WHITE OAK – On the chilly final night of the 2018 football season, Sabine had a chance to pick up its sixth win of the year, and beat White Oak for the first time in 11 years.
But the Cardinals fell short on both counts, losing to the Roughnecks, 47-37.
Sabine winds up the season with a 5-5 record. White Oak finished at 4-6.
Using a strong running game by Bo Reddic, the Roughnecks kept their offense grounded early. They moved downfield, but Sabine’s defense slowed them, forcing a fourth down at the Cardinals’ 12-yard-line. Reddic took the handoff though, on the fourth-down gamble, and ploughed his way in for the opening score, a 7-0 White Oak lead.
Sabine gave White Oak a short field for its next possession: the Cardinals fumbled on their first play from scrimmage. This time, White Oak threw on first down and Dalton Sumrow hit Graham Young for a 22-yard gain. Reddic again took the ball in, this time for an 11-yard score, and a 14-0 advantage.
After a three-and-out by Sabine’s offense, Sumrow hit both Young and Blake Barlow on three straight pass plays. It set up another first-and-goal, and again, Reddic was good, a 20-0 lead even after a missed extra point.
Sabine would score in the first quarter. Quarterback Landon McKinney guided the Cardinals downfield and Brannigan Willige got the final 4 yards for the score, cutting into the Roughnecks’ lead, 20-7.
In the second quarter, it was McKinney vs. McKinney – White Oak’s Tanner McKinney picked off Sabine’s McKinney, an interception that, combined with a personal foul, set White Oak up with first-and-goal at Sabine’s 10-yard-line.
Sabine returned the favor. Bre’Den Ford intercepted a Sumrow pass at the 1, ending the threat – for about a play. The Cardinals fumbled the ball back to White Oak and this time, there was no airing it out. Reddic scored on a 1-yad plunge, and in giving the Roughnecks a 27-7 lead, he had his fourth touchdown of the night.
Still in the first half, McKinney and Willige traded carries until Clayton Simmons stretched out to catch a 37-yard pass from McKinney. Back on the ground, McKinney ran the final 5 yards for the score, and a 27-14.
Sabine did turn the ball over on another first-half fumble, but the defense stiffened. The Cardinals got the ball back with about a minute left in the half, but enough time to do some damage. McKinney hit A.J. Gresham for a 38-yard completion to the Roughnecks’ 2-yard-line, and with 20 seconds left, McKinney took it in for the score, getting Sabine within a touchdown, 27-21, at the half.
In the third quarter, Sabine had to punt, but Ford not only got the ball back for the Cardinals, he scored on a pick-six, an interception for 58 yards that tied the score at 27. Fernando Jaimes un-tied it, giving Sabine a 28-27 lead, their first of the game.
Sabine’s next offensive possession stalled at White Oak’s 10, but Jaimes upped Sabine’s lead with a 22-yard field goal and a 31-27 Sabine lead.
A 50-yard touchdown by Young late in the third quarter put White Oak back in front, though, 33-31, and this time, that would be the last lead change of the night.
White Oak increased its lead early in the fourth quarter on a 45-yard catch and run by John Thomasett. Sabine, trailing 40-31, would scare the Roughnecks once more, as Simmons hauled in a 38-yard completion that led to a 1-yard McKinney score. That got Sabine within three (40-37).
But White Oak got an insurance touchdown – a 65-yard pass to Barlow – and that was enough to allow them the victory.
The five wins was the most in a single season for Sabine since 2014.