QUAPAW — A big fourth quarter carried Quapaw to a 33-20 come-from-behind victory over the Seneca JV here Monday, Aug. 27.
In 2016, Oklahoma Union topped Quapaw 35-16 in the season opener, but the Cougars later were forced to forfeit their entire season due to an ineligible player.
As a result, Quapaw was 1-8 in ’16 then went 0-10 a year ago.
“It was big, not only for our players, but for our community, the cheerleaders and everybody that’s involved,” Quapaw head coach Chris Cawyer said. “Our players have worked very, very hard. It carries over tonight.”
Quapaw went 0-10 in 2017 and 1-8 in 2016 thanks to the forfeit.
The Wildcats will be idle until Sept. 7, when they host Wyandotte.
Quapaw broke a 20-20 tie with a Kale Thomasson-to-Matt Lovell TD pass with 9:18 remaining in the game, then Josh Curry put icing on the cake with a 48-yard scoring romp with 68 seconds left.
The Wildcats struck early.
Stopping Seneca on a fourth-and-long play turned the ball over at the Quapaw 45 to start its first offensive series of the night.
One play later, Jonas Gregory reeled in a pass from Thomasson that covered 55 yards and a touchdown.
A pass for the conversion failed.
The Seneca JV carried a 20-12 lead into the break, but the Cats went to work in the second half.
A 30-yard pass from Thomasson to Lovell and the ensuing conversion pass got the game tied at 20 with 4:35 left in the third quarter.
It was all Quapaw in the fourth thanks to Lovell’s 13-yard touchdown catch in heavy traffic and Curry’s romp where he popped loose from would-be Seneca tacklers.
“Josh Curry has worked so hard,” Cawyer said. “He’s such a good kid. He’s in the weight room all the time. He runs hard in practice. He’s just showing really, really, really good leadership. I am really proud of him and it paid off on that last drive.”
Quapaw finished with 387 yards in total offense, 252 of that coming on the ground.
Curry had 129 yards on 13 carries and Thomasson ran the ball 15 times, netting 98 yards.
Thomasson completed 10 of his 17 passes for 135 yards and the four touchdowns.
Lovell caught four passes for 52 yards. Gregory and Trevor White had two receptions each and Kane Davis and Curry each caught one ball.
Seneca had 313 yards, including 229 on 15 of 29 attempts.
The teams combined for 17 penalties and 165 yards. Six of the flags were for defensive pass interference.
Three of them came on the Indians’ second series of the game when they drove 68 yards for a game-tying touchdown.
A pass from Thomasson to White for three yards left Quapaw with a 14-12 deficit with 8:26 to play in the second quarter and Seneca padded its lead to eight with a would-be momentum changing TD with 15 seconds left in the half.
Junior linebacker Tanner Daniels headed up Quapaw’s defensive effort with seven assisted and six unassisted tackles.
Gregory logged five assisted and six unassisted stops while White had eight assisted and one unassisted.