High school football seasons concluded just shy of state championship games for four Seminoles.
Sophomore running back Jesse Sanchez and his younger brother Sammy Micco Sanchez reached Oklahoma’s Class 4A state semifinals with Fort Gibson, which went 11-0 in the regular season and won the 4A-District 4 title.
Fort Gibson won playoff games against Catoosa and Newcastle before being knocked out in the semifinals with a 17-14 loss against Oologah Nov. 28 at Sapulpa High School. Fort Gibson led 14-10 after three quarters. Oologah went ahead early in the fourth and held on for the victory.
Jesse finished the season second on the team in rushing touchdowns with five, as well as yards with 242 on 39 carries. He scored two touchdowns against Broken Bow and one each against Central, Muldrow and Newcastle.
“Jessie had a great season as our back-up tailback,” Fort Gibson coach James Singleton said in an email to The Seminole Tribune. “He is very elusive for his size and has an incredible burst through the line. He will get a much greater load next season.”
Sammy, a 5-foot-10, 185-pound freshman, also saw brief action in the backfield, but spent most of the season on defense and even started a few games at outside linebacker.
“Sammy came on and played for us a lot toward the end of the season. For his size, he is a very powerful runner and tackler,” Singleton said.
Singleton said expectations for the brothers will increase next season.
“As underclassmen, they did a great job in accepting their roles on our team and being great teammates and did a great job when called upon,” Singleton said. “In 2015 they will both become critical pieces of the puzzle for success. We expect big things out of these two in 2015.”
Fort Gibson’s 12-1 record marked a substantial improvement from the previous season when the team went 6-5. Fort Gibson was the No. 2 seed in the 4A playoffs.
Top seeded and defending Oklahoma 4A state champion Anadarko, which features sophomore linebacker Curtis Osceola, produced an undefeated regular season and won its fifth consecutive district title.
Anadarko opened the playoffs with a win against Tuttle. But Anadarko’s hopes of successfully defending its state title were dashed by Metro Christian, 16-13, in the quarterfinals Nov. 21.
Entering this season, Florida’s Flanagan had a brief playoff history. The school opened in 1996, but the football team’s only postseason appearance came last year when it lost in the first round.
This year the Pembroke Pines team, which includes senior defensive lineman Neko Osceola, tore through the regular season with an undefeated record and captured its first district title.
After ousting Coral Springs, Monarch and Wellington in the 8A playoffs, Flanagan fell one game shy of reaching the state title game.
Its season ended Dec. 5 with a 16-12 loss against Miami’s Columbus in the state semifinals.
Flanagan finished 13-1, by far its best record ever.