By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
Hilldale picked the wrong time to be ineffective on offense and Sequoyah’s defense had something to do with that on Friday night.
The Hornets only managed 169 yards in losing 28-0 to the Indians in game for the District 3A-7 championship at Hornet Field.
“They played well defensively,” Hilldale coach Chad Kirkhart said after his Hornets dropped to 4-1 in district and 7-2 overall. “We just didn’t play well and weren’t able to move the football. It’s hard to win when you don’t score. They beat us in a lot of areas.”
Sequoyah, meanwhile, also got a “victory” off the field Friday.
Cherokee County District Court Judge Douglas Kirkley ruled that a temporary restraining order “will stay in place” that enabled 12 suspended Sequoyah High School football players to play in the game.
The players, which included four added Thursday to the original eight, were suspended by the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Activities Association after Sequoyah officials learned of the OSSAA summer camp participation rule. Head coach Brent Scott was also suspended for the game, but was in attendance.
The judge said in his ruling that the OSSAA had violated the school’s due process.
Sequoyah quarterback Brayden Scott completed 13 of 24 passes for 132 yards and two touchdowns. The son of Brent Scott was relieved after the victory as the Indians improved to 5-0 in district and 8-1 overall.
“I couldn’t stop thinking this whole week that me and the rest of the seniors had played our last game,” Brayden said. “I don’t think the word tough describes this week. It was way more than tough. I’m just glad to be on this field. I thank God for this opportunity.”
Kyle Helsley was on both ends of Sequoyah’s first-half touchdowns as the Indians took a 14-0 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Helsley caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Brayden Scott with 39 seconds left in the first period and then fired a 65-yard TD pass to his twin brother Ryan with 5:59 left in the first half. Ryan Helsley also caught a 27-yard touchdown pass from Scott with 48 seconds left in the game. Scott, meanwhile, completed six of 14 passes for 87 yards in the first half.
The Indians got their other touchdown on a three-yard run by Robert Smith with 6:31 left in third quarter.
The Hornets had their moments, but not enough of them.
Quarterback Chandler Puckett fired a 43-yard pass to Jackson late in the second quarter but fumbled it and Kyle Helsley recovered the ball.
“We just didn’t execute,” Puckett said after completing 9 of 23 passes for 112 yards and throwing three interceptions. Sequoyah’s Cody Hooper intercepted two of the passes.
Another heart-stopping moment for the Hornets came with 8:01 left in the first period when Richard Mabery was carried off the field. The extent of his injury was not immediately known.
Hilldale returns to action next Thursday night at Westville, while Sequoyah closes out the regular season at home against Lincoln Christian.
SEQUOYAH 28, HILLDALE 0
Sequoyah 7 7 0 14—28
Hilldale 0 0 0 0—0
Sequoyah – Kyle Helsley 64 pass from Brayden Scott (Forrest Cully kick), 0:39
Sequoyah – Ryan Helsley 65 pass from Kyle Helsely (Cully kick), 5:59
Sequoyah — Robert Smith 3 run (Cully kick), 6:31
Sequoyah — Ryan Helsley 27 pass from Brayden Scott (Cully kick) 0:48
First Downs 14 10
Rushes-Yards 29-137 33-57
Passing Yards 197 112
Passes (C-A-I) 14-25-0 9-23-3
Punts-Avg. 6-37.5 5-31.8
Fumbles-Lost 2-0 2-1
Penalties-Yards 9-85 7-52
Rushing: Sequoyah, Karter Woodruff 7-70, Kyle Helsley 7-43. Hilldale, Jamaul Cullom 11-31
Passing: Sequoyah, Brayden Scott, 13-24-0—132. Hilldale, Chandler Puckett 9-23-3-112.
Receiving: Sequoyah, Kyle Helsley 3-109. Hilldale, Bradley Campbell 4-47, Miles Jackson 2-56.