Sports Sunday Correspondent
TULSA — Some mistakes in life — and football — are bound to happen.
But a rash of mistakes has been haunting the Catoosa High School football team the last two weeks.
Just one week after committing four turnovers in a home loss to Coweta, the Indians did much of the same in a 33-10 District 5A-4 setback to Tulsa Kelley on Friday night at the Comets’ Angelo Prassa Field.
Two lost fumbles and an interception, combined with some untimely mental mistakes, doomed Catoosa (2-5, 1-3) during a first half that saw Kelley (4-3, 3-1) grab a commanding, 26-3 lead.
“We can’t make mistakes like we did in the first half in our seventh game of the year,” Catoosa head coach Greg Whiteley said.
“We have to be able to take care of the football better. We also didn’t tackle well and didn’t make the plays that we needed.”
With quarterback Doug Quinn connecting on three passes for 41 yards, the Indians drove from their 27-yard line to the Comet 36 on their first possession.
But a mixup on an attempted handoff between Quinn and fullback Nick Bergeron led to a fumble that was recovered by Kelley’s Cory Sloan to stymie the drive.
After the Comets had built a 13-3 lead in the second quarter, Quinn once again directed the Indians from their own 35 to the Kelley 28.
But an interception by Bennie Taylor at the Kelley nine-yard line ended that Indian march.
After the Catoosa defense stopped the home team on its next offensive possession, Quinn fumbled the return of a Comet punt. Kelley’s John Murrell recovered and returned the ball to the Indian five-yard line.
One play later, the Comets’ Greg Hawkins scored off left tackle for a 19-3 lead.
Late in the second quarter, a 41-yard pass from Quinn to Adam Tomlinson, who had seven catches for 128 yards, helped Catoosa move to the Kelley 16-yard line.
When the drive stalled, Tomlinson lined up for his second field goal attempt of the game. He had kicked a 43-yarder in the first quarter.
After a penalty on Catoosa moved the ball back to the 21-yard line, Tomlinson connected on a 37-yard field goal. But the Indians were guilty of another penalty on the kick, which negated the field goal.
Tomlinson then missed a 42-yard field goal wide right to leave the Indians empty-handed with just 26 seconds remaining in the half.
To add insult to injury, Kelley moved 80 yards in just two plays after the missed field goal to score just four seconds before halftime. That gave the Comets their 19-point cushion at the intermission.
Catoosa amassed 126 yards passing and nine first downs in the opening half but had only three points to show for its efforts.
After the Indians were stopped on downs at the Kelley 41 on their first offensive series of the second half, they put together their best drive of the game.
Starting at its own 29 late in the third quarter, Catoosa marched 71 yards in 18 plays before Dee Capehart scored on a two-yard plunge with 5:01 to play. The drive chewed up 8:36 off the clock.
“We challenged our players at halftime,” Whiteley said. “I thought we then came out and played well in the second half. That’s one thing about our team. We keep coming and coming.”
Quinn finished 12 of 20 passing for 167 yards while adding a team-high 40 yards rushing before leaving the game on the Indians’ second-half TD drive when he was hit while recovering a fumble.
In Quinn’s absence, Casey Conley and Spencer Hobbs saw playing time at quarterback for Catoosa.
KELLEY 33, CATOOSA 10
Catoosa 3 0 0 7 — 10
Kelley 7 19 7 0 — 33
Kelley — Brumbaugh 18 run (Jones kick)
Catoosa — FG, Tomlinson 43
Kelley — Hawkins 9 run (run failed)
Kelley — Hawkins 5 run (run failed)
Kelley — Brumbaugh 40 pass from Kelley (Jones kick)
Kelley — Brumbaugh 55 run (Jones kick)
Catoosa — Capehart 2 run (Tomlinson kick)
Rushing — Quinn 13-40.
Passing — Quinn 12-20-167.
Receiving — Tomlinson 7-128.
Rushing — Hawkins 20-140; Brumbaugh 7-133.
Passing — Kelley 2-9-59, TD.
Receiving — Brumbaugh 1-40