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Season Sealed at 6-5 for Aggie Football

Released by Panhandle Sports Information on 11/11/2018 Justine Gaskamp photo Justine Gaskamp photo

Langston, Okla.—Saturday’s Showdown between Panhandle State and Langston left the Aggies one win away from a conference title. The Lions outmanned the Aggies 33-9 to clinch the first ever Sooner Athletic Conference Championship and maintain possession of the traveling brass bell trophy until the two teams meet again.

In their most frugal offensive effort of the year, the Aggies netted a meager 171yards and were allowed zero offensive touchdowns by the Lions. Panhandle posted 102 yards passing, the fewest fielded all season, and acquired just 69 yards on the ground. Langston amassed 548 yards of total offense, with 187 rushing and 361 passing.

Freshman kicker Eduardo Villarreal opened scoring with a 22-yard field goal at the end of the first quarter, giving the Aggies their first and only lead of the game. Langston answered with an 80-yard touchdown reception on their ensuing possession to take a four-point edge going into the second quarter (7-3). The Lions would tack on another six points before halftime, missing the point after touchdown on the 66-yard, two-play scoring drive (13-3).

The third quarter got off to a rough start for the Aggies as a forced fumble on their first play was recovered by the Lions in Aggie territory. Langston took two plays to score their third TD of the day and go up 20-3 with 14:04 left in the third quarter. Freshman Kyzen Hudson took the kickoff return 36 yards, setting up first-year QB Martez Vrana with nice field position. Vrana carried the Aggies to the Langston 20 yard line, but an interception in the end-zone haulted hopes for a second-half comeback.

The Darkside Defense did their best to dilute the damage. Diamante Pounds pulled away his first fumble midway through the third quarter, holding Langston deep on their own end of the field. On Langston’s next drive d-lineman Justin Slaughter stripped another Lion ball which was recovered by Pounds and taken 20 yards for an Aggie touchdown (20-9). Without much rest, Panhandle’s defense took the field and Langston’s offense took advantage of the exhausted unit. The Lions worked 11 plays into a 75-yard scoring drive that pulled the Lions into a 26-9 lead going into the fourth quarter. The Aggies suffered one lost fumble and two turnovers on downs in the fourth quarter, while the Lions found one more opportunity to put points on the board and walk away with a win (33-9).

Vrana finished the game with 111 all-purpose yards, going 14-29 in passing for 102 yards; he had nine yards on the ground. Sophomore George Dominguez led the running backs with 35 yards rushing and senior Nick West came down with four receptions for 50 yards receiving. For Langston, quarterback Jaylen Lowe totaled 361 yards passing, completing 20 of 31 attempts. Lowe also led the Lions’ rushing efforts, netting 131 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries. Receiver Cameron Booty totaled 144 yards on seven receptions for one TD in the game. Defensively, the Aggies were led by D’Darrin Primes and Charoy Joseph with seven tackles each; Primes also had one tackle for loss and Joseph was credited with two pass breakups. Braden Price had the only sack for Panhandle and totaled six tackles along with senior Jawan Purifoy who also slated six tackles in the game.

Head Coach Russell Gaskamp gave credit to both his team and their opponents stating, “Going into the year our main goal was to give ourselves a chance, implying to get to the Langston game with a chance to win the league. Langston has a good football team. We wish them the best of luck in the playoffs.” Gaskamp added, “On our best day I believe Langston and us are a very close game, but we definitely did not play our best against them on Saturday. The youth of our football team along with the countless injuries finally caught up to us. You hate to send your seniors off like that, but I believe it will be a learning experience and motivating tool for the off-season going forward.”

The Aggies ended the season with a 6-2 record in the SAC to sit second in the conference standings. A full post-season recount will be released in the coming week. Congratulations to Panhandle State Football on a winning season and their success within the Sooner Athletic Conference.