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With 22-21 win against Vinita, Sequoyah-Claremore assured of a first-round home playoff game

Eagles turn away late two-point conversion attempt by the Hornets
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By Ty Loftis 

CLAREMORE - In a game that saw more turnovers than touchdowns, Sequoyah-Claremore defeated Vinita, 22-21.

As a result of the win, the Eagles will get to host a first-round playoff game in two weeks.

“It might not have been pretty at times, but we got the job done,” Sequoyah coach Rob Gilbreath said. “This was a big win against a good team, and it will hopefully put us in a better spot in a few weeks.”

Heading into the fourth quarter, the Eagles led Vinita, 16-15, and were looking for more.

On a fourth-and-3 play from the Vinita 27, sophomore quarterback Landon Gilbreath called his own number and picked up 5 yards. On the next play, he heaved a pass to the end zone, which was caught by Caleb Harwell.

After a bad snap on the extra point attempt, Sequoyah led 22-15.

“That was a big drive for us,” Rob Gilbreath said. “We seemed to be a bit out of sorts all night, but we really put a drive together there when we needed one most.”

His son, Landon, was responsible for the touchdown on that drive and the other two as well. 

“We all knew what was on the line in this game,” Landon Gilbreath said. “I didn’t play my best, but that is something I will learn from.

"Thankfully, my teammates were there to pick me up and get the win.”

Following the Sequoyah touchdown to go up by seven, Vinita was stopped short on a fourth down near midfield. On the next play, the Hornets got the ball right back thanks to a Sequoyah fumble.

With seven minutes left, Vinita decided to punt it on a fourth-and-10 play. Following a Gilbreath interception, the Hornets were once again in business at the Sequoyah 40 with four minutes to go.

After a 39-yard pass to DJ Ramsey, Ransom Williams ran it in from a yard out to trim the lead to a point with 3:12 to go. Vinita opted to go for two, but the pass fell incomplete.

The Eagles received a pooch kick around their own 30 and was able to drain the remaining time off the clock.

Vinita started the game with an 8-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The Hornets only had to drive 37 yards after stopping Sequoyah on fourth down.

It was Williams from 2 yards out who gave Vinita the lead.

After driving into the red zone on the ensuing drive, the Eagles settled for a 32-yard field goal from Dylan Piguet.

Early in the second quarter, the Hornets fumbled the ball at their own 12, and Sequoyah was more than willing to take advantage. Gilbreath found Harwell for an 8-yard touchdown catch, giving the Eagles a 9-8 lead.

“We had some guys who really stepped up (Friday),” Rob Gilbreath said. “Both on offense and defense. We made big plays at big moments in the game.”

Vinita responded quickly to retake the lead. A 45-yard run by senior quarterback Paul Glasscock put the Hornets in great position, and his quarterback keeper from a yard out gave the Hornets a 15-9 edge going into halftime.

Sequoyah received to start the second half and the Eagle offense took advantage, driving 53 yards on eight plays and capping things off with a 13-yard touchdown pass to Karson Bickel. The extra point gave the Eagles the 16-15 lead going into the fourth quarter.

Sequoyah-Claremore, sitting at 8-1 on the season, finishes the year at Caney Valley and Vinita, now 7-2, finishes the year with a home game against Salina.