By Travis Chapman
The stellar Apaches regular season of 7-2 set them up to host the first round playoff game against the Sacred Heart Trojans. The Apaches pierced the Trojans of Sacred Heart by a score of 49-12.
The time change layered the darkness upon Apaches Stadium as your #11 ranked Apaches looked to make war under the lights at the end of Country Club Circle.
The Apaches received the opening kickoff to begin the match. And began moving the football, but a costly fumble gave the Trojans the possession in plus territory.
The Apache defense showed out and forced a quick Trojans turnover on downs. But the Apaches gave it right back to them on the 40-yard line from another costly fumble.
On the ensuing Apache defensive stand, I believe everyone was looking for whomever greased the footballs up before the game, as the Trojans coughed it up as well, but this time senior Cayd Herron up the loose ball and scurried 60 yards for the first of many Apache touchdowns of the night! Easton Sanders found Landry Powell for the 2-pt conversion and the Apaches took the lead 8-0 at the 6:00 minute water break of the first quarter.
The Apaches kicked it DEEP!! That put the Trojans the length of the field away from the end zone. Senior Cade Herron made his presence felt with a big sack on 2nd down. That set up a quick Trojans punt with 3:31 left in the first.
Apaches’ offense came out and looked to get things going on this possession. A deep ball was rifled over the middle from Sanders to the Swiss Army knife, Garrett Brown for a gain of 45 yards. Apaches’ offense ended the first quarter up 8-0 looking to score from the red zone.
Not to be outdone, Powell ran up the middle behind Jackson Lott for a 2-yard TD run, and called his own number again, around the left end for the 2 point conversion. The Apaches widened their lead, 16-0 with 11:54 left in the half
Apaches kicked it deep again and that put the Trojans on their heels as the stifling Apache defense forced a third down and a cab ride that led to another quick Trojan punt with the blazing Apache offense set to take over in great field position from near mid field. If you’re paying attention, the massive pumping heart of Powell has been putting on a show, and folks, he blasted it up the gut 52 yards for his second score of the night. The 2 point try failed, but the lead was stretched even further, 22-0 Apaches with 10:30 left in the half.
Sanders forevermore booted a TOUCHBACK, his first of the year as he has drastically improved every week in the kicking game.
The Trojans down 3-scores early to a blazing Apache team needed some fireworks to try and stay relevant in the contest….and boy did they answer with an 80-yard touchdown on a screen pass. The Apaches’ defense thwarted the 2 point try. The score moved to 22-6 Apaches, with 9:47 left in the first half.
The Trojans had all the momentum as they forced the first Apache three and out of the game and received the ball after an Apache punt with 8:30 left in the first half.
The Apache defense stood tall when the heart, Powell blew the play up and made massive sack on 2nd down putting the Trojans in a 3rd down and Par 5 situation of 25 yards to gain. The Trojans had to punt to senior speedster Chase Sentell. With the coolest name in football, Sentell nearly ran the punt back for a touchdown but gave the offense great field position at the Trojan 26-yard line.
The Trojans’ defense proved to be a tough battle on this possession and forced Sanders to complete a 4th down pass to Sentell to keep the drive alive. Sanders called his own number and sneaked in for a 1 yard TD run after being set up by an 11-yard pass to none other than Powell. Two-point conversion was successful and the Apaches nearly put the game out of reach for the Trojans – 30-6 Apaches with 3:06 left in the half.
Sanders’ deep kick again pinned the Trojans inside their own 10-yard line. The Trojans however desperately needed a score before half and moved the ball well this drive across the 50 with 1:32 left in the half.
But Big G-Garrett Brown hollered like the gif lady telling the fire story…”NOT TODAY” and hammered the Trojans with a big sack on 1st down, for a loss of 15 yards.
The next play, I’m going to the big D and I don’t mean Dallas. Daivari Jackson sacked the Trojans QB for another loss of 15-yards. The crowd could hear the dump truck beeps backing the Trojans up 73 with a big sack on 2nd down. The Trojans shanked the punt, but none other than the big Brown took the rock and jammed it down the Trojans’ throats for a return of 15 yards.
In the ensuing offensive possession, Coach Thurman dialed up the Hiroshima Special as Sanders flicked his wrist 40 yards to Streak- Sentell for a touchdown with 15 seconds left in the half. Wooo wee it’s all Apaches, 36-6 at the half.
The second half proved to be more of the same, with the Apache defense not letting the Trojans do a single thing offensively. That possession also had Daivari Jackson blow the QB up for his second sack of the night.
Powell’s stellar night continued as he found space around the left side for a massive gain of 30 yards. Back-to-back 1st downs on passes from Sanders to Brown and Preston Frye set up, you guessed it, another touchdown run for Powell and the offensive again provided a massive hole for Powell to cruise for his 3rd touchdown of the night from 4 yards out. The score quickly jumped to 42-6 Apaches with 5:25 left in the 3rd.
Special Teams in the kick-off department proved to be a major part of this contest as the Apaches pinned the Trojans deep into their own territory from a great kick down in their own 13.
The Apache defense forced ANOTHER Trojan fumble at their own 8 yard line that the incredible Powell recovered. First and goal, Apaches.
The Trojan defense backed the Apaches up a bit but another precision pass from QB Sanders to Frye for a 13-yard touchdown extended the Apache lead. Sanders’ extra point kick sailed through the uprights, 49-6 Apaches with 4:11 left in the 3rd.
The Apaches’ defense ended the third quarter with a Trojan turnover on downs. The Apaches moved the ball with the running game but another costly turnover gave the Trojans possession.
With the underclassmen getting some great playoff experience, Sacred Heart ran for a 70-yard TD against the young Apache defense for the last score of the game. The Apaches called off the war party and sealed a dominant win, 49-12.
What a great win for our Apaches? The entire team played well. The defense was stifling as they forced multiple fumbles and multiple turnovers on downs.
Next week the challenge gets tougher as the Apaches will travel to Natchitoches to face the perennial powerhouse, St Mary’s in a second round slug fest of the LHSAA playoffs. Let’s pack the stands for our Apaches as we set sail on the voyage to the Dome!
IT’S A GREAT DAY TO BE AN APACHE!!