriors would soon answer with a 41-yard touchdown pass from Ward to
Chapman; however, the Aggie special teams would block the extra point
attempt to make the score 24-20.

After another field goal from 26 yards out by Ortega, the Aggies held a one
touchdown lead to go into the fourth quarter. The Aggie defense set the tone
for the fourth quarter with their third interception by defensive back
Domonique Johnson. Failing to execute on the turnover, the Aggies were
forced to punt. The Warriors snagged another chance to redeem themselves by
blocking the punt and recovering the ball inside Aggie territory. The
Warriors were able to capitalize on the turnover with a four-yard touchdown
pass from Ward to wide receiver Larry Stokes to tie the game at 27-27. On
the following drive, Ortega showed his leg strength by knocking down a
50-yard field goal. The Aggies continued to increase the lead later in the
quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Holbrook to McClendon to make the
score 37-27. For the remainder of the game, the Aggie defense made sure the
Warriors would not stir a comeback by taking two more interceptions; Murry
grabbed his second, and defensive back Andrew Dougherty sealed the deal with
the other.

The Aggies came out victorious against a tough Bacone team and emotions were
high after finally beating an opponent that has had the upper hand for the
last three years. Head Coach Russell Gaskamp was more than thrilled with the
much-needed victory and shared his view on the game’s resolution. "Our
defense was outstanding and ultimately created a momentum shift to jumpstart
our team by causing five interceptions. The 50-yard field goal among many
other plays on special teams was another key factor. Our offense never got
into a rhythm and played sporadically at times; we know we can play better.
Bacone has been our Achilles’ heel and it was a big step to get the victory.
This win will help our program and should create an opportunity to build
momentum for next week."

With the win the Aggies improve their record to 5-2. Caleb Holbrook threw
for 309 yards and three touchdowns while Chris McClendon lead the team in
both rushing and receiving with 14 carries for 67 yards on the ground, and
97 yards on 9 carries through the air. Defensively, the Aggies caused five
interceptions and one sack and were led by middle linebacker Tanner
Hallford, who totaled 11 tackles.

The Aggies will host Southwest Assemblies of God at Carl Wooten Field this
Saturday, October 25 at 2 p.m. The 8th Annual OPSU Chili Cook-Off will
precede the game with judging at 11 a.m. Senior athletes will be recognized
prior to kick-off with halftime recognition of the game day sponsor Red
Carpet Charters as well as the announcing of chili cook-off winners.
Everyone is encouraged to come early to enjoy free chili samples and stay
until the game clock ticks 00:00. WEAR RED! GET ROWDY! REV IT UP!


Justine Gaskamp


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