AFTON — It was not a work of art, Quapaw picked up its fourth win in five games by grinding out a 14-0 victory over Afton here Thursday, Oct. 15.
“I think our kids were exhausted from last week and they didn’t have any energy at all — but they played hard enough to get the win,” Quapaw head coach Chris Cawyer said. “The bottom line was we needed to win and keep winning to get into the playoffs.”
The lone blemish during the Cats’ streak is a 52-19 loss to second-ranked Pawhuska in a game that Cawyer called their best they’ve played in his tenure.
Thursday’s win was just the fourth shutout by Quapaw since 2009 and one of those was a loss to Oklahoma Union that was flipped to a 15-0 forfeit win.
“When we went into the locker room at the end of the game, our kids were disappointed and didn’t have much to say, but that’s a good thing because they know they didn’t play well,” Cawyer said. “Our kids had played so hard last week.”
The only points of the first half came with 1:46 until intermission on a safety when punter Gavin Herman bobbled a snap and the ball rolled out of the end zone.
Quapaw got the game’s first touchdown when Kale Thomasson and Jacob Gregory teamed up on a 63-yard play with 1:07 remaining in the third period.
The Cats created the final margin on a 63-yard run by Corben Cunliffe on the fourth play of the final stanza.
“We went up and down the field, but just couldn’t get it in because of a bad snap or a penalty,” Cawyer said. “Defensively, we played well, though.”
Afton (2-4, 1-3) managed only 111 yards in total offense, 54 passing and 47 rushing.
The Eagles were without senior quarterback Weston Amos, who had surgery Tuesday to repair a broken wrist suffered in last week’s win over Fairland.
Kevin Thomas accounted for 57 of the Eagles rushing yards, but four others combined to finish 4 yards in the hole.
“We didn't play very well,” Eagle head coach Corey Henry said. “The running game wasn’t what it normally is. That kills us when we can’t run the ball well.”
Cunliffe netted 108 yards on 10 carries and Preston Thomasson finished with 97 on 15 attempts.
The Cats also netted 189 passing yards, where Kale Thomasson was 10 of 28 for 189 yards and the one score.
“Our defense played well at times,” Henry said. “We gave up some big plays. Wrapping up was a big issue. We were there and had them hit for losses at times, but we didn’t wrap up and didn’t finish the execution.
That’s something that kills you defensively.”
The Wildcats are scheduled to play Oklahoma Union, but they had to sit out Thursday’s game with Pawhuska due to COVID-19.
“They were at our game scouting, but I thought they were quarantined.
Next up for Afton is second-ranked Pawhuska on the road Friday night.