Henrietta Met District 5-2A champion Nocona with a staunch defense that held the Indians at bay through most of Friday night’s season finale. And When the Indians did score, the Bearcats blocked all extra-point kicks.
Nocona defeated Henrietta 20-0, finishing its first undefeated season since before Jack Crain was an Indian. Henrietta ended its season with a 2-8 record, and missed a playoff berth for the first time in a decade.
“We knew going in that they were district champs, and we knew were we were at,” said Henrietta Head Coach Byron West. “You just expect your kids, week after week, to study and play hard. And they did. What a great showing by our seniors and the whole team. I’m proud of them.”
Bearcat Ethan Cantrell blocked the first of two point-after kicks by the Indians 6 minutes, 41 seconds into the first quarter. Nocona marched 72 yards downfield on its first possession to score on a 1-yard run from Hayden Hill for a 6-0.
Despite moving the ball well, Nocona wouldn’t score again until early in the fourth quarter as the Bearcats continuously shut the Indians down inside the 30-yard line.
With 8:27 left in the game, Tate Fenoglio found the end zone from 3 yards out, and added a two-point conversion to make up for the earlier point-after miscue.
Gusty winds played a role in setting up the touchdown when Henrietta found itself in a fourth-and-six situation on its own 11-yard line. The wind caught a high punt from Dustin Calabrese, and blew it back behind the line of scrimmage. Calabrese picked the ball up and ran it to the 17-yard line.
Tyler Coleman blocked Nocona’s second point-after kick of the night, following a 2-yard touchdown run by Hayden Hill with 3:46 remaining in the game.
The Indians outpaced Henrietta with 226 yards rushing on 47 carries, and completed eight of 15 pass attempts for 82 yards. Nocona struggled with fumbles, coughing up the ball three times for one loss, recovered by Jameson Dowell in the second quarter. Nocona tossed one interception, picked off by Conner Fletcher in the second quarter.
The Bearcats tallied 92 yards rushing on 35 carries. Cantrell carried the bulk of it, taking the ball 14 times for a total of 33 yards. Fletcher completed two of nine pass attempts for 21 yards. Henrietta had no interceptions and no fumbles.