12-13 Sports - Okm.qxp_Layout 1 12/12/17 8:38 AM Page 1
Okmulgee Times, Wednesday, December 13, 2017
The Beggs Golden Demon football team runs onto the field prior to last Friday’s Class 3A state championship meeting with John Marshall at Stillwater’s Pioneer Stadium. The Demons were denied their first state football championship since 1975 with a 14-7 loss to the third-ranked Bears. (Larry Owen, Times staff)
Demons denied first football title in 42 years with 14-7 loss to John Marshall By LARRY OWEN Times Sports Editor
STILLWATER - The Beggs Golden Demons waited 40 years for a chance to play for a state championship in football. The wait for a state football title will extend at least one more year after the Demons dropped a heartbreaking 14-7 decision to the John Marshall Bears this past Friday night in the Class 3A state title contest at Pioneer Stadium. Both teams entered the state championship game averaging more than 40 points per game while holding opponents to an average of less than 20 points per game. The main focus for the Beggs defense last Friday was to find a way to contain John Marshall's Devonte Lee and not allow the 5-10, 215-pound, senior tailback to break off big run plays. Lee carried the ball a total of 25 times in the contest with the Beggs defense holding the Bear running back to gains of 10 or fewer yards on 19 of those carries, even stopping Lee for negative yardage on a carry on 4th-and-1 in the fourth quarter. Five of the other six runs by Lee went for 33, 50, 12, 20, and 14, respectively. One of Lee's short runs put the Bears on the scoreboard first in the opening quarter. Another short run by Lee secured the win for John Marshall in the fourth quarter on a 4th-and-1 situation. Lee's sixth long-distance run came on the decisive score - a run that went for 51 yards on the first play following a Beggs punt with a little over five minutes remaining in regulation. Lee finished with a total of 228 yards rushing in the contest, which was one yard less than what the Demons had in total offensive yardage for the game. As a team, the Beggs offense finished with 229 yards on 54 plays - 29 rushes for 104 yards and 11 (of 25 attempts) completions for 125 yards. The heartbreaking 7-point defeat in the Class 3A state title game ends the Demons' 2017 season with a 13-2 record and snapped a 12-game winning streak for the Beggs gridiron squad. Prior to the loss to John Marshall, the Demons had not suffered a defeat since a 30-28 loss to Berryhill in Week 1 of the 2017 regular season. The Demons went on offense first in last Friday's 3A championship game, as John Marshall won the opening coin toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Beggs offense began its first series of the contest at its own 40 after recovering a short kick by the John Marshall placekicker. A 22-yard run on the first play of the game by Kayson Toliver moved the ball into John Marshall territory at the 38-yard line. The promising drive stalled on the next three plays, with the Demons punting the bal to John Marshall with 11:10 left in the opening frame. John Marshall made good on its first offensive series that began at its own 19, moving 81 yards on seven plays, taking 3:12 off the gameclock to tally the game's first score. After a 2-yard run by QB Jarod Leviston on the first play from scrimmage, Lee raced 33 yards to the Beggs 46 and a fresh set of downs. Back-to-back runs by Trey Eason earned
Beggs junior running back Kayson Toliver (27) runs behind offensive lineman Blaine Fife (65) during the first quarter of last Friday’s Class 3A state championship game against John Marshall. Toliver carried the ball three times for 27 yards in the Demons’ 14-7 loss to the third-ranked Bears. (Larry Owen, Times staff)
the Bears another first down at the Beggs 36. Back-to-back holding penalties moved the ball back to the JM 47 then Lee raced 50 yards to the Beggs 3, setting up the Bears with a 1st and Goal situation. Jarod Leviston moved the ball to the Beggs 1 with a 2-yard gain, then Lee bulled his way into the end zone on the next play to complete the 7-play, 81-yard, scoring drive with a 1-yard TD run. Chris Eslick's extra-point try bounced off the right upright to leave the score at 6-0, in favor of John Marshall, with 7:58 left in the opening quarter. Both team's next offensive possessions ended with a turnover to keep the score at 6-0.
Beggs' second offensive series of the first half ended with an interception at the John Marshall 30 by T.J. Spriggs with six minutes remaining in the first quarter on a fake punt attempt by the Demons. The Beggs defense came away with a takeaway on the very next play, as Andrew Price pounced on a loose football at the John Marshall 40 at the 5:54 mark of the opening frame. The Demons were unable to take advantage of the defensive takeaway, turning the ball over on downs at the John Marshall 15 with 2:23 left in the first period. See Beggs on B2