Jackets down power in the east two years straight
Choctaw traveled to Sand Springs Friday night looking to extend their record to 2-0 and prove they’re among the Class 6A-II elite, and that’s exactly what they did when they dropped the Sandites for the second straight year.
“There’s no better feeling, especially doing it at their place,” said quarterback Hudson Woods.
“We made it a little fun to watch, but we’re coming out with wins and that’s all that matters. We started out a little slow, but we went into the locker room and everyone decided that we wanted it.”
The slow start Choctaw High School suffered put the Yellowjackets down 7-0 at the break, but going into the third quarter CHS proved they can power through adversity for the second straight week.
The Jackets managed to fight through Sand Springs jumping to a 13-0 lead to drop the competition with a 21-20 come-from-behind stunner.
“We didn’t execute extremely well tonight, but the grit of our team is something. I’m extremely proud of them,” said head coach Jake Corbin. “There’s not going to be a single game all year that’s easy for us. These kids are going to have to grit and finish each game out, and that’s what they did tonight.”
Two consecutive wins over Sand Springs says a lot about the potential of the CHS program, and Choctaw’s coaches are happy to be a part of that.
“I’m so happy for our kids. You can’t win them all, but this is what makes it all worth it,” said Corbin. “It makes me proud to be their coach. They did it a year ago, and I wasn’t here for that. Coach Todd Dilbeck and his staff paved the way, and we’re just trying to continue and build on that.”
Woods connected on 16 of 24 passes, including a 42-yarder to Zane Coleman and a 21-yard throw to Ethan Crews each for touchdowns, as the Yellowjacket offense put up 223 yards passing.
Coleman had 60 yards receiving, Raymond Navarro had 51, Collin Armstrong had 43, Ethan Crews had 40, Dakota Armstrong received for 22 yards and Jaryn Curry had seven.
The Sand Springs defense seemed to have some answers for Choctaw’s run game, but the Jackets were able to put up 124 yards rushing by the end of the night.
Woods dashed for 93 of that and the third and final TD claimed by Choctaw Friday night as the clock ran down with just 5:37 left to play.
Curry rushed for 23 yards in 10 plays, while Navarro ran for eight yards.
Choctaw’s defense stepped up holding competition to three TDs for the second week in a row.
While the CHS offense wasn’t firing as smoothly as the coaching staff would like, the defense proved to be a solid swarm utilizing teamwork that resulted in consistent big stops that kept the Jackets in striking distance all night.
Curry shined on both sides of the ball as he stepped up on defense making 19 tackles, including eight solo.
Jaden Brown had 10 tackles, Christian Dix made nine, while Caulin Poole and Blake Muse each had six tackles.
Poole also got his hand on a Sand Springs PAT, and that block proved crucial as Choctaw went on to edge out the Sandites, 21-20.
Tae Gibbs and Caden Ging were each credited five tackles, including a key solo play each.
Gibbs also made an interception that came back 30 yards.
Caden Young landed a sack that pushed the Sandites back four yards.
Friday Choctaw will host the home opener with a non-district contest against Putnam City North.
Corbin is quick to point out that records mean nothing until the first three games are done and district play begins.
However, Choctaw’s coach is confident the close contests his squad has battled through during weeks one and two will prove invaluable to his team’s success.
“Knowing that they can overcome the pressure is what it’s all about. Not just in football, but I hope they take this with them going into life,” said Corbin. “It’s all about overcoming adversity, and I couldn’t be more proud.”
Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. Friday, and Choctaw (2-0) expects a big crowd to show support against PCN (1-1).
PCN opened the year with a split amongst neighborly rivals losing 16-10 to PCO, and then winning 30-7 over PCW.
“We’re finally going to be at home, and we’re excited about that,” said Woods. “As far as PC North, we’ll watch some film, but we plan to just come out and try to get a win.”