OKLAHOMA CITY - Suffering from the pains of a frustrating season, the Altus High Bulldogs got the aspirin they needed on Friday night. It came in the form of a 51-7 thumping of the Oklahoma City Southeast Spartans.
It was clearly the best performance of the season by the Bulldogs who dominated all phases of the game. Altus rolled up 448 yards in total offense while the defense held the Spartans to 94 yards rushing, 80 of which came on one play.
Before the contest, AHS Coach Chad Stone talked about the importance of getting off to a good start and it couldn’t have begun any better. The Bulldogs scored on their first two possessions.
The first was a 61 yard six play drive that was capped by a nine yard touchdown run by freshman running back Taven Birdow with 9:38 left in the first quarter. Michael Perez added the extra point and Altus led 7-0.
The second score was set up by a Diquon Woodhouse interception which was returned to the Southeast 22 yard line. Three plays later Woodhouse scored from four yards out.
Birdow scored two other times, once on a 14 yard run and the other on beautifully executed screen pass from quarterback Brantley Ford. It covered 36 yards.
Ford also threw a touchdown pass to tight end Nico Maldonado which was a 10 yard scoring play. Woodhouse added his second touchdown of the night on a 46 yard scamper.
The specials teams got into the act in when Southeast fumbled a punt. Carlos Pantoja scooped up the loose ball at the Spartans two yard line and ran it in for the score.
Perez also had a 21 yard field goal to round out the Altus scoring.
The lone Southeast score came a bizarre play in the first quarter. Zachary Guess took a hand off from quarterback Micah Hunter and circled right end but was quickly chased down by AHS linebacker Patrick Carnes. It appeared that Carnes tackled Guess, however the officials ruled that Guess rolled over on top of Carnes and never hit the ground. Naturally the other AHS defenders relaxed thinking the play was over. But Guess went on an 80 yard touchdown run.
“It was a strange play,” Stone said. “I don’t know if he was down or not, we’ll check it out on film. I talked to the guys about not stopping until the whistle blows, swarming to the football. Things that we talk about every day. That was a point in time that usually when we get a little bit of adversity, we let a team back into things. Right after that, we responded, we went down and scored again.”
At halftime the Bulldogs led 24-7, the same score at halftime of the Chickasha game three weeks ago and Altus hung on for a 27-21 win. Stone said he reminded the players of that.
“I told them we need to come out in the second half and put the pressure on,” Stone said. “Really go for the juggler if we could. We really turned it on in the second half.”
It was a big night for Woodhouse who finished with 174 yards rushing on 18 carries along with two touchdowns and an interception.
The Altus High defense had a big night recording ten tackles for losses.
Field position was a big advantage for the Bulldogs who’s average possession began at the Southeast 47 yard line. Perez played a big part in that as, all but one kickoffs ended up in the end zone forcing the Spartans to begin drives at their own 20.
“It is great to have a weapon (in Perez),” Stone said. “During our special teams practice yesterday (Thursday) he nailed a 71 yard free kick, Stone said. “That’s basically kicking off from our 30 yard line. He has one heck of a leg.”
Altus is now 2-5 on the season and 2-2 in district play. The Bulldogs will host Lawton MacArthur on Thursday in a 7:30 p.m. They will close out the regular season with a road trip to Ardmore and a home game against Oklahoma City Capitol Hill.
Game In Figures
How They Scored
Altus - Taven Birdow 9 run, Michael Perez kick, 9:38, 1st qtr., AHS, 7-0
Altus - Woodhouse 4 run, Perez kick, 8:24, 1st qtr., AHS, 14-0
SE - Zachary Guess 80 run, Deluna kick, 8:06, 1st qtr., AHS 14-7
Altus - Birdow 14 run, Perez kick, 5:11, 2nd qtr., AHS 21-7
Altus - Perez 21 yard field goal, 4:44, 2nd qtr., AHS 24-7
Altus - Carlos Pantoja 2 yard fumble return, Perez kick, 5:35 3rd qtr., AHS 31-7
Altus - Nico Maldonado 10 pass from Brantley Ford, Perez kick, 2:59 3rd qtr., AHS 38-7
Altus - Woodhouse 46 run, kick failed, 1:23, 3rd qtr., AHS 44-7
Altus - Birdow 36 pass from Ford, Perez kick, 10:48, 4th qtr. AHS 51-7
Ford 13-89; Woodhouse 18-174 2T^Ds; Birdow 12-64 2TDs; Stuart 3-(-3)
Ford 8-18-119 2TDs; Stuart 1-1-3
Woodhouse 2-40; Loving 3-21; Maldonado 3-25; Birdow 1-36
Perez 1-1 field goal 21 yards; 6-7 PATs
Deluna 1- (-3); Douglass 5-14; Kramer 1-0; Hunter 7- (-32), Guess 12-124 1TD; Williams 2- (-5)
Hunter 6-19-60; Deluna 1-1-2
Harrison 3-40; Kramer 3-22
Deluna 101 PAT