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Versatile Keller uncaged, leads BA to 35-7 win in battle of Tigers

A sluggish start by the home team Tigers eventually led to the unleashing of Broken Arrow’s most versatile player.

Isaiah Keller, Broken Arrow’s top receiver, showed he could be just as much a weapon in running sweeps and lining up in the wildcat formation as he is at catching passes. He also showed off his patch-catching – and BA baseball flyball-tracking ability – skills by intercepting a Norman Tiger pass and returning it 45 yards to set up Broken Arrow’s final touchdown in Friday’s 35-7 district win Friday night.

Check out complete stats from BA-Norman game

“What a great player,” BA head coach David Alexander said of Keller, who also took a crack at returning kicks and punts. “As he goes, we go, right. The team recognizes his ability and his leadership. He had a bad first quarter and the team had a bad first quarter. Then he had a great second, third and fourth quarter and the team had a great second third and fourth quarter.”

Broken Arrow started the game with two three-and-outs on offense, had a hard time in corralling Norman quarterback Cade Horton and trailed 7-0 after the first period.

“You look at the scores around the state and there were hangovers for all the big guys,” Alexander said. “We had played four emotional football games, and Coach Alexander preaches, it’s not who we’re playing it’s how we play.”

After failing on a fourth-and-one early in the second quarter, Broken Arrow finally stopped Horton thanks Kayne Haddaway’s sack that set up a third-and-21. The BA Tigers pounced quickly with a 41-yard pass from Jake Raines to Keller – one of four catches Keller had on the night for 118 yards. After a 10-yard catch by Keller, Kejaun Tolbert took over with runs of 11, nine, four and 11 again – the fourth of which was a touchdown that tied the game.

Following the kickoff, a sack on the first play from scrimmage set the tone for the remainder of the half and much of the game. Broken Arrow got the ball back at the Norman 38 after a short punt. The series featured mostly Tolbert before Sanchez Banks raced in from the nine as BA took a 14-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.

“The first quarter we had a couple of brain farts, but after that we got hooked up,” Keller said. “At half we just had a good talk with coach and he lit us up. He got on our butts for sure, but we just came out and executed.”

And so they did.

Broken Arrow went 65 yards on eight plays, capped by a three-yard Tolbert touchdown. A fumble in Norman territory halted the next drive, but BA found gold early on its next possession as Raines teamed with Keller on a 50-yard TD strike.

“It’s definitely fun moving around all the time,” said Keller, who finished the night with 213 all-purpose yards. “It’s fun to go out and play every position you can play.”

The night finished fun for the Black-and-Gold Tigers as well. Raines second scoring pass, and the Tigers last of the game, came on a 15-yard connection with Tory Dillard.

Broken Arrow travels to Westmoore Thursday for a 7 p.m. game at Moore High School. The Jaguars defeated Edmond Memorial, 33-26, to stay tied with Broken Arrow at the top of District 6AI-1.