By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Hartshorne 52, Gore 0:
The Hartshorne Miners got a break from district play Friday with a home game against Gore.
District play resumes with a bang this Friday, when Hartshorne heads to Vian to face the 8-0 Wolverines.
“We just try to do the things we do and get better at them,” Hartshorne coach Bill Williams said Saturday.
“Our kids are really just focusing on getting ready for the district championship game this week and the playoff run.”
Williams said the Miners went up quick on the Pirates using their dominant running game. Dallas Herring, LaMarcus Morris and Dylan Pingleton each rushed for two touchdowns in the first half.
“We played our JV the whole second half,” Williams said. “None of our varsity players stepped on the field.”
On defense, the Miners forced four turnovers: three fumbles and a Troy Ray interception.
The Miners will need to continue their offensive and defensive success to beat Vian in a game that will decide the district.
“This is the first time that I’ve been here that it’s a little more level playing field,” Williams said of Vian.
“We’re going to have to possess the ball. We’re going to have to be the sharper team as far as penalties. And we’re going to have play longer and harder, because they’re going to play hard.”
Savanna 33, Quinton 0
The Bulldogs didn’t have Christian Preston for Friday’s game against the Quinton Savages, but they didn’t need him — Hunter Needham and Chase Woods combined for five rushing touchdowns, helping the Bulldogs stay undefeated in district play and drop the Savages to 3-4 overall, 1-3 in the district.
“The boys really stepped up, did some good things,” Savanna coach James Bond said.
Savanna led 12-0 after the first quarter, 19-0 at halftime and 33-0 after three quarters. The Bulldogs got their fourth shutout of the season Friday, and in their last four games have allowed just six points.
But those four shutouts have come against the bottom four teams in District A-6. The Bulldogs will get a much tougher challenge this Friday when they face the undefeated Talihina Tigers.
“Big, physical and fast,” Bond said of Talihina. “It’s going to take a lot of pressure up front, play assignment football. We’re going to have to get pressure on the quarterback and stop the zone read. Stop them before they get started.”
Talihina 39, Haileyville 0:
In its last three district games, Haileyville’s defense had averaged 55 points allowed. In its last three district games, Talihina’s offense had averaged 52 points scored.
So after holding the undefeated Tigers to just 39 points Friday, the winless Warriors were feeling pretty good.
“Our kids were tackling better,” Haileyville coach Dennis Ford said. “They were in the right positions. At halftime, we were talking more positives than negatives.”
Ford said his defense came out more focused to start the game, allowing just three first-quarter touchdowns instead of the usual five or six. With the exception of one long pass, Ford said, the Tigers could only progress in 3- or 5-yard spurts towards the end zone.
“It’s something we can build on for next week, and the next two weeks, we’re closer to the competition,” Ford said.
“The kids had a good attitude after the game. ... Talihina, they are in a league with just a few teams.”
Offensively, Ford said the Warriors moved the ball and picked up some first downs, but could never reach the end zone because of the Tigers’ dominant secondary.
The Warriors play at Gore on Friday.
Vian 61, Wilburton 1:
Long before Friday’s game, the Wilburton Diggers knew they’d have a hard time beating undefeated Vian.
Though the Diggers, “actually played as well as we’ve played all year,” according to coach Frank Marsaln, the Wolverines still came away with a dominant victory.
“Vian, athletically, they’re too deep, and they’re good at every position,” Marsaln said.
“Everybody wants to play like that”
The Diggers scored two touchdowns, both on passes from Cade Fite to his brother Jonathan Fite. The Fites connected for a 30-yard pass in the second quarter against Vian’s first-string defense, then did so again in the third against Vian’s second string.
“That’s where we had our most success, throwing the ball to the outside,” Marsaln said.
“We had two other chances. We were moving the ball and we turned it over.”
Wilburton next plays at Hugo on Friday.
Central Sallisaw 62, Canadian 12:
The Canadian Cougars started Friday’s home game against Central Sallisaw well. The Tigers went up 7-0, but Paul Childers returned a punt 85 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 7-6.
“After that, things just kinda fell apart,” Canadian coach Mike Terney said. “They ran the ball very, very well and they blocked very well on offense.”
Caleb Jarrett added a 52-yard touchdown run later in the game. The best offensive player this season, Jarrett threw for 68 yards and rushed for 65.
“Most of our starters were part time last year,” Terney said. “Our only real starter was Caleb Jarrett. We’ve had some injuries. We’re very thin on the offensive line and defensive line because of injuries.”
Terney said the Cougars could suit up just 14 players Friday at Quinton. He added that he’s trying to balance fielding a competitive team this season with getting his many young players enough minutes this season to be competitive next year.
Canadian fell to 1-6 with the loss.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.