By Dave Ruthenberg, Sports Editor
Enid News and Eagle
TULSA, Okla. —
Plainsmen quarterback Chance Pryor was picked off four times and Tulsa Union scored touchdowns on each of its first six possessions as the four-time defending 6A champion Redskins rolled to an easy 63-7 victory over Enid Friday night.
The win was Union’s 17th straight in the series against Enid as the Plainsmen (2-4, 0-3) suffered their fourth straight loss after opening the season with two wins.
“It’s hard to overcome turnovers against a good team,” said Enid head coach Steve Chard. “You, at least, like to make them earn their stuff they get. You give them a short field, then you’re asking for trouble and we gave them a short field a few times.
“That’s a good team out there. I don’t think it was a matter of no effort, but we didn’t play so well.”
Enid did not get on the scoreboard until the game was well in hand with Union up 56-0 when Sam Clemens recorded his first career touchdown reception, scoring on an 8-yard pass from Pryor with 31 seconds remaining in the third quarter to make it 56-7.
In addition to capitalizing on Enid’s turnovers, Union (4-2, 2-1) used a strong running attack, rolling up 445 yards rushing, while holding Enid to 101 total yards and only 13 on the ground with Enid stymied on offense as Union did whatever it pleased.
Redskins’ tailback Justin Silmon led the Union ground offensive with 137 yards on only 16 carries and four touchdowns, while fellow tailback Terrel Buchanan had three touchdowns.
Silmon opened the scoring with a 15-yard run after Union’s Marquis Fletcher picked off Pryor at Enid’s 30-yard line on Enid’s first possession and returned it to the EHS 15-yard line.
Silmon and the Redskins needed only one play to make it 7-0. Silmon then put Union up 14-0 on the Redskins’ next possession, scoring from 8 yards out to cap a 50-yard drive. Silmon recorded all 65 yards of offense on Union’s first two possessions.
Union made it 21-0 before the end of the first quarter when Redskins quarterback Hunter Atyia scored on a 48-yard run on a fake handoff. Union continued the onslaught after Chase Dahlquist intercepted Pryor on Enid’s next possession, driving 62 yards with Terrel Buchanan punching it in from 2 yards out. The Redskins would drive 90 yards on their next possession with Buchanan adding another touchdown, this time from 1-yard out to make it 35-0.
The Plainsmen were assessed a 15-yard penalty on the ensuing extra point try and Union, kicking off from Enid’s 45-yard line, and up 35-0, recovered an onside kick at Enid’s 28-yard line as Silmon recorded his third touchdown of the night to give Union a 42-0 lead.
“Everybody can judge that for themselves,” Chard said when asked about the onside kick with Union leading 35-0. “We’ve all been on both sides of that. That’s not the way I would handle it.”
Pryor was picked off for the third time late in the first half, and for the second time by Fletcher, but Union was unable to score, the only time in the first half they were held out of the end zone.
The Redskins outgained Enid 318-29 yards in the first half.
Union would up its lead to 56-0 in the third quarter on Silmon’s fourth touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run that capped a 90-yard drive and Buchanan recorded his third score on a 13-yard run on a 68-yard drive.
Enid’s lone scoring drive late in the third quarter featured a pair of Seth Handley receptions that covered 17 and 19 yards, with Alex Lofton on the receiving end of an 18 yard pass before Pryor found Clemens for Enid’s only touchdown on the night. It also was Enid’s only visit to the red zone.
Clemens was starting in place of junior Aaron Beagle, Enid’s leader in touchdown receptions with three this season. Beagle suffered a broken hand Wednesday during one-on-one drills. He likely will have a pin placed in his hand and his status is questionable for next week’s game against Ponca City.
Union added a final score when backup tailback Derek Finch scored on a 1-yard run with 5:30 left in the game to make it 63-7.
The Plainsmen return home Oct. 12 to face rival Ponca City.
“We need to remember we play Ponca City next week,” Chard said. “That’s a team that’s not Tulsa Union and we feel like we can compete well with them and it’s important for us to come back to work tomorrow and Monday and host Ponca City and hopefully get a win.”