THE KICK HEARD ROUND MURRAY COUNTY. Levi Pullen changed history for the Wolves and ended Sulphur’s Bedlam winning streak with a single field goal. The 15 to 14 score gave the Wolves the “W” and Pullen bragging rights for as long as he wants.
By Jeff Mapes
Levi Pullen kicked his way into Davis football history last Friday at Wolf Field when he delivered the game-winning field goal against Sulphur in Murray County Bedlam. The junior booted a 28-yarder with 20 seconds left that sealed the Wolves’ come-from-behind 15-14 victory over the Bulldogs.
The win is the first for Davis in the series since 2015 when the Wolves won 22-14. Sulphur still leads the rivalry at 49-41-3.
“He did a good job,” head coach Greg Parker said of Pullen. “That’s a lot of pressure. A guy that’s stood over there and watched 95 percent of the game and come in like that. That game was won by the will and determination of those guys who were out there.”
Held scoreless the first three quarters, Davis tallied points on its final three drives.
“It was a good game,” Parker said. “It was a fun game to be a part of. I thought our kids played really hard and dealt with the adversity well. I’m proud of them.”
The game was a tale of two halves. Sulphur dominated the first half while the Wolves controlled the second.
Sulphur amassed 208 yards offense by halftime, including 196 on the ground. The Bulldogs owned the time of possession as well at 16:52.
Davis was held to 21 yards and one first down on just 12 snaps. The longest play from scrimmage was a 17-yard run by junior Brenden Rawls.
The biggest play of the first half came on Sulphur’s second possession. Austin Garrett raced 80 yards for a touchdown with 7:14 in the first quarter. Colten Cole added the extra point and Sulphur led 7-0.
That proved to be the only points scored prior to halftime. On their next possession, the Bulldogs drove 58 yards in 17 plays that consumed 9:13 of the clock. However, the drive halted when Garrett was tackled for a two-yard loss at the Wolves’ 15 on a fourth-and-two.
“They’re tough. They’re just tough Davis kids,” Parker said of his team. “They didn’t let the score, or the situation determine how they played. They kept playing the whole time and that’s what ultimately won the game.”
The second half was a much different story for the Wolves. Davis used the wildcat-formation and quick pitches to rush for 131 yards and one score. The Wolves also benefited from 19:39 in time of possession.
“We didn’t run a whole lot of plays, but we blocked them well,” Parker said. “We ran hard and did a great job of hanging on to the football.”
“We ran four plays out of that formation, maybe,” Parker continued. “We pretty much ran four different plays in the second half. It’s not hard to figure out where you’re running when you keep doing it over and over, and you’re blocking well, and guys are breaking tackles.”
Rawls and senior Tyson Moss combined for 130 yards on 30 carries. Davis also held a 35-10 advantage over the Bulldogs in offensive plays.
“They were sore Saturday morning, let me tell you,” Parker said. “I think our kids are in pretty good shape. I think we handled the shape well with substitutions. That made a difference. When you can keep the ball for all but ten plays in the half, you’re going to have success offensively.”
Sulphur was limited to 34 yards in the second half and fumbled twice. The first, recovered by junior Dakota Carter at the Sulphur 22, led to an 11-play drive.
Rawls scored with 11:54 in the game on a three-yard run. The conversion failed and Sulphur still maintained its lead at 7-6.
All the momentum Davis had built on the scoring drive seemed to vanish when Sulphur’s Briar Davenport took the ensuing kickoff and returned it 80 yards or a touchdown. Cole tacked on the extra point and the Bulldogs rebuilt the margin at 14-6.
Davis responded on its next series. Carter returned the kickoff 38 yards to the Wolves’ 48.
Davis marched 52 yards in 10 plays. Rawls ran for 28 yards to Sulphur’s 18.
Facing third-and-goal at the seven, quarterback Seth Knapp connected with Mitchell Garrison for a touchdown pass. The conversion failed, but the lead was again trimmed to 14-12.
Sulphur’s second fumble came on its next series. Senior Tye Barnett recovered at the Wolves’ 27 with 2:17 remaining.
“Our kids just grinded,” Parker said. “They just grinded on both sides,” Parker said. When you’re in a game like that when most of the plays are in between the tackles, and both teams are physical, turnovers can be the difference.”
From there, the Wolves drove 61 yards for the game-winning score. Moss ran for 17 yards to the 46. Carter then hit Knapp for a 40-yard completion to the Bulldogs’ 14.
A Sulphur penalty moved it to the nine. Three plays and two yards later, Parker opted to kick the field goal. Parker also took a delay of game penalty to help his kicker with the angle.
“It was the thing to do. It was the call to make,” Parker said. “The angle was on the left hash, and that is what’s scary. The closer you are, the more angle you have. It’s not easy. We didn’t mind the five-yard penalty because it helps with the angle.”
Sulphur was offsides on the field goal, but it did not matter. Pullen’s kick sailed right through the uprights.
Davis, now 1-1, will play at Wynnewood this Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Savages have started 0-2 with losses to Valliant and Tishomingo.
Team 1 2 3 4 – F
Davis 0 0 0 15 – 15
Sulphur 7 0 0 7 – 14
S- Garrett 80 run (Cole kick)
D- Rawls 3 run (conv. failed)
S- Davenport 80 kickoff return (Cole kick)
D- Garrison 7 pass from Knapp (conv. failed)
D- Pullen 28 field goal
8 First Downs 9
242 Total Yds 199
21:13 Time of Poss 26:47
35-221 Rushes-yds. 42-152
2 Turnovers 0
5-35 Penalties-yds. 6-35
Rushing- Brenden Rawls 20-93, Tyson Moss 18-64 and Seth Knapp 4-(-5).
Passing- Knapp 1-5-0-7 and Dakota Carter 1-1-0-40.
Receiving- Mitchell Garrison 1-7 and Knapp 1-40.