By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Savanna 52, Wilburton 18:
Savanna got top running backs Hunter Needham and Christian Preston back Friday night, and Wilburton paid the price. Needham scored a 37-yard rushing touchdown two minutes into the game, then Preston added two more rushing touchdowns to make it 20-0 with 5:31 left in the first.
“They came out on fire and running on all cylinders,” Savanna coach James Bond said. “Those kids know how to play the game.”
Seth Burke, Ryan Weeks and Corey Vaughn added second-quarter rushing touchdowns, pushing the lead to 46-0 and ending any need for Savanna’s starters to play the second half. Wilburton’s Levi Easley returned a kickoff 80 yards for a touchdown with 39 seconds left in the first half, but Wilburton dug itself far too big hole to have a chance.
“I have 26 freshmen and sophomores out of 37 kids,” Wilburton coach Frank Marsaln said.
“That gap of playing experience shows up quick in games.”
The Diggers had more success against Savanna’s reserves, with Cade Fite rushing for a touchdown early in the third and Cody Arnold returning an interception 30 yards for a touchdown early in the fourth. But Savanna running back Andrew Sparks scored a 15-yard touchdown with time expiring to finish a dominant performance by the Bulldogs.
“We still move the ball, but we just have no consistency,” Marsaln said.
“It’s a Clint Eastwood movie every week: The good, the bad and the ugly.”
Savanna heads to Coalgate for the start of district games Friday. Wilburton hosts Panama.
Quinton 29, Pocola 20:
The Savages improved to 2-0 this season, beating 2A school Pocola at home Friday. Quinton starts district play at Talihina on Friday.
Quinton coach Jeremy Reeder couldn’t be reached for comment.
Hartford, Ark. 24, Haileyville 19:
The Warriors had the Hartford Hustlers beat. Haileyville had Hartford in a fourth-and-25 situation deep in Hustler territory, and coach Dennis Ford warned Haileyville not to commit a penalty on fourth down.
Hartford threw an incomplete pass, but Haileyville drew a yellow flag for roughing the passer. More penalties helped Hartford move into the Haileyville red zone, and the Hustlers scored the go-ahead touchdown in the final minute of play.
Haileyville’s nearly two-year-old losing streak will continue at least one more week.
“We just did not do our assignments like we were supposed to,” Ford said.
“More disappointing than that, we faced a series of penalties that kept us from really getting any offense going”
Freshman quarterback Seth Davidson played well for the Warriors. His 45-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Smith cut Hartford’s lead to 14-12 in the fourth quarter, then his 25-yard pass to Ty Magruder put the Warriors up 19-14 with six minutes left in the game.
Smith also scored on a 43-yard reverse to make it 8-6 Hartford in the third.
Haileyville’s first district game, a home game against Canadian, has been moved up a day to Thursday.
Depew 38, Canadian 28:
The Cougars had two chances to win the game. Down 30-28 in the fourth quarter, team statistician Corey Koedyker said, the Cougars successfully attempted an onside kick, but they couldn’t do anything with it and turned it over on downs.
The Cougars’ defense held, however, forcing Depew to punt late in the fourth.
“They punted to us, and we fumbled the punt return,” Koedyker said. “Depew picked it up and ran it in for a touchdown.”
Paul Childers starred for the Cougars, racking up 186 all-purpose yards and posting both a rushing and receiving toucdown. His 69-yard receiving TD came from Caleb Jarrett, who threw for 176 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown.
A 6-6 game at halftime, Depew went up 22-14 in the third, but Canadian came back to tie it 22-22 heading into the fourth.
This was Canadian’s first game of the season, while Depew had already played two games. That Canadian hung with Depew should give Cougars fans some optimism heading into Thursday’s district-opener at Haileyville.
“They’re going to be contenders,” Koedyker said. “This was just to shake off the rust.”
Stigler 41, Hartshorne 27:
If the Miners had to lose a game, Friday’s was a good one to lose. The loss came against Stigler, a 3A school, and it came a week before district games begin.
“We got tested, and that’s why you schedule like that,” Miners coach Bill Williams said.
“You learn more in a loss than you ever do on a win. I think that was the best thing for us.”
Dylan Pingleton continued to shine as the Miners’ starting quarterback. He completed an approximately 30-yard touchdown pass to Troy Ray and an 8-yard touchdown pass to Kolton Montgomery.
Dallas Herring and LaMarcus Morris added rushing touchdowns. The Miners penetrated inside the Stigler 5-yard line on three other drives but came up empty.
“We can score right along with them,” Williams said. “Our kids did some great things last night.”
Stigler led 21-6 at halftime, but Hartshorne cut the deficit to 7 in the third quarter. Stigler went back up 28-14 late in the third, but Hartshorne scored enough to keep it a one-possession through most of the second half.
The Miners just couldn’t get that one extra defensive stop they needed, however, and Stigler pushed the lead back to two touchdowns late in the fourth.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.