EDMOND — The Sequoyah Eagles scaled the high school football mountaintop Monday night to breathe the rarefied air that only a precious few can partake.
The Sequoyah Eagles achieved perfection.
They manhandled the Marlow Outlaws with a perfect defense.
Then they ran roughshod over the Outlaws with a perfectly engineered offense.
The result was a 32-3 victory in the Class 3A high school football state championship final that put an exclamation point on a perfect season — 14-0.
It was the first football championship in Sequoyah history, and only the third in Rogers County history. The previous championships were recorded by Oologah in 1997 and 1998.
Sequoyah had never before reached the championship game, losing in the state semifinals in 2001 and 2005.
With the masterful Levi Richardson at the quarterback controls Monday night, the Eagles would not be denied this opportunity.
As it turned out, they would not even be challenged.
They drove 99 yards with the game’s first possession and scored first for the 12th time in 14 games.
Richardson notched the first of his three touchdowns on a 15-yard run.
That’s all the Eagles would really need. Especially with their defense.
While Richardson alone was rushing for 249 yards, the Sequoyah defense was holding the Outlaws to a total offensive package of 134 yards.
J.R. Row sacked the Outlaws’ quarterback. And Will Radley picked him clean.
Row, the 220-pound linebacker who had been the spiritual and physical leader of the defense the last two seasons, dropped quarterback Garrett Brown twice, for losses totaling 24 yards in the first half.
Then Radley intercepted Brown twice in the second half, returning one of them 42 yards for a touchdown, and he recovered a Brown fumble.
As impressive as Richardson’s offensive numbers were, the defensive numbers were even more stunning.
The No. 8-ranked team in the state ran 35 times, and gained 73 yards.
Richardson ran 70 yards for one touchdown, to start the second quarter.
Marlow completed four passes. And had four intercepted.
Marlow had zero return yardage.
Radley had 42 yards on his one return.
Sequoyah ran the ball 45 times, gained 387 yards, for an average of 8 yards per carry.
Marlow averaged two yards per rushing attempt.
It was the second game this season in which Sequoyah did not give up a touchdown.
Marlow had to settle for a 39-yard field goal 27 seconds before halftime to avoid being the Eagles’ second shutout victim.
Thanks to Jake Rhine’s punting prowess, one of which covered 54 yards, Marlow never enjoyed field position, and drove into Sequoyah territory only three times.
It must have seemed to the 5,000-plus chilled spectators at Wantland Stadium that Sequoyah was in Marlow territory all night.
The Eagles inherited the game’s first possession on their own one-yard line. They ran seven plays, including a 47-yard dash by Ty Jordan, to draw first blood. Richardson scored from the 15.
On their second possession, the Eagles moved into Marlow ground before fumbling at the 38. The big gain was an 18-yard pickup by Corey Park.
On the Eagles’ first snap of the second period, Richardson ran through every Marlow defender, escaping Houdini-style three or four times, on a 70-yard highlight reel touchdown.
Three more possessions in the second period netted little or nothing. One short drive ended with a punt, a second ended on a no-gain on fourth-and-one near midfield, and the third saw a 47-yard field goal attempt by Taylor Inman come up short.
The third quarter opened with three turnovers, two by Marlow, on three consecutive plays, before Sequoyah put together an 80-yard march.
Richardson ripped off 55 yards to launch things, and six plays later, Jordan scored from the two.
Marlow’s longest gain, a 33-yard pass play, surfaced early in the fourth quarter, but it was of no consequence. Before the Outlaws could reach midfield, Radley turned things into a rout with his 42-yard interception return.
When he picked off pass No. 2, the Eagles stood at the Marlow 40. Jordan gained two yards before Richardson covered the final 38.
Richardson started the game with a 15-yard TD and closed it with a 38-yard TD.
In between, he bedeviled the Outlaws on offense.
And the defense turned the Outlaws every which way but loose.
It was a golden performance.
And a perfect performance.
SEQUOYAH 32, MARLOW 3
Sequoyah 6 6 7 13 — 32
Marlow 0 3 0 0 — 3
Sequoyah — L.Richardson 15 run (kick failed) 8:22
Sequoyah — L.Richardson 70 run (run failed) 11:35
Marlow — FG, Wortham 39. 0:27
Sequoyah — Jordan 2 run (Inman kick) 2:16
Sequoyah — W.Radley 42 interception return (pass failed) 7:03
Sequoyah — L.Richardson 38 run (Inman kick) 3:12
Rushing — L.Richardson 17-249, 3 TD: Jordan 10-68, TD; Park 11-54; Row 4-12; Breshears 3-4.
Passing — L.Richardson 0-5.
Receiving — none.
Rushing — C.Walden 12-31; G.Brown 16-22; L.Cramton 3-14.
Passing — G.Brown 4-20-61-4.
Receiving — C.Wortham 2-50; L.Smiley 1-13; C.Walden 1-(-2).
First downs 13 8
Rush yards 45-387 35-73
Pass yards 0 61
Passes 0-5-0 4-20-4
Fumbles-lost 2-2 3-2
Punts 5-35.6 7-36.3
Penalties 5-59 6-27
Return yards 72 0