LOCUST GROVE, OK —
Locust Grove crushed Kansas Thursday night 54-20 on the turf. The Pirates played solid on both sides of the ball, racking up 387 total yards of offense and forcing five turnovers on the defensive side.
The Pirates struck early with a seven-yard touchdown run by senior Cory Rhode 20 seconds into the game. The touchdown run was set up by a 69-yard kickoff return from senior Cameron McIntire.
McIntire, known for his offensive production, shined on defense and special teams Thursday night. He ended the night with over 100 return yards and an interception in the first quarter. Although McIntire was impressive on the defensive side of the ball, he also had a solid game offensively, catching a touchdown and running for a score to go along with 77 total yards.
Locust Grove’s other offensive standout, quarterback Mason Fine, reminded the crowd of his talent shortly after the Pirates’ first touchdown. After the defense held Kansas to a turnover on downs on the Comets’ own 21, Fine led his team to another score only two minutes after their first. The sophomore hooked up with junior Brock Taylor for a 10-yard touchdown.
Fine also connected with Taylor's younger brother, sophomore Trevor Taylor, for a five-yard touchdown on the Pirates’ next possession. Trevor also recovered a fumble in the third quarter.
After three straight possessions without a touchdown, Kansas struck back with 14 unanswered points to slow down the massacre. Rohde ran in another touchdown before the half ended to bring the score to 29-14 at halftime. Rohde ended his night with 72 yards on the ground with two touchdowns, but the senior was more impressive on the defensive side of the ball, bringing in a team-high 14 tackles.
The Pirates came out in the second half with another explosive play. Fine hit fellow sophomore Jason Pirtle on a short route, which Pirtle turned into an 88-yard reception. Pirtle was tackled by his shoestrings just two yards shy of the end zone and ended the game with 138 yards on five receptions. Fine capitalized on Pirtle’s big catch with his first rushing touchdown of the season.
The curtains finally closed on Fine’s show early in the fourth quarter after he threw a 21-yard touchdown to junior Calin Witt. Fine ended his impressive performance with 273 yards on 21 completions and five total touchdowns behind a tough offensive line. Head coach Matt Hennesy says those kind of numbers are expected from his sophomore gunslinger.
“We knew (Fine) was special. He could have started last year, we just chose to not to, but he still led the team in passing last year and he was a receiver, so we knew he was special and he keeps learning,” Hennesy said.
Hennesy and his 2-0 Pirates will go on the road for the first time next week to face class 4A Stilwell Friday night. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m.