By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Hartshorne 34, Panama 0:
No football team wants to peak at the beginning of the season. But whatever little mistakes Hartshorne coach Bill Williams might find in Friday’s game at Panama, the Miners still posted their second shutout in a row and third in five games.
“We ran the ball well, threw the ball well, played good defense,” Williams said Saturday. “You’ve always got things to fix, but nothing too negative to say.”
Dallas Herring rushed for two touchdowns for the Miners, including a 30-yard run in the first quarter that put Hartshorne up 7-0. Hartshorne led 14-0 at halftime, but by the end of the third had already subbed in its JV team.
Noah Irwin also recovered a fumble in the end zone. Hartshorne’s new “sic ‘em” defense, as Williams called it, seems to be working.
“We tripled our turnover ratio from last year,” Williams said.
“We’ve scored on defense three times this year.”
Hartshorne next plays 5-0 Hugo at home. With Vian playing a non-district game next week, Williams said whoever wins will take over first in the district and automatically clinch a spot in the playoffs.
Savanna 58, Haileyville 0:
The Savanna Bulldogs scored three touchdowns in the first five minutes of Friday’s home game against the Haileyville Warriors.
By the end of the first quarter, the Bulldogs led 35-0 and the game had effectively ended.
“They’re a good ballclub, and they’re way out of our class,” Haileyville coach Dennis Ford said.
“We tried. We never gave up, and we were still trying to make plays at the end.”
Christian Preston and Hunter Needham accounted for all five of Savanna’s first-quarter touchdowns. Preston rushed for three on a combined 116 yards, while Needham rushed for two on a combined 21 yards.
Quarterback Seth Burke and running back Ryan Weeks each contributed a rushing touchdown in the second. Chase Woods returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown in the third.
“We felt pretty good going into it after watching film, but you still have to go out there and play the game,” Savanna coach James Bond said.
“Our kids ran the ball well. We still have to work on some little things.”
Those little things include Savanna’s special teams unit, which took a huge step forward this week. Burke converted seven of eight extra-point attempts and added a 35-yard field goal in the fourth to make it 58-0.
“We’ve been working that pretty hard,” Bond said of Burke’s success.
“It’s just getting out there and practicing. Really getting out there and focusing. Something that we haven’t done is really lining up the defense and coming at you, and we worked on that all week.”
The Warriors, meanwhile, will look to next week’s game at Warner as a chance to end their losing streak. Ford said positives he saw included Lyndon Armstrong chasing a Savanna runner 60 yards and tackling him to save a touchdown.
Gore 32, Canadian 26:
Down a touchdown late in the game, the Cougars put together a 67-yard drive that ended with a rather unusual touchdown pass. At the Gore 45, Caleb Jarrett completed a 15-yard pass to Chance Tanner, Tanner lateraled to running back Matt Hill and Hill took it the remaining 30 yards for the touchdown.
Jarrett rushed his way to a two-point conversion to tie the game, but Gore drove 50 yards and scored with 11 seconds left to grab the win at Canadian.
“It was an excellent games,” Canadian statistician Corey Koedyker said. “Both teams played well. Stat-wise, both teams were about even.”
Jarrett rushed 25 yards for a touchdown in the first, then returned an interception 35 yards for a touchdown to give Canadian a 12-6 lead after one quarter. He added a 1-one yard touchdown run in the third to tie the game 18-18.
Jarett finished 12-for-27 for 167 yards, throwing one touchdown pass and three interceptions, while also rushing 13 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns.
Canadian will face an even tougher district opponent this week, when it hosts the 4-1 Savanna Bulldogs on Friday.
Regent Prep 44, Wilburton 20:
The Diggers kept the game close throughout much of Friday’s home game, but Wilburton just couldn’t get that one touchdown to tie it or take a lead.
“It seemed like every time we’d get something good, something bad would happen to us,” Diggers coach Frank Marsaln said.
One play characteristic of Wilburton’s fortunes came at Regent’s 1-yard line. Down 14-7, a Wilburton defensive back dove in front of a receiver to intercept the ball in the end zone, but the play was called back on a pass-interference penalty.
Instead of a 14-14 tie, Regent drove 99 yards and scored to make it 21-7. Marsaln said film would later show clearly that no contact between the players had taken place.
“We actually played a lot better,” Marsaln said.
“We played with a lot more energy, and we did a lot better things last night. We were within a touchdown or two the entire game.”
Wilburton got two touchdown passes from Cade Fite to his brother Jonathan, both from about 20 yards outside the end zone. Levi Easley also added a 2-yard touchdown run.
“This week was the best week of practice, the best week of energy levels, the best week of attitude,” Marsaln said.
“As far as attitude, it turned completely to the positive this week.”
Now that the team seems to be in the right place mentally, Marsaln said the next challenge is to improve its execution on the field. Though the Diggers have now lost five in a row, they seem to be back on track.
Central Sallisaw 31, Quinton 15:
The Savages lost their second district game in a row, falling at home to Central Sallisaw to go to 2-2 overall this season. Quinton’s offense has averaged 20 points per game through the first four weeks, but its defense has averaged 28.8 points allowed per game, giving up a combined 89 points in the last two weeks.
Quinton will try to get back on track Friday when it heads to Gore to play the 1-4 Pirates. Savages coach Jeremy Reeder couldn’t be reached for comment.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.