By Wesley Coburn
While the final result wasn’t what the Beggs Demons hoped for, at the end of the 2017 season, they still made it to the Class 3A championship game.
In that game Friday night they fell to the Oklahoma City John Marshall Bears by a 14-7 score. But that doesn’t take away from the Demons’ 13-2 record, or 6-0 record in district play.
Played at Stillwater High School’s Pioneer Stadium, the battle featured the small-town well-oiled machine of the Demons against the Division I superstar talent of the big-city Bears, led by their University of Nevada-bound tailback Devonte Lee.
Beggs received the opening kickoff and were forced to punt, which set up a long Marshall drive that ended with a one-yard touchdown by Lee with 7:58 left in the first quarter. The extra point kick bounced off the goalpost. Roughly a minute later Beggs got the ball again after sophomore linebacker Easton Davis forced a fumble, which was recovered by junior LB Dexter Wolf. The Demons were able to drive deep into Bears territory, but the drive was stalled at the Marshall 6.
The Demons were able to outplay Marshall in the second quarter, though no points were scored by either side. A 25-yard pass from JR quarterback Dalton Spring to senior receiver E.J. Smoot was called back because of a pass interference penalty, and JR cornerback Jaidan Grayson had a pick six nullified by a referee’s decision.
The Demons tied the game on SR QB Kobe Haynes’ 19-yard touchdown run with 6:47 left in the third quarter, and took the lead on JR kicker Carson Siegenthaler’s extra point. Momentum continued as SR safety Brandon Williams intercepted a Marshall pass about four minutes later.
The teams traded possessions and turnovers in the fourth quarter; Grayson rescued the Demons from a tough spot by catching a Marshall throw at his own eight-yard line. Beggs drove the ball to midfield before having to punt, only for one play to seal the game as Lee galloped 51 yards for the game-winning touchdown. The two-point conversion pass was good, which meant that the final score was Marshall 14, Beggs 7.
Officials called 26 penalties throughout the game, and the Demons held Marshall’s passing to 33 yards while at least seven different Beggs players registered tackles. Beggs gained about 135 yards in the air and about 110 on the ground.
Next year the OSSAA has the Demons dropping back down into Class 2A, placing them in district 3, along with the local Morris Eagles, Kiefer Trojans and Haskell Haymakers, Other schools in the district are Caney Valley (Ramona), Dewey, Sperry and Victory Christian (Tulsa).