Catoosa couldn’t stop the pass. Jay couldn’t stop the run. The run won.
Cole Scheulen galloped for 208 yards, Ben Doyle added 130 and quarterback Kalen Reimer scored three touchdowns, leading the Indians to a 53-21 District 4A-3 victory over the Bulldogs Friday night at McNabb Field.
Reimer also passed for a touchdown as Catoosa improved to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in the league, setting up a showdown next week at top-ranked Wagoner.
The Indians compiled 442 ground yards, but surrendered 275 through the air as quarterback Brandon Edge hit 20-of-29 throws with two touchdowns.
Doyle executed a breakout performance for coach Aaron Meier, lining up in place of injured senior Levi Browning, out with a neck problem. The Indians were also without fleet senior Devonta Childs, out for the season with a broken collarbone, and kicker Nick Watts who has a swollen ankle.
Still, the Indians were back in the saddle again, unleashing an offensive onslaught that featured scoring drives of 66, 65, 78, 66, 68, 63 and 65 yards, The other Catoosa score came on Colton Nevel’s 81-yard kickoff return that opened the second half.
Jay made an impressive debut, driving 69 yards to lead on Edge’s 27-yard throw to Josh Ramsey. The Indians struck back in five plays, producing a 7-7 tie when Reimer kept the final two yards at 8:46 of the first period.
Once again, the Bulldogs quickly produced points, covering 75 yards in four snaps, culminating when Edge located Kyle Shambaugh from 32 yards.
Doyle made sure Catoosa wouldn’t trail for long, breaking tackles and bulling his way 14 yards to the end zone, knotting the game at 13 with 4:44 showing in the opening period.
The Indians scored twice in the second quarter to mount a 27-13 intermission lead. Reimer recorded his second touchdown, plunging over from the one, then passed seven yards to a lonely Ty Rainey with 40 seconds left.
Nevel’s kickoff return starting the second half gave Catoosa a 33-13 lead and the Indians continued to chew up ground and the clock, shoving their advantage to 40-13 on Scheulen’s 12-yard burst midway in the third. Reimer rolled six yards around left end to score seven seconds deep into the final period and freshman Hunter Harrison tacked on an eight-yard score with four minutes to go.