Sand Springs takes down Sapulpa 20-14 in Highway 97 Rivalry alumni game

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

The Sand Springs Sandites have claimed the lead in the Highway 97 Rivalry Alumni series. The third annual alumni football game was held Saturday night at Charles Page High School Memorial Stadium in Sand Springs and the home team won it for the second year in a row.

Sandite quarterback Cody Hale returned to the turf for the first time since graduating in 2014. The Seminole State pitcher had a hard time connecting with his receivers, but managed a beautiful 21-yard touchdown pass to Cody Hilderbrandt to get Sand Springs on the board moments before the end of the first half.

The Hale-Hilderbrandt combo is a duo Sand Springs will remember for years to come as Hale holds the single-season passing touchdown record for Sand Springs and Hilderbrandt holds the single-season receiving touchdown record for Sand Springs.

Sapulpa was first to draw blood with an eighteen-yard touchdown pass by J.R. Romine. Romine had a huge impact on Sapulpa’s 2014 victory and was unable to participate in last year’s 35-0 shutout by the Sandites.

Sapulpa maintained their 7-0 lead right up until the final seconds of the first half when Hale found Hilderbrandt in the back corner of the endzone with 1.4 seconds remaining. A quick hand-off to Znick Ferrell for a two-point conversion gave Sand Springs the lead at half time.

It didn’t take long for the Sandites to find the end-zone again in the second half.

Sapulpa got the ball to start the half, but a tackle for loss by Travis Tanner pushed them back two yards, followed by a false start and an incomplete pass. At third and seventeen Tanner, Pedro Negron, and Austin Perry combined to sack Romine and force a punt.

Terrance Dixon, a three-year starter for Northeastern State University, picked up thirteen yards, Ferrell grabbed seventeen, and Hale sent a pass to Michael Brown to park the Sandite Offense at the five yard line. After two failed attempts, the Sandites finally scored on a hand-off to the Class of 2015’s Davey Thayer. A conversion attempt was unsuccessful, but the Sandites led 14-7.

Sapulpa didn’t take long to retaliate with a 1-yard run from Jason Broom to tie things up, but Sand Springs reclaimed the lead with 17 seconds left as Ferrell punched in a 1-yard touchdown. A conversion pass attempt to Negron fell flat, but it wouldn’t matter.

On the first play of Sapulpa’s corresponding drive, Romine threw an interception into the waiting arms of Ryan Freeman with 4.5 seconds left to put the game away for the Sandites.

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Sand Springs:
Davey Thayer (2015)
Lane Freeman (2011)
Znick Ferrell (2009)
Travis Millikin (2014)
Ryan Umbarger (2009)
Cody Hale (2014)
Terrance Dixon (2010)
Keith Hooks (1999)
Ben Riggs (2007)
Justin Caywood
Matt Bettinger (2009)
Nathan Spencer (2009)
Mitchell Brown (2003)
Ryan Freeman (2008)
Michael Brown
Marc Brown (1999)
Keyandre Rose
Austin Ryan (2007)
Pedro Negron (1999)
Shay Kelley (2008)
Kyron Hill (2006)
Rodney Zickefoose
Deandre Smith
Luke Davis (2007)
Austin Perry (2009)
Matt Tucker (2006)
Kenny Tucker
Heath Sutherland (1998)
Levi Wilson (2012)
Kyle Riggs (2008)
Danae Wilson (2007)
Bryan Benton
Travis Tanner (1994)
Cody Hilderbrandt (2013)
Nick Millikin (2011)
Gabe Chronister

Paul Littlebear (2011)
Darien Inks (2013)
Michael Cashon (2006)
Cory Mondier (2014)
Tommy Murray (2012)
JR Romine (1998)
Caleb Meacham (2002)
Rob Gowdy (2012)
Lance Simmers (2011)
Jason Broom (1998)
Travis Munger (2011)
Josh Littlebear (2012)
Josh Hardee (2005)
Corbin Steeples (2013)
Sean Proctor (2005)
Julian Roland (2014)
Kiah Smith (1998)
John Tinsley (1999)
Brandon Hardee (2013)
Randall Hardee (2004)
Keiron Peacock (1988)
Zac Williams (1999)
Mike Taylor (2002)
Mark Wheaton (1999)
Chris Playford (1998)
Cliff Owens (2005)
Yancey Phillips (2007)
Casey Smith (2002) 
JT Rains (2014)
Trevor Toliver (2011)
John Blackburn (1998)