How do you spell relief? “W-I-N.” Altus High School Head Football Coach Chad Stone said minutes after the Bulldogs came away with a 27-21 victory over the Chickasha Fightin’ Chicks here on Friday night.
It was a much needed victory for the Bulldogs who opened the season with three losses. It gets them off to a good start in the district standings.
“It feels good, but we made it a whole lot harder than we had to,” Stone said.
The Bulldogs dominated the game for the first three quarters building a 27-7 lead before the Chicks added two scores in the fourth quarter to make the game look closer than it really was.
Stone felt like his team dominated the game more than the final score indicates.
“Absolutely,” Stone said. “We were having our way with them in the first half. We thought we were in control.
“Our kids don’t know how to win yet. We talked to them about falling into that trap at halftime. We’re good for three quarters but we need to find a way to finish.”
Penalties were a big problem for the Bulldogs who were flagged 12 times for 108 yards and that stalled several drives. Diquon Woodhouse returned the opening kickoff 85 yards for a touchdown but that was nullified by an illegal block.
After that the Bulldogs offense began to roll.
The first score came on the third possession of the game. Altus drove 56 yards in three plays. It was capped off by a nifty 43 yard touchdown run by senior quarterback Brantley Ford. After faking a hand-off, Ford broke the line made one cut and scampered 57 yards for the touchdown. Michael Perez added the extra point and the Bulldogs led 7-0 with 36 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Altus scored the next time they had the ball. It was 71 yard march, this time freshman running back Taven Birdow finished the drive. The 6-0 200 pounder rambled in from nine yards to score his first touchdown of his high school career.
Chickasha Coach Tom Cobble reached into his bag of tricks to get the Chicks on the scoreboard. Quarterback Cade Morris threw a lateral to wide receiver Brandon Wright who in threw down field to a wide open Shaq Oliver 46 yards for a score.
Perez then kicked the first of two field goals when he connected on a 37 yard field goal to up Altus’ margin to 17-7 with 1:45 remaining in the first half.
The Bulldogs got another opportunity when Nico Maldonado recovered a fumble in Chickasha territory.
Moments later a perfectly executed screen pass from Ford to Woodhouse covered 41 yards for a touchdown with 22 seconds left in the half.
Early in the third quarter Perez electrified the crowd with a school record 53 yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 27-7 lead with 3:27 left in the third quarter.
“I’ve been wanting him to do that ever since I got here,” Stones said. “I knew he could kick it that long and it probably had room to go 60 yards. He has a ridiculous leg.”
Chickasha scored twice in the fourth period, once on a 14 yard run from Josh Latham. Late in the game Chickasha drove 80 yards using mostly short passes to score the final TD of the game. It came on 10 yard aerial from Morris to Oliver with 17 seconds remaining. Altus had stopped the two point conversion but a personal foul penalty gave the Chicks another opportunity. This time 6-0 230 pound Jacoby Brown ran the conversion points to make it 27-21.
An on side kick was recovered by Altus’s Tanner Cross and that ended the game.
“All of our backs ran hard and the guys up front did a great job,” Stone said. “We thought we could come out and dominate the line of scrimmage. But we didn’t do that as much in the second half. A lot of silly mistakes.But we’re happy. Happy with the win tonight.”
The Bulldogs had two 100 yard rushers. Woodhouse ran 15 times for 137 yards and Ford 16 times for 107 yards.
Bulldog notes: Woodhouse may have had a bigger night but he was bothered with leg cramps in the second half.
Perez record breaking kick broke the old marks set by Billy Irions in 1978 and Jim Tasker in 1989.
The Bulldogs are now 1-3 on the season but 1-0 in the district. They will travel to Duncan on Friday.
How they scored
Altus - Brantley Ford 43 run, Perez kick, 0:36, 1st qtr., AHS 7-0;
Altus - Birdow 9 run, Perez kick, 5:16, 2nd qtr., AHS 14-0
Chickasha - Shaq Olier 54 pass from Brandon Wright, Josh Yokum kick, 4:05 2nd qtr., AHS, 14-7
Altus - Perez 37 yard field goal, 1:43, 2nd qtr. AHS 17-7
Altus - Diquon Woodhouse 41 pass from Ford, Perez kick, 0:11, 2nd qtr., AHS 24-7
Altus - Perez 53 yard field goal, 3:27, 3rd qtr., AHS 27-7
Chickasha - Josh Latham 14 run, kick failed, 7:42, 4th qtr., AHS 27-14
Chickasha - Oliver 10 pass from Cade Morris, Jacoby Brown run, 0:17, 4th qtr., AHS, 27-21
Ford 16-107 1TD; Woodhouse 15-137 1TD; Birdow 9-47 1 TD; Perez 2-6; Lewis 2 (-7)
Ford 7-9-87 1TD;
Woodhouse 3-48 1TD; Yada 1-4; Loving 2-24; Lewis 1-11
Perez 2-3 field goals, 37 and 53 yards; 3-3 PATs
Morris 6 (-14); Neff 6-40; Madison 6-32; Wright 1-1; Latham 4-29 1 TD; davis 1-11
19-29-187, 1TD; Wright 1-51, 1Td
Oliver 11-151, 2TD; Wright 4-58; Neff 4-29
Yokum 1-2 PAT