Good Luck

November 24th, 2020

turpin footballRiley Ratzlaff (10) is caught by a pair of Laverne defenders. L&T photo/Jason EppBy JASON EPP

Leader & Times

LAVERNE, Okla.—The Turpin Cardinals came into their matchup with No.5 Laverne riding a two-game district winning streak with hopes of an upset victory that would move the Cardinals into second place in District B-1. Instead, Turpin found out why the Tigers are climbing in the rankings and a legitimate state title contender with a 56-0 mercy-rule drubbing of Turpin that ended at halftime.

“Hats off to Laverne,” Cardinals Head Coach Justin Hannah said. “They’re a really good football team. They were a more physical football team tonight, and we played too high and missed too many tackles.”

The Cardinals had no grace period to adjust to the size and speed of the Tigers. Laverne returned the opening kickoff to the Turpin 41-yard line. Four inside runs later, Laverne was on the board, leading 8-0. The Tigers would run just five more offensive plays in building a 48-0 lead in the first quarter. In those nine plays, Laverne averaged 30 yards per play. Meanwhile, Turpin totaled just 13 yards and one first down in their first five drives.

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On the final play of the first quarter, Riley Ratzlaff ran for 20 yards to the Laverne 40. It was their first venture into Tiger territory. Turpin extended the drive with a fourth-down conversion run by senior fullback Dakota Wills to the 29. Turpin could not convert the next fourth down and turned the ball over on downs at the 24. Six plays later, Laverne put the final score on the board with just over six minutes left before halftime. Reserves for both teams finished out the game.  

Turpin finished the game with just 76 yards of total offense and five first downs on 40 plays. Laverne racked up 353 yards on just 18 plays. On one positive note, Turpin had no turnovers for the second-straight game after being plagued by them early in the season.  

Senior quarterback Riley Ratzlaff was held to just 24 yards on 10 carries and was 4 of 10 passing for 12 yards. Senior wideout Brandon Rodriguez caught 3 passes for 12 yards. Drew Batt averaged 33 yards on four punts.

Turpin will need a short memory of this game according to Hannah.

“We’ll put this one behind us,” Hannah said. “We’ve got everything to play for next Friday. We can capture a really good playoff seed, but we’ve got to play a lot better.”

Turpin (5-4, 2-2) finishes the regular season at home, Friday, where they will face Seiling (3-6, 1-3) in a crucial battle for district playoff seeding. Currently sitting alone in third place in District B-1, Turpin can wrap up that seed with a win. A loss coupled with a win by Balko-Forgan against Canton could force a three-way tie for third, then seeding would come down to district points. That could place the Cardinals anywhere from third to fifth place.

Any other year, a drop to fifth place would knock a team out of playoff consideration. But with the Oklahoma Secondary Schools Athletic Association announcement that all teams will make the playoffs this season, that threat does not exist. What is at stake is a possible home playoff game. Finishing third in the district would mean hosting the last-place team from District B-2 or receiving a bye if that team does not accept the playoff invitation.

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