• Wendy Smith

Stigler explodes past Seminole

The Stigler Panthers are making a name for themselves this season winning four games in a row. The boys of red and white remain undefeated after exploding past the Seminole Chieftains on Friday, Sept. 25 at Panther Stadium. The 35-6 victory pushed the Panthers 4-0 and they couldn't be happier!

"It was a great district win," said head football coach Chris Risenhoover. "Seminole played hard and are well-coached with great athletes. So winning in the fashion that we did says a lot about our football team."

The Panthers took its first lead of the night when senior quarterback Zane Oldham connected with Grayson Gilmore for a 42-yard touchdown pass with 2:12 remaining in the first quarter. Enrique Juarez capped it off with a PAT to put the Panthers on the board 7-0.

"We started off a little slow not having school threw us off but we finally got into the grove of things and took care of business on both sides of the ball," said senior football captain Lakin Bass. "It was a great game defensively and we are looking to step our game offensively even more against Checotah."

Midway through the second, Darren Manes was at the right place, right time, and took advantage of the Chieftains loose ball. It was Panthers ball at the Chieftains 25-yard line. The Panthers only needed a handful of plays before Oldham threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Lakin Bass. The extra point was up and it was good.

If that wasn't exciting enough, Bass lit up the scoreboard again with back-to-back touchdowns minutes later with another 15-yard catch from Manes. Then the senior stud snagged his fourth interception this season, to close down the first half at 20-0.

"Seminole is a really solid team that was not afraid to push back," said senior football captain Ridge McClary. "I was really proud of how we didn't let up and finished the game strong as a team."

In the third quarter, Manes connected with Bass on a 12-yard TD pass to give Stigler a 26-0 lead with 3:02 remaining. Then the senior quarterback scampered into the end zone for a 2-point conversion. BOOM! 28-0.

The Chieftains managed to get on the board on the ensuing drive. The fourth-quarter burst took the visiting team 18 plays to cross the end zone.

In the final stretch, Oldham scored his first touchdown of the season. The 63-yard drive started with Gilmore moving the chains to the 42. Two plays later, Oldham rushed to the 48 and on the next snap hit Gilmore for a 14-yard catch. Two snaps later, Ridge McClary took the line to the five. Then Oldham took it to the house.

Senior Lakin was the star of the night. He led the offense with 50 receiving yards, 3 touchdowns, 1 interception, and 8 tackles. Grayson Gilmore also had an exceptional night. He ended the district contest with 4 rushing yards, 149 receiving yards, 1 TD, and 6 tackles.

The Panthers closed the game with 217 yards in the air, 155 yards on the ground, and 88 tackles. Senior Bruce Engle III led the pack with 16 tackles. Martin Hare followed with 15.

"They came out on fire and played really hard and really fast but our execution was a lot better than theirs and we took care of business," said senior quarterback Zane Oldham. "Checotah is going to be a tough game because of their athleticism in their backfield and their defense being solid, but we're very prepared, and they're not going to be able to match our physicality and execution."

Up next, the Stigler Panthers (4-0) will travel to Checotah to battle the Wildcats (2-2) on Friday, Oct. 2. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.

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