The Charles Page High School varsity football team ended their season Friday with a 48-21 rout at No. 5 Booker T. Washington. Though their 3-7 record is their worst since 2011, and they snapped a six-year playoff streak, the team arguably wasn’t any worse than they have been in recent successful years.
The talent was there. The defense was killer, the O-line was stout, the special teams impressed on both returns and return coverage. The receiving unit was indisputably better than last season and senior quarterback Caden Pennington developed into a remarkable double-threat with fourteen touchdowns by air and thirteen on the ground.
Somehow, things just didn’t shake out.
More important than the scores and the records was the demonstration of just what exactly a Sandite is. When Head Coach Dustin Kinard was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, the entire community has rallied and is still rallying in support.
The second-longest tenured coach in Sand Springs history, Kinard has led the Sandites to a 63-67 record in twelve seasons with seven playoff appearances, three semifinal appearances, and one State Finals appearance.
The Sandites have held a prayer rally and numerous fundraisers to show their appreciation for his leadership. Colton’s Steak House and Rib Crib both made large donations, as did the Church That Matters Tailgate Team and the Sand Springs Rotary Club.
8/31/2018 Mansfield Summit 41 Sand Springs 28
The Sandites lost their season-opener to Mansfield Summit High School (5-4) in a Border Brawl match-up that pitted five Frontier Valley Conference teams against five Mansfield schools. They will travel to Texas next year.
While three of the Sandites’ losses were blown leads, this one was a Jaguar rout with a solid comeback attempt by the Oklahomans. A Texas State-committed quarterback led the Texans to a 34-7 first half advantage and 41-14 lead before the Sandites rallied with a 21-7 second half.
Game Leaders: Caden Pennington 14-20-196-0, 2TD passing. Jacob Snodgrass 7-109, 2TD receiving. Joel Mackey 15-97, 2TD rushing. Jaden Weiser 4/4 PAT. Mackey 2-59 kick return. Hayden Cramer 14 tackles, Brooks Dudley 1 interception.
9/6/2018 Sand Springs 45-24 Putnam City
The season looked promising when the Sandites routed Putnam City (0-10), but the win was watered down when the Pirates failed to win a game all season. Sand Springs led by as much as 35 points before sending in the backups.
Game Leaders: Pennington 9-15-169-0, 3TD passing. Daren Hawkins 3-43, 2TD receiving. Mackey 13-150, 1TD rushing. Weiser 5/6 PAT. McCallie 1-17 kick return. Cramer 8 tackles, 1 forced fumble. Brycen Peterman 3 tackles for loss, 1 fumble recovery.
9/14/2018 Greenwood 49 Sand Springs 13
The Sandites continued their recent tradition of scheduling an out-of-state powerhouse, traveling to the defending 6A State Champs from Greenwood, Arkansas (9-1). The Bulldogs took a 42-0 lead before sending in the backups.
Game Leaders: Pennington 15-95, 1TD rushing. Cramer 8 tackles.
9/21/2018 Shawnee 23, Sand Springs 20, OT
The loss to Greenwood was expected, the loss to Mansfield was unfortunate, but the Sandites didn’t really start hurting till their loss to Shawnee (2-8). Sand Springs was the better team than Shawnee this season, indisputably. Better offense, better defense, tougher schedule.
Mackey started hot with an eighty-yard TD run on the first play of the game, but things went downhill from there. A constant drizzle severely hindered Pennington’s pass game. The Sandites gave up a fumble that resulted in a touchdown, a red zone turnover on downs, and a fruitless red zone penetration that ended with the half. Both of their first half PATs failed.
The Sandites had their third failed red zone penetration late in the fourth quarter with an interception. In overtime Pennington had a wide open lane on fourth down, but slipped on the waterlogged turf to seal their fate. A Shawnee field goal secured the upset.
Game Leaders: Mackey 30-251, 1TD rushing. Cramer 13 tackles. Kaden Glass 1 fumble recovery.
9/28/2018 Muskogee 45 Sand Springs 27
Another blown lead for the Sandites, leading 27-24 to start the fourth quarter, and suffering a 21-0 fourth quarter shutout.
Game Leaders: Hawkins 1-60, 1TD receiving. Mackey 15-100, 1TD rushing. Weiser 3/3 PAT. Cramer 19 tackles.
10/5/2018 Bartlesville 29 Sand Springs 27
For the third-straight week, a blown fourth quarter lead. Up 20-16 to start the final stanza, and 27-23 with only 3:29 left, the Sandites gave up an eleven-play 88-yard touchdown drive. Pennington got the Sandites to midfield with five seconds left, but threw an interception to seal the upset.
Game Leaders: Pennington 6-13-138-1, 3TD passing. Hawkins 4-90, 2TD receiving. Pennington 13-95 rushing. Weiser 3/3 PAT. Snodgrass 3-43 kick return. Cramer 12 tackles, 1 sack. Luke Bratcher 10 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble.
10/12/2018 Sand Springs 35 Ponca City 14
The Sandites secured their first district win when they hosted Ponca City (0-10). The game could easily have been a 35-0 shutout but defensive indifference took hold and the Wildcats scored with 21 seconds left in the half and 13 seconds left in the game.
Game Leaders: Pennington 14-22-165-1, 2TD passing. Snodgrass 5-51, 1TD receiving. Pennington 8-64, 2TD rushing. Weiser 5/5 PAT. Cramer 9 tackles, 3 for loss.
10/18/2018 Bixby 35 Sand Springs 0
The loss to Bixby was expected. The Spartans (9-1) own the best defense in 6A-II and notched three shutouts this season, including the third highest-scoring offense in the state from Sapulpa.
Game Leaders: Colton Roberts 3-64 receiving. Justis Myers 5 tackles, 1 sack. Jerret Haley 4 tackles, 3 breakups. Mackey blocked kick.
10/26/2018 Sand Springs 48 Sapulpa 34
Pennington played the game of his life for an upset of the Sandites arch-rivals from Sapulpa (7-3) with seven touchdowns. His six rushing scores were the second-most scored in a single game in school history.
This game showed the Sandites’ true potential, and the “what could have been” for the season. Sapulpa beat Bartlesville and Shawnee, and Sand Springs easily handled their Highway 97 counterparts.
Game Leaders: Pennington 8-9-123-0, 1TD. Hawkins 5-77 receiving. Pennington 28-212, 6TD rushing. Weiser 6/6 PAT. Cramer 8 tackles. Cameron Smith fumble recovery.
11/2/2018 Booker T. Washington 48 Sand Springs 21
Spurred on by their prior week’s success, the Sandites made a valiant effort against the defending State Champions (7-3) but couldn’t overcome an 0-20 start.
Game Leaders: Pennington 8-13-89-0, 2TD passing. Hawkins 7-78, 1TD receiving. Pennington 22-68, 1TD rushing. Weiser 3/3 PAT. Aaron King 5-94 kick return. Cramer 16 tackles, 3 for loss.