By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief
It's been a tremendous season for the Sandites. While they're technically 5-4, on the field they're 7-2, not even including the Guthrie game that we were leading 18-7 when it was called off due to lightning. Two of our losses come from forfeitures (due to an ineligible player) that were actually wins of 61-8 and 33-7. So while the books say otherwise--we all know that realistically Sand Springs is 8-2, which (were it official) would make it our best record since 1997.
Not to mention we beat Booker T in total yardage of 232-217 and we're the only team to score first on them all season. We're also one of only two teams to lead them at any point all season. We also dealt Bixby their first shut out in seven years.
So who are the incredible players that have made all this impossible?
The following stats include both forfeitures and the Guthrie game. Whether officially recognized or not, they did happen.
Sand Springs has tried out three kickers at this spot but it seems like junior Kasey Bales is the one who stuck. Bales has kicked off 18 times this season, averaging 39.3 yards. He's had 1 touchback, 4 inside the 20, and 5 that were 50+.
Senior Jacob Fortune has done the brunt of the kicking this season, but hasn't appeared in the last two games. He sits at 23 kicks for an average of 47.8. He's had 1 touchback, 8 inside the 20, and 14 that were 50+.
Cade Loomen hasn't been seen since week 4, but in that time kicked off 17 times for an average of 52.18 with 2 touchbacks, 2 inside the 20, and 14 that were 50+.
Bales is the primary Sandite punter this season, and has 23 punts for an average of 25 yards. His long is 57 against Bixby. He has 3 touchbacks, 4 in the 20, and 3 that were 50+
Fortune kicked one punt against Hale for 45 yards..
PATs and Field Goals
Bales leads the team in total PATS, connecting for 25 of 29. He's kicked the only two field goals of the season, one from 29 yards and one from 36 yards. He also nailed a season-best 38-yard goal against Booker T, but it was negated due to an illegal procedure. Sand Springs had only 10 men on the field.
Loomen is a perfect 7-for-7 on PATs.
Senior Trace Fleischman is the leader with 6 returns for 212 yards. He averages 35 and has longs of 57 against both Guthrie and Muskogee.
Bales is close behind with 9 returns for 193 yards and a best of 31 against Bartlesville.
Senior Parker Taylor leads on punt returns with 4 for 128 and a long of 62 against Hale for a touchdown.
Sophomore Bryson Denton has 1 return against Hale for 40 yards and a touchdown.
Bales has 1 return for 3 yards.
#3 Sand Springs (5-4, 5-2) will enter the playoffs for the fourth-consecutive season tonight at #8 Stillwater (5-5, 3-3) and is the favorite to win.