CUSHING — The Bearkats couldn’t stop a fierce Big Sandy rushing attack, and drop their season finale, 33-0, at J.F Whitaker Stadium on Friday.
With the loss, Cushing (1-9, 0-5 dist.) claimed the last spot in the district standings and fail to make the playoffs after securing a spot during the 2018 season. Big Sandy (3-7, 2-3 dist.) squeak into the final playoff spot with the win, joining Alto (10-0, 5-0 dist.), Carlisle (7-3, 4-1 dist.) and Hawkins (3-7, 3-2 dist.) as representatives from District 10-2A DI.
The bulk of Big Sandy’s success came from misdirection run plays. In the third play of the game, Wildcat Cain Martinez broke free and ran down the middle of the field for 39 yards and into the endzone for the first touchdown of the game.
After a successful PAT attempt, the Wildcats recovered an onside kick on the far end of the stadium and scored six plays later.
Things went from bad to worse for the Bearkats, as on their first offensive play of the game, Thomas Wallace fumbled on a run up the middle. Four plays later, the Wildcats scored their third touchdown of the quarter.
Cushing turned the ball over four times — three fumbles and one interception.
“It’s hard to win games with as many turnovers that we had, not just in this game, but in a lot of games this year,” said Cushing head coach Josh Moore. “That’s something in the offseason that we’re going to address and clean up and move forward.”
The Wildcats ground tandem consisted of seven runners who totaled 262 yards on the night. The bulk of those yards came from Kedron Brown, Dakarai Menefee and Martinez, who totaled 75, 83 and 61 yards, respectively. Martinez and Menefee scored two touchdowns apiece, while Brown tallied one.
Reid Allen led the Bearkats with 71 yards on the ground, followed closely by quarterback Asa Dawson, who tallied 53 yards — 45 of those coming off of a 45-yard quarterback-designed run when he broke free and sprinted down the sideline before being brought down by the Wildcats’ last line of defense.
Dawson also contributed to a big play through the air after finding Camron Murphy for a 34-yard pass play. The catch was the only completion in the game for the Bearkats.
The end of the game marked the final time eight Bearkats — Tristan Carney, Thadd Turner, Caleb Procell, Cade Duncan, Maverick Jackson, Murphy, Allen and Wallace — will wear the Bearkat purple and white on the gridiron.
“It’s going to be hard to replace guys like Wallace, Allen and Turner and Murphy. They’ve been a big part, not only this year, but also last year with breaking the playoff streak and everything. Those are big contributors to the last two years that I know of,” Moore said. “I’m proud for them and disappointed that the season didn’t turn out better for those guys.”