By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Savanna 23, Central Sallisaw 0: The Savanna Bulldogs hadn’t won a district title in 50 years before Friday’s game.
After Friday’s game, they could stitch “2012” next to “1962” on their championship banner.
“We played focus, played hard, played physical, and got the job done,” Savanna coach James Bond said Saturday. “Real happy with the kid’s win.”
Bond said his secondary performed very well against Central Sallisaw’s strong passing offense. Five different Bulldog defensive backs rotated frequently during the game, allowing all of them to stay fresh on the field.
“We kept everything in front of us and never gave up the big play,” Bond said.
Blaine Peters and Josh Holloway combined for three Savanna interceptions, while Kane Konsure and Tanner Dugger stopped Central Sallisaw’s quarterback on the 1-yard-line in the first quarter.
“That was a pretty good game-changer right there,” Bond said.
Offensively, the 9-1 Bulldogs running backs played well yet again. Christian Preston scored on an 80-yard touchdown run 54 seconds into the game, and Hunter Needham made it 13-0 with a 3-yard touchdown run of his own with four minutes left in the first.
Seth Burke connected with Preston on a 37-yard touchdown pass late in the second to make it 20. While Burke’s 22-yard field goal was the only score of the second half, Savanna’s strong running game kept it in control all the way to the end.
“The kids were ecstatic,” Bond said. “The crowd was wild. Just a lot of community support.”
Savanna will host Elmore City-Pernell — a new team for Coach Bond — in the first round of the playoffs on Friday.
Hartshorne 49, Wilburton 0
Quinton 55, Haileyville 0
Chouteau-Mazie 52, Canadian 8
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