On a night when Claremore Sequoyah pitched its first shutout of the season, the defense was upstaged by the offensive unit.
Sure, the Eagles were dominant defensively. They extended their streak of first-half shutouts, but then they went over and beyond all that with a complete-game shutout. It was their first of the season.
Locust Grove was the victim, by a 47-0 count.
And this was not just another run-of-the-mill opponent.
Locust Grove came into Friday night’s District 3A-3 shootout with the No. 10 ranking, plenty of playoff plans, and a high-octane passing game.
But Sequoyah being Sequoyah, none of that mattered. Sequoyah, after all, is No. 1, and has for all nine games this season looked like it came down from a higher league.
So, while Sequoyah’s defense should be taking bows and curtain calls after its collective performance, the biggest news of the game came from the offensive side of the line.
The Eagles’ offensive bellwether, quarterback Levi Richardson, injured an ankle in the second period and watched the entire second half from the bench.
His status was being called “day to day” by Sequoyah coach Jody Iams.
Richardson, who was being examined by doctors Saturday morning, said his ankle was stiff, and that he was looking ahead to the season finale Friday night at eighth-ranked Vinita.
Before going down with two minutes remaining in the second quarter, Richardson was on pace for a marquee game.
Still, with him at the controls in the first half, and his freshman brother, Cody, taking over after intermission, Sequoyah was all but unstoppable on offense.
In a textbook exhibition of clock management and ball control, the offense efficiently amassed 426 yards on the ground, averaged 8.2 yards per carry, spread the scoring around to six different runners, and generally hammered Locust Grove into submission.
And on Friday night, as the Eagles were paying homage to their blue-ribbon class of seniors on Senior Night, Sequoyah moved one step closer to its second straight District 3A-3 championship.
There was supposed to be a showdown coming Friday night at Vinita with two unbeaten, state-ranked teams going toe-to-toe for the district gold.
Vinita could not hold up its end of the bargain. The Hornets went to Berryhill Friday night and took it on the chin, 28-17.
Sequoyah made sure of its No. 1 ranking and unbeaten status, thanks to its unforgiving defense and an offense that could have sputtered when its sparkplug was removed, but, instead, stayed the course under the guidance of the freshman replacement.
Levi Richardson rushed for 108 yards on six carries, scored on a 33-yard run, and picked off a key pass in the second period.
Cody Richardson came in and completed the touchdown drive his brother had started, with Blake Breshears scoring just ahead of the halftime break.
With his brother watching, and shouting encouragement from the sideline in the second half, Cody Richardson engineered four more touchdown-producing possessions.
J.R. Row, who scored once on a typically bullish run, led the defensive way with 14 tackles. Corey Park, who also rushed for a score, added eight tackles, the same as James Hunsucker.
Jesse Myers, A.J.Rhine and Levi Richardson picked off interceptions. Myers, the big defensive end, rambled 29 yards with his return before being tackled.
Their defensive work held Metro to 95 rushing yards, and 101 passing yards (11 of 30 completions).
Offensively for the Eagles, a dozen backs were credited with carries, and 11 gained yardage.
SEQUOYAH 47, LOCUST GROVE 0
Locust Grove 0 0 0 0 — 0
Sequoyah 7 14 0 26 — 47
Sequoyah — Park 9 run (Inman kick)
Sequoyah — L.Richardson 33 run (kick blocked)
Sequoyah — Breshears 6 run (Park run)
Sequoyah — Row 16 run (Inman kick)
Sequoyah — Breshears 21 pass from C.Richardson (Inman kick)
Sequoyah — M.Foster 48 run (A.J.Rhine kick blocked)
Sequoyah — C.Foster 27 run (A.J.Rhine kick blocked)
Rushing — Henson 8-31; Bartlett 6-30; Josh Collins 6-18; Pursley 4-13; Jenkins 1-3.
Passing — Marsaln 11-28-101; Bartlett 0-2.
Receiving — Jake Collins 4-43; Henson 2-18; Josh Collins 2-16; Looney 2-12; Jenkins 1-12.
Rushing — L.Richardson 6-108, TD; Park 17-89, TD; Breshears 9-74, TD; M.Foster 1-48, TD; Jordan 7-43; C.Foster 1-27, TD; Row 3-22, TD; Darnell 1-5; A.J.Rhine 2-5; Jake Rhine 1-4; C.Richardson 2-1.
Passing — L.Richardson 2-5-22; C.Richardson 1-2-21, TD.
Receiving — James 2-22; Breshears 1-21, TD.