By Matt Goisman
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.”
Savanna 32, Wewoka 8:
Four times the Wewoka Wildcats got close to Savanna’s end zone. Four times the Bulldogs turned the Wildcats away empty-handed, twice via interceptions and twice via fourth-down stops.
“I’d just like to give praise to all the kids on the defense,” Bulldogs coach James Bond said. “They did a good job, took it to them.”
“Probably the best Savanna performance I’ve seen in a long time. I’m really happy with the all-out effort in all the kids.”
Four goal-line stands left the Bulldogs’ offense needing to cover almost the entire field, but they rose to the challenge, twice putting together touchdown drives of at least 90 yards. After Christian Preston ended Wewoka’s first drive with an interception at the 1-yard line, the Bulldogs drove 94 yards, then Preston rushed 5 yards for the touchdown and a 6-0 lead.
Tanner Dugger’s tackle on a Wewoka fourth-and-1 led to a 60-yard drive and a 1-yard touchdown run by Preston to make it 12-0 in the first quarter. Bulldog linebacker’s Hunter Needham’s tackle at the Savanna 3 set up a 97-yard drive capped by a 5-yard Preston touchdown run that made it 19-0 at halftime.
Preston’s 31-yard touchdown run made it 26-0 Bulldogs late in the third, then after Wewoka finally scored early in the fourth, the Bulldogs went on a 75-yard drive that Needham capped with a 1-yard touchdown run.
Tyler Laurent also intercepted a Wewoka pass in the end zone. Bond said Chase Woods also kept several drives alive with solid running, even though Preston and Needham scored the touchdowns.
Savanna next heads to Afton to face the seventh-ranked Eagles in the second round Friday. If the Bulldogs can pull off the upset, Bond said they’d qualify for the Class A quarter-finals for the first time in quite awhile.
Wynnewood 53, Quinton 0:
To advance in the playoffs, the Savages would’ve needed to beat the second-ranked team in Class A, and do it on the road.
Instead, Quinton turned the ball over on its first possession, and the game quickly went Wynnewood’s way.
“They had some very good skill kids, and when they got into the open field, it was very difficult on us,” Savages coach Jeremy Reeder said. “We needed to keep them bottled up, keep them at the line of scrimmage and we just weren’t able to do it.”
Though a disappointing finish to the season, the 2013 Savages can still take satisfaction from their first playoff game since 2010.
“We’re pretty excited about next year already,” Reeder said. “We just need to get in the weight room. We need to find some linemen, we’re going to lose a lot of linemen, but most of the skill guys will be back.”
Of the Savages’ eight seniors, seven played on the offensive defensive line. The senior class includes linemen Kenny Boyd, Michael Adcock, Paul Adcock, Michael Sisco and Austin Fishgrab.
“They enjoyed to play the game,” Reeder said of his seniors. “It was fun. I’m really glad that they bought into what we were doing, because if they didn’t buy in, we weren’t going to be able to do anything.”
Receiver Quintin Needham is the Savages’ only senior skill-position player. Players expected to return include quarterbacks Peyton Knell and Kirby Needham, running back Preston Lemons, receiver and place-kicker Joseph Perez and linebackers Jake Lemons and Chad Bush.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.