Goldbugs beat Kingston to advance in playoffs


November 19, 2023

A cursory glance at the stats might convince you the Alva Goldbug win over previously undefeated Kingston was all due to Lantz Mathers. The junior running back scored all four Goldbug touchdowns and had 250 yards rushing in the game. But he’d be the first to tell you it was a team effort that even had the quarterback blocking for him on a TD.

It was a long drive to Kingston, but it felt much shorter coming home with a 28-23 victory. The Alva team will continue to the quarterfinals of Class 2A football after handing the Kingston Redskins their only defeat this year. At this level, games will be played on neutral fields. The Goldbugs will be traveling to Kingfisher on Friday where they’ll take on the Kiefer Trojans in an afternoon game. Kickoff is at 1 p.m. Kiefer earned their berth in the quarterfinals by defeating Sequoyah-Tahlequah 64-28 Friday.

The only downside to Friday’s game is that sophomore Chuck Shafer suffered a knee injury. Shafer has owned the center position since the beginning of the season. Tristan Vickers had to replace him during the second quarter.

The Redskins scored first in the game, but Alva tied the score at 7-7 by the end of the first quarter. The Goldbugs added another touchdown in the second to lead 14-7 at halftime. Kingston tied the score at 14 all in the third quarter. The game was decided in the fourth quarter as Alva scored two more touchdowns while the Redskins only managed a touchdown and a field goal.

First Quarter

Alva took first possession of the ball but lost it on the first play with a fumble. The Redskins didn’t fare much better as Goldbug Kash Shipley picked off a pass on their third down.

The Goldbugs made it to the 25 yard line, but Kingston held them off. Taking over at the 25, quarterback Reid Patterson ran for five yards. He handed off to Parks Ratzlaff who gained four more. At the Redskin 34, Ratzlaff took a direct snap of the ball and carried it 66 yards for a touchdown. The extra point kick by Jamie Lewis was good, and Kingston led 7-0.

Alva answered on their next possession. Quarterback Camron Gaisford made passes to Daylon Malone and Aiden Kimberlin along with handoffs to Mathers to move the ball from Alva’s 26-yard line to the Kingston 29. Gaisford handed the ball to Mathers who pushed through for the touchdown. The extra point kick by Shipley was good, and the score was tied at 7-7.

Kingston had moved the football to Alva’s 15-yard line as the quarter ended.

Second Quarter

As the Redskins were knocking on Alva’s door, a snap was fumbled and Goldbug Xander Miller recovered it.

On their next possession, Alva’s progress was set back by a holding penalty. A couple of plays later Kingston was called for pass interference, giving the Goldbugs a first down. The Goldbugs steadily moved the ball, mainly on carries by Mathers. At the Kingston seven-yard line, the Goldbugs were moved back by a false start penalty. Mathers gained two yards, and Gaisford added six on a quarterback option. As the Goldbugs set up on the Kingston four-yard line, an injury timeout was called because Shafer was down. Vickers came in, Gaisford gave the ball to Mathers who shoved through for the touchdown. Shipley’s kick was good, and Alva led 14-7.

Kingston had the ball for four plays but had to punt.

The Goldbugs progressed from their 28 to the Kingston 35 where Redskin Cash Walker knocked away a pass. With less than a minute left in the half, Alva called a timeout. Then Kingston called a timeout. Gaisford passed to Malone who passed to Hunter Pfleider but Kingston picked it off.

With 36 seconds on the clock, Kingston had the ball on their two-yard line. They managed two plays before time ran out. The Goldbugs went into halftime with a 14-7 lead.

Third Quarter

Shipley’s kickoff went deep, but Logan Stevens found open space to run the ball back to the Alva 34 before Shipley took him down. The Redskins made steady progress until they were three yards from the end zone. Patterson ran the ball in for the touchdown. A late flag signaled a facemask call on the Redskins, but the touchdown stood. The penalty was assessed on the kickoff later. Lewis kicked the extra point, and the score was tied at 14.

Alva made little progress on their next possession and had to punt.

Kingston made it to the Alva 36 where Patterson was sacked with several Goldbugs piling on. Lewis had to punt.

With just under two minutes in the quarter, Alva took over. The Goldbugs were set back by a penalty. Then on the third down, Gaisford was looking for a receiver when protection broke down and he was sacked. The quarter ended with the 14-14 tie.

Fourth Quarter

Alva had to punt as the final period opened. Kingston worked the ball from their 44 to the Alva five yard line where Patterson was brought down for a loss on a third and one. The Goldbugs were prepared for trick plays after a faked punt earlier, but the Redskins went for a field goal. Lewis put the ball through the uprights, and Kingston led 17-14.

Alva was cited for unsportsmanlike conduct post possession which moved the kickoff position forward. Lewis went for a short onside kick, but Goldbug Jantz Heaton was ready to get it.

At the Alva 35, Gaisford gave the ball to Mathers for two gains of two yards. A reverse pass connected with Kimberlin who ran 11 yards for the first down and more. At mid-field, Mathers found some room up the middle and sprinted all the way to the goal. Shipley’s kick was good, and Alva led 21-17.

Kingston made some progress on their next possession, but Patterson was sacked at the Redskin 43. On the next play, Patterson lost his grip on the ball, and Alva recovered.

Now at the Redskin 36, Gaisford handed off to Mathers who charged down the field for the touchdown. The extra point kick by Shipley was good, and Alva took a 28-17 lead.

The Redskins weren’t giving up although time was running out. Taking over at their 39, they moved to Alva’s four yard line. Patterson ran the ball to within a yard of the goal. Following an Alva timeout, Patterson gave the ball to Delton Osteen who ran in for the touchdown. The two-point conversion failed, and Alva retained the lead at 28-23.

With less than two minutes on the clock, Alva used up as much time as possible, making it to the Kingston 25 when the game ended.

Other Scores

In other Class 2A football playoffs, Millwood beat Purcell 38 to 14, and Idabel defeated Kansas 42-28. Millwood and Idabel will play Friday at 1 p.m. at East Central University. The winner of that game will play the winner of the Alva-Kiefer contest in the semifinals.

Victory Christian beat Prague 52-39 Friday night while Jones defeated Davis 30-26. Victory Christian will take on Jones at 1 p.m. Friday at Bristow.

Vian won over Adair 45-20 Friday, and Washington defeated Meeker 56-7. Vian and Washington will play at 7 p.m. Friday at East Central University.

In Class C action, both Waynoka and Timberlake won to advance to the semifinals. Waynoka beat Thackerville 64-54 while Tipton beat Graham-Dustin 56-6. Waynoka and Tipton will square off Friday at 1 p.m. at Alex High School.

Timberlake beat Coyle 32-20, and Ryan defeated Wilson (Henryetta) 56-37. Timberlake takes on Ryan at 7 p.m. Friday at Alex High School.


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