SALLISAW – The Sallisaw Black Diamonds (2-1) topped the Tahlequah Tigers (0-3) in a penalty ridden contest Friday night.
Sallisaw got on the board first with a 45-yard QB keeper by Brock Streun with 6:32 remaining in the period. The kick was good for a 7-0 Diamonds lead.
The subsequent Tigers drive ended at the 10 yard line and Tahlequah had to settle for 3-points.
On the next Sallisaw possession, the Black Diamonds tried a fake punt with just over 2:00 minutes remaining in the opening quarter and failed, turning the ball over on downs to the Tigers.
Penalties again forced the Tigers back to a 4th down and 40. The punt attempt was blocked by Noah Florez and returned for a Sallisaw touchdown, but the play was called back on a personal foul by the Diamonds, so Sallisaw took over possession on the Tahlequah 22.
The first quarter ended with 90 yards of penalties including three personal fouls on Tahlequah.
The Sallisaw drive that started in the first quarter ended with penalties and two consecutive losses and the Diamonds were forced to punt. That punt however, pinned Tahlequah back on their own 1 yard line.
On third down Cole Stevens picked off a Cash Mcalvain pass at the Tigers 11 yard line for his fourth interception of the season.
Sallisaw got the ball in the end zone on a run by Streun, but there was yet another flag for holding nullifying the score. A 20-yard field goal attempt was no good keeping the score at 7-3 Sallisaw.
A Tahlequah drive ended with a touchdown with 6:05 remaining in the half but the extra point try failed giving the Tigers a 9-7 lead.
On 3rd and 11 from their own 12, Cole Mayfield hauled in a 30-yard toss from Streun for a Diamond first down to keep the drive alive. Streun followed with a 32-yard run but fumbled at the three yard line to give the ball back to the Tigers with 1:22 left in the half.
The Black Diamonds received the opening kick off of the second half allowing Cole Stevens to end the opening drive with an 8-yard touchdown run. On the extra point try, a Tiger penalty took the ball to the 1 and Stevens took it in for a 15-9 Sallisaw lead with 9:52 remaining in the third.
Tahlequah answered with a 16-yard touchdown toss in the back of the end zone from Mcalvain to take the lead back 16-15 with 8:34 remaining in the third.
Streun finished off the next Sallisaw drive with a toss to Braxton Lamb in the end zone and followed with a 2-point conversion to Lamb on the other side of the end zone putting Sallisaw up 23-16 late in the third quarter.
On the ensuing Tiger drive Parker Pratt picked off a McElvain pass at the 38 and took it to the house for a pick-six and a 2-score advantage for Sallisaw 30-16.
Each team would add a touchdown in the final period that ended with the Black Diamonds knocking on the door at the at the Tahlequah 2 yard line and taking a knee to end the game with Sallisaw’s second win in a row.
The Black Diamonds will travel to Ada next week to open their district play and Tahlequah will return home to start their 6A season against Putnam City West.