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By Steve Turrentine
A hard fought battle was had at Wampus Cat Stadium Friday night October 9th as Atoka played district front runner Eufaula.
The game began with Atoka kicking off to the Iron Heads who returned it to their own 43 yard line. Eufaula kept it on the ground for the entire series before taking it in for a five yard touchdown run.
After missing their extra point attempt the score was 6-0. With an Atoka penalty being assessed on the kickoff, Eufaula took advantage with an onside kick which they recovered. This gave their offense the ball back on the Atoka 34 yard line.
The powerful Eufaula offense made good with another rushing touchdown from the 3 yard line. Again missing their 2 point conversion the Eufaula led Atoka 12-0 midway through the first quarter.
Atoka took over on offense for the first time and fought hard to gain yards but ultimately punted the ball away. The Iron Heads took the ball over as the quarter ended and went to the air in the second quarter to position themselves for a seven yard rushing touchdown, bringing their lead to 19-0 with the extra point good.
On the ensuing kickoff, Atoka returned the ball all the way back to the Eufaula 16 yard line.
The Eufaula defense answered with an interception back to the Atoka 43 yard line. Again the Iron Head offense stuck to the ground and scored bringing their lead to 25-0 over the Cats.
After the kickoff, Atoka took the ball over and immediately struck with a 42 yard pass from Tyson Barrett to Tarrin Snow leaving the ball on the Eufaula 21 yard line. A few plays later Tyson connects with Kollin Ritchie for a three yard touchdown pass. After a missed extra point attempt Atoka closed the lead to 25-6.
Atoka then attempted an onside kick which Eufaula returned for a touchdown with just under two minutes left in the half. Another missed extra point left the score 31-6 in favor of Eufaula. With very little time in the first half Atoka took the ball over on their own 34 yard line. The Wampus Cats took to the air as they drove the ball to the Eufaula 23 yard line.
Quarterback Tyson Barrett connected with wide receiver Kollin Ritchie for a touchdown with just seconds left in the half. Will McCall rushed into the endzone for the two point conversion leaving the half time score 31-14 after an exciting 2nd quarter.
The Wampus Cats received the kickoff in the 3rd quarter and started with the ball on the 35 yard line.
In this series, Eufaula managed another interception and took over on the Wampus Cat nine yard line.
Atoka’s defense stood powerful, forcing Eufaula to punt the ball from their own 18 yard line to the Atoka 37. After an Atoka fumble Eufaula again took the ball over on their own 28 yard line. After another amazing defensive stand the Iron Heads were forced to punt giving the Wampus Cats great field position on their own 47 yard line.
Then senior running back, Trent Yarbrough, took it 50 yards to the Eufaula six yard line. On the next play Yarbrough finished the job with a six yard touchdown run. After a Michael Sheffield extra point, Atoka closed the lead again to 31-21 which would be the score at the end of three quarters.
Eufaula again had the ball going into the 4th quarter and was able to score in their first possession of that quarter. Making the extra point brought them to a 38-21 lead.
The Atoka offense struck fast when regaining possession, when quarterback Tyson Barrett found wide receiver Kollin Ritchie again for a huge 65 yard bomb.
Atoka scored from the three yard line when Yarbrough took a pitch in from the three yard line. Sheffield again made good on the extra point attempt, closing the gap to 38-28. Eufaula managed one more touchdown in the fourth quarter making the final score 44-28.
This brings Atoka’s overall record to 4-2 and their district record to 2-1.
This week Atoka will play Hartshorne at home on Thursday night, October 15th at 7:00 p.m.