By Travis Chapman
The sun set low on Apache Stadium Friday night as the crowd gathered and the golf carts piled in under the live oaks. Friday was senior night as the Apaches honor this great group of seniors as they retired the Lions of Plain Dealing early by a score of 70-20.
The Senior Apache Football Squad:
#11 Garrett Brown, #66 Spencer Brantley, #62 Joshua Chandler, #61 Dustin Clanton, #69 Mason Farnell, #15 Ben Herron, #21 Nick Kilgore, #57 Jackson Lott, #2 Landry Powell, #1 Chase Sentell.
This group of young men are the epitome of what it means to “lead by example” not just for their younger classmen, but all the way down to the elementary Apaches as well. They are a special group that has challenged for a state title every year in two sports as they were a part of leading Glenbrook into a new era in the LHSAA.
In warm-ups the team looked sharp running routes and Junior starting QB, Easton Sanders was dropping dimes. But with 2nd string QB, Ryan Reagan out from injury, the back up to the 2nd string QB, dropping dimes on the right side of the field would’ve made college scouts eyes pop…but I think he’s aged out by a few years. I’m not sure what would’ve given it away, the khaki long britches, the beard, or the Jordan’s…but Coach O had dimes raining from the sky to the Apache receivers. Age apparently knew no bounds for the coaches deep ball….. Now, on to some football!!
Opening kick-off to the Lions, Landry Powell de-cleated the return man for the Lions and forced a fumble. The Apaches recovered on the 15-yard line. The senior special set showed Landry Powell at QB and Chase Sentell in the back field. On the second play from scrimmage, “The Streak” Sentell took it 15 yards for the first of many Apache Touchdowns. Powell connected with the big TE Garrett Brown on the 2-pt conversion. The Apaches got out to an early lead, 8-0 with 11:37 left in first.
The Apache defense trotted out to the 27-yard line after senior, Ben Herron made a great tackle on the kick return. The Lions came out running the ball but sure tackling lead by senior, Jackson Lott and Jackson Waller forced a punt by the Lions.
The Apache offense took over after the punt. Easton Sanders connected to Powell on a 5 and out that let the massive Powell show us his dance moves and he pushed the ball an extra 40-yards down the field for an Apache first down. Powell caught another bullet from Sanders as the special Lion talent, #9 made a TD saving tackle that setup Big G, Brown that carried the ball up the middle. 1st and goal from the 3, and Sanders found Seth Mangrum on a slant route in the end zone for another Apache touchdown. The extra point was blocked but the Apaches led 14-0 with 8:17 left in the first.
The Apache defensemen Cade Vining and Big D and I don’t mean Dallas, Daivari Jackson quickly put the Lions behind the sticks and the defense forced another punt.
The Apache offense took over on the Lion 43. The first play from scrimmage Easton Sanders found Chase Sentell streaking, as it were, down the sideline for a 43 yard bomb of a touchdown, the second of the night for Sentell and Sanders. Apaches led the Lions 20-0 with 5:35 left in the 1st quarter.
Apache lineman Big D Jackson put the Lions quickly behind the sticks but the Lions star player #9 took a toss sweep around the corner for a gain of 12 before Powell made the stop but not before a first down was converted for the Lions. But the Apache defense stiffened up as Nick Kilgore blasted thru the gap and made a tackle for loss that brought up a 3rd and long. The big Swiss Army Knife, Brown did what he does best, wreaked havoc and force another Lion punt.
The Apaches took over on the 40-yard line and the first play from scrimmage Sentell blasted through a hole the offensive line made that was big enough Moses could’ve led the Israelites through, and Sentell went untouched 60-yards for the Apache touchdown, his 3rd of the night (but don’t stop counting there). The Apaches stretched the lead, 28-0 with 2:15 left in the first.
The big defensive lineman #56 Jonathon Bryant smothered the QB for a huge tackle for a loss. The Lions ran a beautifully executed deep ball that gave them a huge gain and a first down to the Apache 31-yard line. The defense stood strong, forced a fumble and backed the Lions up even further with Johnathon Bryant gobbling up the Lion QB for another sack in the same series.
The Apaches took over on downs. The first play from scrimmage again showcased Sentell with his “run from the cops speed” around the right side, 62 yards for his 4th touchdown of the night. Powell smashed the 2-pt conversion down the Lions throat to push the Apache lead to 36-0 with 10:15 left in the second quarter.
