By JASON EPP
Leader & Times
TURPIN, Okla.-The season-long woes continued for Turpin as the ranked Okeene Whippets kept scoring and the Cardinals kept committing mistakes in a 55-12 rout.
“I thought we played harder tonight than we did last week,” Cardinals coach Justin Hannah said. “I was proud of our effort. I take my hat off to Okeene. They are an upper-classmen heavy team, they’ve got some really good football players and they’re well coached. We have to use that as a measuring stick. That’s where we want to be.”
Turpin struggled from the opening snap with ball security, dropping several short pitches, and overthrows.
“That’s frustrating,” Hanna added. “We rep it in practice all the time. We have to get rid of that kind of sloppy play.”
Okeene wasted little time scoring twice in the opening stanza, including a 36-yard touchdown on a quarterback keeper off of the option read.
A third TD on the first play of the second quarter made the score 21-0.
Turpin looked to grab some momentum when Matt Young busted a middle return to the outside and raced 86 yards for a touchdown on the ensuing kickoff.
The Cardinals defense then held the Whippets to a 3-and-out, and took over at their own 34.
But another unforced error put the Cardinals against the wall on their first play when the shotgun snap went over the head of Matt Young who recovered it at the 2-yard line.
Turpin was forced to punt on fourth, and Okeene returned the short punt out of the end zone to the Turpin 2, and scored on the next play to make the score 27-6, and firmly plant momentum back on the Whippets’ side.
But the toughest play for the Cardinals was still to come. After holding the Whippets short of a first down on their next possession, Okeene looked like they were going to have to make a tough decision on 4th -and 4 on their own 41. But Okeene was called for a holding penalty, which Turpin took to make it 3rd-and-14 from their own 31.
Okeene hit a screen pass and went 69 yards for the touchdown on the play.
Turpin did not give up the fight and after Young went 22 yards on a double reverse, the Cardinals found themselves in Whippet territory.
Jordan Lujan then hit Young on a wheel rout for a 34-yard touchdown with just six seconds left before half to make the score 34-12.
Turpin was held to just 89 yards of offense, and only three yards on the ground. The Cardinal passing game was 11-21 for 86 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions.
Turpin (0-5, 0-3) will host Texhoma Thursday.