Hunter Chism relies on his ability to make moves in open space. Friday night, he had to improvise.
Playing on a rain-soaked, muddy field in Piedmont, Chism returned an interception 87 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to preserve a slim lead and give Piedmont the life it needed for a 26-7 win over a scrappy Guymon team.
The long run back didn’t include many cuts, though, because Chism knew better. Once he collected the ball deflected into the air off a big hit from fellow safety Jacob Storts, Chism headed from the middle of the field to the far sideline and on to the end zone. He needed only one cut.
“It wasn’t my kind of game because I couldn’t cut like I like to,” he said. “That’s the one thing I told myself. Instead of trying to move around I just have to get upfield. Speed was a big factor on that play.”
Two Tiger defenders had a chance to bring Chism down in the open field, but neither could catch him.
“About the 30 I heard someone behind me. I gave it one high-step and headed for the far pylon,” he said.
Chism’s score gave Piedmont a 19-7 lead with 8:53 to play and snuffed out a potential game-winning drive for Guymon. Landon White, who rushed for 147 yards on 31 carries, added his third score of the game with 0:29 to go to bump Piedmont’s record to 3-6 overall and 3-3 in district.
White’s final score also secured 15 district points for PHS, which still has an outside chance to grab the fourth playoff spot in District 5A-II. It was White’s seventh touchdown in three weeks.
“We had to have this one tonight and we knew it. We wanted to get our full district points, too, which we did,” head coach Drew Gossen said. “We overcame a lot of things tonight.”
PHS committed four turnovers, had 15 penalties for 145 yards and twice snapped the ball over punter Butch Hampton’s head in the first half. The second bad snap resulted in a seven-yard punt that led to Guymon’s only score of the night on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Huckins to Jovan Ochoa as time expired in the first half.
“We got up 13-0 and it was almost like we thought it was going to be easy,” Gossen said. “We let off and let them get close and I told them at halftime we can’t do that.”
Piedmont never pulled away until Chism’s big play. The Wildcats mustered just 180 yards of total offense, but limited Guymon to seven total yards as both teams struggled through the sloppy field conditions. On offense, Chism was limited to one catch for one yard, but returned the opening kickoff of the second half 54 yards and made the biggest play of the night when it mattered most.
“It didn’t matter how many penalties we had or what was going against us, we were going to go play our hearts out,” Chism said. “It was definitely a big win.”