Skip to content

Patriots top Welch, move to 7-0

Bryce Koelsch, who is normally a lineman for the Southwest Covenant Patriots, became a running back during Friday’s game against Welch. Photo / Terry Groover

On a cold Friday night, with about 300 people sitting in a drizzling rain to watch, the Southwest Covenant Patriots wasted little time taking care of business, knocking off the Welch Tigers 48-0 and ensuring a district championship.
The Patriots are 7-0 and have only one regular season game remaining … a road game next week against the Medford Cardinals.
A win against Medford would guarantee homefield advantage for the Patriots in the playoffs.
Southwest Covenant has a bye this week, allowing its players and parents to participate in the annual Patriots Project fundraiser.
Friday was senior night for the Patriots, who moved from the normal grass field at Taylor Park to the artificial turf field of Yukon Middle School.
Officials moved the game because the area had received significant rain over the past few days and the field was under water.
The turf did not prove to be a problem for the Patriots, who grabbed the lead just five minutes into the game when Will Haas grabbed a 21-yard pass from Ben Webb.
It was the first of four times the Patriots would get into the end zone in the first quarter.
They also scored on an 11-yard run from Tyler Kelly, a 10-yard scoop and score fumble recovery by Cole Gatlin and a 20-yard pass play between Webb and Andrew Hickman.
The rain, which continued throughout the game, did not help Welch’s game plan as quarterback Seth Hayward had a tough time holding onto the ball. The Tigers turned it over three times.
In the second quarter, Webb scored on a 10-yard run to get the action started.
Kelly had his second score of the night when he took a handoff up the middle and raced 71 yards for a score with 2:45 left in the half.
Bryce Koelsch scored the final points of the night with just 39 seconds remaining after the Patriots recovered a fumble at the eight-yard line.
Koelsech took the ball in from there.
The game saw several first for the Patriots. Koelsch scored his first touchdown as did Hickman.
Also, Ian Parker attempted five point-after-tries, and was successful on three. It was the first time the Patriots had attempted kicking field goals this season.
The game was called at halftime because of the small-school mercy rule, which is invoked when a team scores more than 45 points against its opponent at halftime. It is only used in Class B and C football.
The Patriots’ defense stymied Welch at every turn, holding the Tigers to just 74 yards of total offense. That included 30 yards on the ground and 44 in the air.
Southwest Covenant’s Kelly led the way for the Patriots with 77 yards on three carries. He also scored two touchdowns.
Drake Rought finished with three carries for 47 yards, while Koelsch had five carries for 23 yards.
Kelly also had three receptions to lead the Patriots, the longest a 20-yard grab.
Anthony Cox had four tackles for loss to lead Southwest Covenant’s defense.
Coach Trey Cloud said after the game he was pleased with his team’s performance.
“It’s another step,” he said. “We have to focus each week. That’s the way I approach it.”
Welch, he said, is in a rebuilding year, which meant his players had to stay focused on the job at hand.
“You don’t want to lose your rhythm or your progress,” he said. “They were focused, and that is the main thing we talked about. We want them focused … and playing with enthusiasm, no matter whether it is 40 degrees or raining.”
Southwest Covenant enters the bye week ranked No. 2 in Class C behind Pond Creek.

Leave a Comment