Colt Rowland Mason Fine Tulsa World
Ian Maule/Tulsa World
Colt Rowland bows his head in prayer with Locust Grove quarterback Mason Fine before the game on Friday, October 23.

Cherokee Football Star Shatters OK Records, Honors His 7-Year-Old Role Model

Steve Russell

On the Friday night of October 23, Oklahoma high school football standout and Cherokee Nation citizen Mason Fine frosted the cake on his high school record when he was privileged to appear on the same field with Colt Rowland, who scored the last Locust Grove touchdown in a rout of Claremore Sequoyah, 56-21. Fine passed for 457 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 161 yards and one more touchdown, and shattered the Oklahoma high school career passing record with 11,666 yards.

RELATED: Locust Grove QB Mason Fine Is OK Gatorade Player of the Year

Still, Fine expressed gratitude for his appearance with Colt Rowland, his “role model.” Rowland, 7, was diagnosed last December with acute lymphoblastic leukemia and his doctors offer a 70 percent chance he will beat it. Chemotherapy has kept him off his youth football team, where he played running back on offense and cornerback on defense.

Because his chemotherapy has caused seizures, Colt has had two rides on Tulsa Life Flight helicopters. His mother Tammy told the Tulsa World that the boy had complained that he had two helicopter rides in his life and he didn’t remember either one.

Colt’s father Brad is a K-9 officer on the Chouteau Police Department, but it was Locust Grove football coach Matt Hennesy who put a call in to Tulsa Life Flight and told them the story.

So it was that Colt attended the contest between the Locust Grove Pirates and the Sequoyah Eagles by landing on the 50-yard line in a Tulsa Life Flight chopper. He called the coin toss and presented the game ball but the highlight of the evening came on the last play of the game, when Colt joined the Pirates on the field, took a handoff from Mason Fine, and ran it around left end for a touchdown.

The Pirates hoisted him on their shoulders in the end zone as the Eagles players lined up to congratulate the 7-year-old running back.

Mason Fine, one of the hottest college football prospects in the country, told the Tulsa World of Colt Rowland: “I look up to that guy. What he’s going through and how he’s battling, just as a person, he’s a great person to be around. He’s being a role model for other people. He doesn’t know it, but he’s been a role model for me, and I look up to him.”

The most important score under those Friday night lights was Colt Rowland-6; cancer-0.

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