McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

October 18, 2013

Region Roundup: Bulldogs finally knock off Pirates

By Matt Goisman
Sports Writer

McALESTER — Savanna 56, Gore 6:

Savanna has struggled against the Gore Pirates in the past.

This time, it was no struggle at all. Savanna led 12-0 after the first quarter, 34-0 after the second and 56-0 after the third.

“We’ve been focused every year, I believe,” Savanna coach James Bond said.

“We were just physically stronger and faster. It’s as simple as that.”

A strong Savanna secondary routinely gave the Bulldogs’ offense shorter fields. Tyler Laurent recorded three interceptions, Jimmy Sparks recorded two and Hunter Needham recorded one.

“The kids did a real good job on keeping their coverages, staying with them,” Bond said

“Our field was messy. It was messy, which probably contributed a lot to them throwing the ball away.”

Christian Preston rushed for three touchdowns and threw a 20-yard pass to Corey Vaughn. Vaughn added touchdown runs of 1 and 60 yards in the third quarter.

Hunter Needham and Chase Woods also rushed for touchdowns. Gore didn’t score until the final minute of the game.

Savanna next faces Quinton on Friday, but the Bulldogs will close out their season at Talihina on Nov. 1 and at home against Central Sallisaw on Nov. 8.

As those are the top two teams in the district, Bond said Savanna will have a great chance to build momentum heading into the playoffs.

Hartshorne 55, Pocola 29:

Pocola kept it close for a half, according to the Poteau Daily News, but the Miners outscored the Indians 27-15 in the second half, giving the Miners their fourth district win and a 6-1 overall record.

The Miners host Gore on Friday in a non-conference game. As the game won’t affect district standings, it gives Hartshorne a chance to rest heading into a Nov. 1 trip to Gore.

Vian is currently 7-0, having allowed just 47 points all season. As Hartshorne’s already beaten third- and fourth-ranked Panama and Hugo, a win against Vian almost guarantees a district title and two playoff games at Butler-Jennings Field.

Antlers 61, Wilburton 12:

With so many underclassmen, the Wilburton Diggers have had a hard time matching the execution of their opponents. That’s shown itself most on defense, as Wilburton’s 389 allowed points ranks last in Class 2A.

The 0-7 Diggers next play undefeated Vian on Friday in a game Vian doesn’t want to give up heading into a Week 9 showdown with Hartshorne. Wilburton plays at Hugo on Nov. 1, then will play a Hartshorne team gunning for a district title in Week 10.

Panama 37, Quinton 0:

The Poteau Daily News reported that Panama won through a combination of ball-control and turnovers. The loss dropped Quinton to 3-3 overall but 1-2 in the district.

The Savages host Savanna on Friday. The Bulldogs have an undefeated district record, but the Savages could easily close out their season with wins against one-win Canadian in Week 9 and winless Haileyville in Week 10.

That would give Quinton a 3-3 district record. Currently ranked fourth in their district, the Savages still have a shot at the playoffs.

Talihina 52, Canadian 0:

Canadian’s second year playing 11-man football hasn’t gone nearly well as its first. The Golden Tigers hosted the Cougars on Thursday, and Talihina handed Canadian its second shutout in a row.

In its last two games, Canadian has allowed 98 points while scoring none. Now 1-5 overall, Canadian ranks sixth out of seven teams in district A-6.

Canadian can’t finish with a winning record. At best it could finish 3-4, but that would take wins against three eams with better records — including a Week 10 game against 2A school Chouteau-Mazie.

Central Sallisaw 58, Haileyville 0:

Haileyville’s losing streak began in Week 7 of the 2011 season, meaning two full seasons — and years — had passed without a win before the Warriors played at Central Sallisaw on Thursday.

Central Sallisaw ushered the Warriors into their third winless year with a dominant shutout.

“They’re a good ballclub, and they’re really good at home,” Haileyville coach Dennis Ford said.

“We were just out of position a lot of times. They ran the ball well. They had a big fullback that was strong.”

Ford said Central Sallisaw brought a level physicality at the line of scrimmage that took Haileyville’s linemen out of their game. Thursday’s game was Haileyville’s third in a row on the road.

The Warriors return home Friday to face undefeated Talihina.

“We’re playing this stretch right here where we’re probably playing some of the best teams,” Ford said.

“These teams’ second- and third- stringers are just as good, and sometimes better, than what we’re putting on the field.”

The Talihina Golden Tigers have the highest-scoring offense in their district, while the Warriors have the worst defense in points allowed. If Haileyville can get through Friday’s game without losing hope, they’ll wrap up their season with two games against teams with sub-.500 district records.

Contact Matt Goisman at mgoisman@mcalesternews.com.