By Travis Chapman
As the sun set at the end of Country Club Circle with fans stacked in the stadium like cord wood, the Apache players escorted their beautiful Homecoming Queen and Princesses ahead of the kick-off to conclude this year’s Homecoming festivities. The contest was a victorious one, with the Apaches shipwrecking the Mariners, 55-0.
Your fighting Apaches won the toss and elected to receive. Apaches took the kick 10-yards and the offensive possession started at the 41, but the first play from scrimmage the deep ball from Sanders was intercepted by the Mariners on the 22-yard line.
The Apache defense quickly put the Mariners behind the sticks and forced a 3rd and long. The Apaches’ defense blew the offensive line up and Cade Vining led the Apache War Party that sacked the Mariner QB and forced a punt.
A short punt gave the Apaches the ball on the Mariner 40. “The Streak,” Chase Sentell ran it through the 8 hole for a gain of 15. The very next play, Landry Powell ran with conviction behind semi-trucks lead blocking and made it a quick 25-yard touchdown run for the Apaches. The extra point was good from Easton Sanders that gave the Apaches the lead 7-0 with 9:48 left in first quarter.
The Mariners came out looking to run the ball, but a slew of Apaches made the open field tackle for a loss. Mason Farnell and Garrett Brown nearly sacked the QB on 2nd down but forced an incompletion. Landry Powell and Seth Mangrum made another tackle for loss that brought up 4th down and a cab ride. On that fourth down the Swiss Army Knife, Garrett Brown was in the QB’s face in an instant and knocked down the pass that turned the ball over on downs.
The ensuing offensive possession for the Apaches, Sentell blazed for a gain of 30-yards and the powerful Powell gashed the Mariners for another gain of 25-yards. Two plays later, Vining channeled his inner Philly Eagles and tush pushed behind his outstanding center, Jackson Lott for another Apache touchdown. Sanders added to his extra point numbers as the Apaches extended the lead to 14-0 with 6:06 left in first!
The Apaches’ defense executed a perfect rain dance that stormed all over the Mariners’ next offensive possession and immediately put them deep behind the chains and forced another quick punt that only rolled 1-minute off the clock. The Mariners shanked the punt that gave the Apaches possession on the Mariner 35-yard line, but a few tipped passes brought up a 4th and long but another incompletion from a bullet delivered by Sanders turned the ball over on downs.
The Louisiana Tech Marching Band showed up with Mark Ronson’s “Up Town Funk” and fired up the Apache defense. They quickly put the Mariners behind the chains yet again. The Mariner QB launched a deep post across the middle and Sentell jumped in front of the WR and intercepted the pass and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown….but hold everything up…a personal foul was called after Sentell crossed the goal line and backed the Apaches up to the Mariner 30.
Jackson Waller took a toss sweep around the corner for an Apache first down. Then, a great touch pass of 14-yards from Sanders to Waller put the Apaches on the board again, widening the score 20-0, Apaches with 2:28 left in first quarter.
The Apaches’ defense rushed out to the field as Cade Herron nearly intercepted the QB. The very next play.. guess who? The 6’3 235-pound Swiss Army Knife, Brown bulled his way through and made another tackle for a loss and forced another Mariner punt.
Apaches took over on the 43-yard line and the first play from scrimmage, Sanders uncorked a B-52 flight, 57-yard bomb of a touchdown pass to Sentell that stretched the lead 28-0 with just 23.5 seconds left in the first quarter. Yes you read that right…..the first quarter.
The Apaches’ defense continued to take the wind out of the Mariners’ sails that ended the first quarter with the Apaches all over them 28-0. Farnell and Vining blew the 3rd and long play up and forced another Mariner punt.
Apaches’ offense came out blowing and going with short screen passes that set up a great pump fake by Sanders that froze the cornerback in his tracks and Sanders rifled it to Powell on the double move for a 45-yard touchdown pass. The Apaches stretched the lead even further, 34-0 with 8:07 left in 2nd quarter.
Brown continued his highlight reel performance on defense as he blew the play up and made another tackle for loss. This time of the 9-yard loss variety. Two plays later Big G recovered a fumble that was forced by Farnell. The Apaches took over on the 38-yard line!
The ensuing play from scrimmage the terrible turf monster reared his ugly head and knocked the ball out of Seth Mangrum’s arms that the Mariners jumped on.
The Apache defense continued to wreak havoc on the Mariners with Herron and Waller in on every play and forced another quick punt.
The Apaches’ offense came out firing when Brown caught a pass at tight end for 25 yards and quite literally THREW defenders off him and moved the chains with force. Sentell took the counter and ran behind the hole Big D, and I don’t mean Dallas, Daivari Jackson made and scurried untouched for a 25-yard touchdown. The Apaches led 41-0 with 1:31 left in the 2nd quarter.
The last touchdown brought in the underclassman for some much-needed game time experience. The Mariners finally got their first, first down of the game but the 2nd and 3rd string defense held the Mariners scoreless to end the first half with the Apaches up on the Mariners 41-0.
After the Apaches’ Drum line, Cheerleaders and Sundancers dazzled the Apache faithful fanbase, the extracurricular homecoming activities took place honoring alumni classes from 1973- 2013.
The Apache defense took the field to start the second half on the 15-yard line of the Mariners with a running clock. Brown and Farnell continued their defensive highlight reel and blew up the Mariners up on a 4th down.
The Apache offense took the field in plus territory and the Apache offensive line had their way with the Mariner front and shoved the ball downhill with full back, Vining. Luke Kilgore got his hands on the football and moved the ball 14-yards behind that great O-Line push. The Mariners managed to punch the football out of the arms of the Apache running back that gave the Mariners the ball with 6:03 left in the third.
The 2nd and 3rd string defense for the Apaches got a wealth of game time experience. They played great and forced a 4th and 7 that resulted in another punt.
Apache offense took over on the 35-yard line. Seth Mangrum quickly moved the chains as he galloped 14 yards. Nick Kilgore continued to move those chains and picked up 12 and a first down. Two plays later, Mangrum reached pay dirt for another Apache touchdown. The Apaches continued the onslaught of the Mariners, 47-0 to close the 3rd quarter.
The Apaches’ freshman and JV defense put the Mariners behind the chains and blocked the punt attempt out of the back of the end zone for a Safety. On the ensuing first play from scrimmage, Nick Kilgore blasted through the right side and out ran everyone, 40-yards for another Apache touchdown. The Apaches led 55-0 with 2:41 left in the contest.
The Apaches defense came out on fire. Big 5-0, Slade Lollar blew around the end and sacked the Mariner QB for a loss of 12 that closed the contest with the Apaches boat racing the Mariners, 55-0.
With this massive win, your Apache Tribe moved to a 5-1 record. Next week the lights will be shining bright at the end of Country Club as your Apaches take on the Redskins of the metropolitan city, Ringgold at 7 p.m. Let’s keep the stands packed and show our love for our Apaches!
IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE AN APACHE!!