The Apache underclassman defense got their time to shine. The extremely fast #9 moved the chains for the Lions but not before Drew Blackwelder laid a big hit on him, and Drew backed it up with a big tackle-for-loss on the ensuing play after taking a great angle on the Lion RB. The senior Josh Chandler got a big push as he tackled the RB in the backfield. But the Lions gained momentum as they scampered for 10-yards that moved the chains with goal to go. The blazing #9 for the Lions took a sweep around the left side for Lion touchdown. The 2-pt conversion failed but the Apaches held on to the big lead 36-6 with 3:43 left in second.
The Apache offensive set came out to Coach Reagan Smith’s words echoing through Apache stadium…”HEAVY..HEAVY” as the Apaches looked to continue their dominance on the ground. The formidable Powell took the handoff, made 2 men miss and blasted down the field 55-yards for another Apache touchdown. Apaches 43-6 with 3:33 left in first half.
The Apache underclassman continued to get great on-field experience as they kicked it deep to #9 for the Lions and he made a few men miss and showcased his raw talent as he took it to the house for another score. The Apache still held on to a big lead, 43-12, but not to be outdone, The Streak Sentell caught the ensuing kick-off and forevermore housed it. From 80-yards out Sentell made dash to the field house for another Apache touchdown. That made touchdown numero ocho for Sentell on the night. Apaches led 49-12 with 2:50 left in first half. Sentell had dazzling first half stats of 3 rushes for 137 yards-3 TD’s, 1 reception of 43-yards and a touchdown , capped off with a kick return of 80-yards and a touchdown. 5-TDs in the FIRST HALF!!
The Apaches’ defense came out roaring with Sr- Spencer Brantley blowing up the backfield that put the Lions quickly behind the sticks. Mason Farnell read a reverse perfectly and made another tackle for a loss that forced another Lion punt. After a Lion miscue the Apaches took over on the 8-yard line of the Lions.
Powell quickly blew through the line for another Apaches touchdown. Sanders nearly kicked it over the field house on the extra point that moved the score to a brisk 55-12 lead at the half.
At halftime the senior night festivities didn’t stop. The beautiful and entertaining Senior Sundancers and Cheerleaders showcased their skills, wooing the Apache faithful!
Captain-Maddy Whitehead, Co-Captain-Gracie Williams, Allie King, Olivia Downer, and Sophie Spillers.
Kadyn McKinney, McKinley Milam, Abigail Clark, Makenzie Branton, Mallori Sanders, and Lindsey Stanford.
The Lions kicked to the Apaches to start the second half. The Apaches took over on the Lion 47 with #7 Seth Mangrum running behind a host of blockers for a gain of 22. On the ensuing play, the senior Nick Kilgore got his shot a glory with a touchdown run of 20-yards to stretch the Apache led 63-12 with a running clock in the second half.
The seniors came out for seemingly their last defensive stand before the underclassman get to put in work for the rest of the night. Powell made his presence known with a tackle in the backfield, backed up by a huge tackle for loss made by Brown. Brantley continued his spectacular senior night with, yet another pulverizing sack of the Lion QB that forced a Lion punt.
Waller ran out at the helm for the Apache offense and handed it off to #20 Conner Williams that showcased his BLAZING speed as he reached pay dirt with a 47-yard Apache touchdown. The scored widened with a running clock, 70-12.
The Lions’ extremely talented RB, #9 took another handoff down the right side, broke tackles and made an amazing run of 70-yards for another Lion TD. Lions tighten the Apache lead, 70-20. The Apache underclassman continued their much needed playing experience behind great offensive line play and Connor Williams toting the rock. Waller moved the chains as he called his own number for a gain of 12. Sanders tried a 43-yard field goal, had the leg but missed just wide right. The clock continued to run late in the 4th quarter with the Apache youngsters needing their uniforms washed after lengthy playing time from the night as they closed the game out with another big Apache win over the Plain Dealing Lions, 70-20.
The Apaches moved to 7-1 with that big win. Let’s get live and loud for our Apache Tribe as we look to make war against the Homer Pelicans in a very important district game at 7pm next Friday night! What a great night for our Apache Seniors! Forever Apaches!
ITS A GREAT DAY TO BE AN APACHE!