McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 12, 2013

Region Roundup: Miners clinch playoff spot

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — Here’s a look at Friday night games for area teams.

Savanna 47, Canadian 0

Good football teams force turnovers, and great football teams turn turnovers into points.

The Savanna Bulldogs forced five turnovers in the first quarter, which led to five touchdowns.

“We probably missed about two or three more, but two or three of those fumbles were forced,” Savanna coach James Bond said.

“You can’t turn the ball over five times in one quarter.”

Kane Konsure recorded the first turnover for Savanna by recovering a fumble, setting up a 3-yard touchdown run by Christian Preston with 9:15 left. Canadian fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Seth Burke recovered it and Hunter Needham rushed 5 yards for another touchdown to make it 14-0 Savanna.

Daytona Trammell recovered the next fumble, leading to a 35-yard touchdown run from Preston, then Burke’s 30-yard touchdown pass to Josh Holloway made it 27-0 Savanna. Tanner Dugger forced another fumble, Jimmy Sparks recovered it, then Burke connected with Breylin McCullar for an 8-yard touchdown pass and a 34-0 lead with 48 seconds left in the first.

Burke added a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Laurent in the second, and Andrew Sparks finished the scoring with a 15-yard touchdown run late in the fourth.

“We worked a little on our passing games, which we need to do a better job at,” Bond said.

“We have a lot of work ahead of us, because all the games get tougher from here on out.”

Savanna hosts Gore on Friday.

Canadian coach Mike Terney could not be reached for comment.

Quinton 15, Gore 14

Sometimes football games turn ugly. When they do, it’s always better to be on the winning side than the losing side.

Quinton found itself on the winning side of an ugly game Friday at Gore.

“It was pretty sloppy,” Quinton coach Jeremy Reeder said. “A lot of turnovers on both sides, tons of penalties on both sides.”

Reeder said Gore scored on the opening drive of the game, but Quinton answered in the second quarter with a touchdown pass from Peyton Knell to Brad Davis. Gore scored again, but Joseph Perez kicked a 38-yard field goal to make it 14-9 Gore at halftime.

The Savages’ defense forced a turnover near the Gore end zone in the third, then Kirby Needham rushed 15 yards for the go-ahead touchdown. The defense shut out Gore the rest of the way.

“Defense played a heck of a ballgame in the second half,” Reeder said.

“We turned the ball over a couple of times in short field, and they kept them out (of the end zone).”

Quinton won its first district game of the season Friday, which Reeder said kept the team’s playoff hopes alive. The Savages will try to go to 2-2 in the district Thursday at home against Panama.

Pocola 66, Wilburton 27

Flat starts continue to be a problem for the Wilburton Diggers. Against Pocola, Wilburton started flat and quickly fell too far behind to overcome.

“We had a good week of practice, good team dinner Thursday night, good speaker,” Wilburton head coach Frank Marsaln said.

“In games, we just get wide-eyed, and it was 16-0 before we could breathe.”

Wilburton’s young safeties looked particularly vulnerable Friday, repeatedly getting fooled on passing routes and allowing receivers to slip down field. The offense, meanwhile, suffered a big loss when starting quarterback Cade Fite left the game after colliding head-first with a Pocola defender at the end of the first quarter.

Freshman Bryan Lawrence came in for Fite and completed a touchdown pass to Dillon Brown. The Diggers also got touchdowns from Jonathan Fite and Levi Easley.

“He settled down a little bit, started getting into the rhythm of the game, gave us a little energy in the second half,” Marsaln said of Lawrence.

“There were some bright spots, but after the first quarter, it was just like ‘Holy cow.’”

Wilburton plays at Antlers on Thursday.

Warner 49, Haileyville 0

The Haileyville Warriors went into this season hoping to suit up a decent number of players, then maintain that depth through to the end of the season. Those might seem like small goals, but they’re achievable goals, and ones that will take the program back in the right direction.

Coach Dennis Ford said his team is meeting those goals, but along the way the Warriors might have games like Friday’s at Warner.

“They’re a good ballclub, and they did some things we hadn’t seen,” Ford said. “They ran the wing-T extremely well, and it was one of those things where they executed and we didn’t.”

Warner scored on its first three possessions, quickly putting the game out of reach. Haileyville experimented with a spread offense in the second half, but Ford said his team never really got close enough to make scoring possible.

“They were playing some good defense, but we turned the ball over several, and then we just could not get a flow of things,” Ford said.

Because Warner and Haileyville used the same offensive scheme, Ford said, Haileyville got to see that “if you run it right, it is an effective offense.”

Haileyville heads to Central Sallisaw on Thursday.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.