Oswego takes down “Bloody Bucket” rival Chetopa in season opener, 54-14

CHETOPA — Down a touchdown early in the second quarter, Oswego turned things around in a hurry to make Matt Fowler’s coaching debut with the Indians a successful one.

OHS ran off 48 unanswered points as it went on to cruise past Chetopa 54-14 in a Three Rivers League matchup to open the season on Friday. This was the first meeting in 30 years between the two “Bloody Bucket” rivals after Oswego’s drop down to eight-man football this season.

“I was really proud of our young men for how we responded to adversity early in the game,” said Oswego coach Matt Fowler, who had spent the previous nine seasons as head coach at Spearville. “We had some penalties and turnovers, but we kept playing. My hats off to Chetopa and Coach Bradshaw. They had a good game plan, and their kids played hard out there.”

The Indians improved to 1-0 overall and in league play heading into next Friday’s contest at Marmaton Valley. The Wildcats lost their opener to West Elk on Friday, 50-14.

As for the Hornets, they dropped to 0-1 overall and in the TRL with the loss. They will have an unusual bye week in the schedule for week two and won’t return to action until Sept. 14 at Lebo.

“Our kids played hard,” said Chetopa coach Jaunc Bradshaw. “The first three quarters were the best I have seen us play in a couple years. We just ran out of gas, and a couple injuries hurt us. Lots of young kids that for their first experience in starting. I saw some good things tonight, but we also have lots of work to do. We have a week off to work and fix things before we play at Lebo.”

The teams battled through a scoreless first quarter before Chetopa took the lead early in the second period on a 35-yard pass play from Colton Vanuatu to Caden Walker.

Trailing 6-0, Oswego picked things up before halftime, starting with a 10-yard touchdown run by Jace Wilson with 5:12 left in the half. Isaac Elliot ran in the conversion to give the Indians a two-point lead.

Just before the break, Elliot dove into the end zone from two yards out. This time, Wilson ran in the conversion to give the Indians a 16-6 edge at the break.

The second half belonged to Oswego — particularly the third quarter as the Indians scored three touchdowns in less than four minutes to blow things wide open. That started midway through the period on defense as Paidon Kite recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a score. Just 52 seconds later, the Indians got an 18-yard run to the end zone by Wilson. Then later in the quarter, Elliot found Kite for a 25-yard pass play for six. Oswego added the conversion after each of those touchdowns to go up 40-6 after three quarters.

From there, the Indians were in cruise control. Elliot broke loose on a 66-yard touchdown scamper to increase the lead. The Hornets finally snapped a run of 48 unanswered points by Oswego with their second touchdown of the game — a one-yard run by Vannata with 5:47 to go. OHS then put the game away with a 45-yard TD run from Jace Landis for the final margin.

The Indians had a 378-145 advantage in total yardage for the game. Oswego carried the ball 34 times for 292 yards.