QUAPAW — To say that fans of the Quapaw Wildcats went home happy is a bit of an understatement.
Getting their first home playoff win since 2003, the Cats rolled up 455 yards in total offense and routed Caney Valley 47-6 in a Class A play-in game Friday, Nov. 13.
The game marked the first playoff appearance for the Cats since 2014.
“Overall, they just played their tails off. They played so hard,” head coach Chris Cawyer said. “The seniors wanted to win. It was the first playoff game (at home) in 17 years. The seniors wanted to come out and get this win for our fans and the people that support us.
“It turned out really, really good for us. They came to play tonight – we definitely outhit them.”
Quapaw (5-2) travels to fourth-ranked Pawnee Friday, Nov. 21. The Black Bears (7-1) had a first-round bye.
The visitors’ only points of the game came on an interception return by Cooper Fogle with 8:59 remaining in the first half.
The conversion failed, leaving the Wildcats with a 21-6 advantage.
The Trojans managed only 168 yards in total offense, including 45 yards rushing.
They were their own worst enemy, losing five fumbles with an interception.
455 total offense, including 310 on the ground.
“That’s good for a first-round playoff game,” Cawyer said.
“The one thing that really surprised me was our offensive line and how they came off the ball,” Cawyer said. “We had a heart-to-heart talk with them from last week because we didn’t play very well against Commerce. They came out, got off the ball, played well and did the things they needed to do.”
The Cats had three fumbles in the first half “and we could have had 21 more points in the first half,” Cawyer said. “That’s one thing we need to get better at: handling the ball.”
Quapaw turned the ball over five times, losing four of five fumbles and throwing an interception that gave the Trojans their lone score.
The Wildcats jumped out to a 13-0 lead in the first quarter by scoring on consecutive 1-yard runs by Kale Thomasson.
They pushed the lead to 21-0 just 36 seconds into the second frame on a 5-yard run and capped the half with a 9-yard pass from Kale Thomasson to Koen Myrick with 12 seconds remaining.
Corben Cunliffe got into the scoring act with runs of 48 and 36 yards, giving Quapaw a 41-6 advantage.
Seth Johnston closed out the scoring with an interception with 11:42 left in the game.
Kale Thomasson finished with 144 yards on 20 carries while Cunliffe gained 137 yards on nine tries
Kale Thomasson also completed 8 of 14 passes for 122 yards while Johnston completed both of his attempts for 23 yards.
Myrick caught four passes for 33 yards and Johnston snagged three for 82 yards.