McALESTER — Hartshorne 37, Stroud 20:
Several members of the 2013 Miners played on the 2012 and 2011 teams that made the playoffs but exited after just one game.
Jumping out to a 17-0 lead at home against Stroud, these Miners made sure they wouldn’t be just another one-and-done playoff team.
“These kids really believe they can win it all,” Miners coach Bill Williams said Saturday.
“The kids had a good week of practice. I think the coaches were probably more on edge than the kids.”
Trey Medicine Bear’s field goal gave the Miners a quick 3-0 lead, then the Miners went up 10-0 on a rushing touchdown by Dallas Herring. Herring added a second rushing touchdown at the end of the second quarter, returned an interception for a touchdown in the second half and converted a key fourth-and-3 situation to keep a Miners drive alive.
“Dallas has worked so hard,” Williams said.
“They really have to earn it to play in a good program, and Dallas, he’s really impressive”
A snap over the head of Stroud’s punter set up a Hartshorne touchdown run on a quarterback keeper by Dylan Pingleton to make it 17-0. Stroud pulled to within 10 with a touchdown in the third, but Kolton Montgomery returned a punt for a touchdown to maintain Hartshorne’s three-possession lead.
“He threw some incredible balls last night, too,” Williams said of Pingleton. “He made some bigtime plays, keeps getting better every week”
Hartshorne will face a much tougher challenge in the second round of the playoffs Friday, when they head to Commerce to face the seventh-ranked Tigers and star running back D.C. Chance.
“Prior to last night’s game, he had run for 1900 yards,” Williams said of Chance.
“It’s going to take basically what it took last night: everybody contributing.”