By JASON EPP
• Daily Leader
A slow start had Turpin trying to play catch up all night, and Hennessey took advantage, defeating the Cardinals 32-14.
Grant Zelnicek cruised into the endzone to give Hennessey a two touchdown lead only five minutes into the game.
Turpin came into this game knowing they were in the playoffs, and there was not much opportunity to improve their playoff position. But they also knew that a win over a quality opponent like Hennessey would be a great boost to their confidence.
Early on the Cardinals spread the field but had trouble keeping pressure off of quarterback Konner Hood. Hennessey started quick, taking their opening possession 50 yards on seven plays, with Omar Fierro hitting Caleb Weaver in the right flat for the one-yard touchdown pass. Kyle Knoblock blocked the extra point to keep the score at 6-0. On Turpin's ensuing possession, Konner Hood appeared to have gotten a first down on a quarterback sneak, but was marked just short. The Cardinals were unable to convert when Keifer Hood was tackled for a loss on Turpin's 37-yard line.The Eagles quickly struck. Weaver hit Zelnicek on the first play to give Weaver his second touchdown pass with only five minutes of playing time gone.
The Cardinal defense did stop Hennessey's 2-point conversion to keep the score at 12-0.
The Cardinals were in scoring position when Konner Hood took off around the right side, moving 39 yards to the Hennessey 15. But two plays later an Eagle defensive lineman batted Konner Hood's pass and it was intercepted and returned to the 17. James Dorman returned the favor two plays later when he cut off a short route and intercepted the pass at the 26-yard line. Three plays later Konner Hood hit Keifer Hood on a 21-yard touchdown pass. The Rogelio Regalado extra point was good, and Turpin was back in the game at 12-7.
Hennessey had trouble fielding the kickoff and took possession deep in their own territory at the 12-yard line. But Hennessey had an answer going 88 yards on seven plays, with leading rusher Augie McCulley scoring on a 31-yard touchdown run. Ivan Moreno scored on the two-point conversion to make it 20-7.
The Cardinals were unable to move the ball and Hennessey took over after Turpin's punt in good field position, at their own 48-yard line. The Turpin defense made another great play when Calib Crist sack Weaver and caused a fumble that Kyle Knoblock took possession of on the Hennessey 27. But Turpin was unable to take advantage of the field position, and Regalado's 42-yard field goal attempt leaned just wide left.
Turpin was able to get the ball back with 1:56 left in the first half, and on the third play of the drive, Konner Hood, weaved his way on a beautiful run that ended with a 54-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-14 at the half.
Hennessey took control early in the second half going 70 yard on 11 plays, ending with McCulley running it in from the 6. Once again, the Turpin defense was able to stop the two-point conversion to keep the score at 26-14. Turpin's defense was able to make one more big play to give the offense a chance when Cole Wright recovered McCulley's fumble at the Hennessey 35. But Turpin was unable to convert a 4 and 3, and turned the ball over on downs at the 18.
Hennessey was able to ad a late touchdown when McCulley broke several tackles on his was to a 33-yard touchdown, his third rushing touchdown of the night to make the final score 32-14.
Konner Hood led Turpin in rushing with 13 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown. Keifer Hood caught 2 passes for 25 yards and a touchdown.
Chance Dye and Kade Goodwin led the Turpin defense with 11 tackles each.
Hennessey finishes the regular season 8-1 in district and 8-2 overall with their only loss in Class A being to two-time defending state champions and currently undefeated Okeene. The Cardinals finished the regular season at 6-3 in district and 7-3 overall. The Cardinals finished fourth in the district and will travel to 8-2 Christian Heritage Academy in Del City for their first round playoff game next Friday at 7:30. Christian Heritage has won eight in a row after starting the season 0-2 and is champion of district A-2.
Konner Hood goes high while another Turpin defender goes low on Hennessey’s Augie McCulley during the second half Friday night at Turpin. The Cardinals dropped the game 32-14 and will face Christian Heritage Academy in the first round of the Oklahoma Class A playoffs.
Daily Leader photo/