By Matt Goisman
McALESTER — Hartshorne 20, Henryetta 0
Miners coach Bill Williams said he’s tried to instill a defensive mentality that’s “all about attacking, not thinking, and being super aggressive.”
The strategy worked, as Class 2A Hartshorne forced six turnovers Friday to post a a shutout on the road against Henryetta, a 3A school.
“They bought into it so much that we’re going to have to find a way to play more players, because it was such a high-paced game that our two-way players were all cramping and gassed,” Williams said Saturday.
“It definitely took a team effort. We played a lot of kids to keep them fresh.”
Though most of the turnovers came via fumbles forced in the backfield, LaMarcus Morris intercepted a Henryetta pass late in the fourth quarter. That led to a 3-yard touchdown run by quarterback Dylan Pingleton that made it 20-0 with about three minutes left.
“We shifted gears, got out of what we’ve been doing for many years defensively,” Williams said.
“We caused turnovers last night, we were on them so fast.”
Morris also rushed 12 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, and Dallas Herring started the Miners’ scoring with a 29-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Sophomore Tyler Lindley and senior Dylan Pingleton had been battling for the starting quarterback job, and though Pingleton won it for at least the first game, Williams said the Miners’ ground game really fueled their offense.
Konawa 19, Savanna 18
Chase Wood rushed for two touchdowns and caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Seth Burke. But that wasn’t enough to overcome several Bulldogs mental errors.
“We turned the ball over seven times,” Savanna coach James Bond said.
“We snapped the ball over our punter’s head twice inside the 40. Chase lost the ball three times and we threw an interception.”
Bond added that the Bulldogs missed all three extra-point attempts, though the strength of Konawa’s linemen may have had something to do with that.
“They were big, physical, do things right,” Bond said of Konawa.
The Bulldogs had some success stopping the run, getting strong performances from defensive lineman Kane Konsure and linebackers Ryan Weeks and Tanner Dugger. Bond said he had to use many underclassmen in the secondary, particularly at cornerback.
“I was really proud of our effort,” Bond said.
Bond said the Bulldogs had five offensive starters unavailable for different reasons, and they still lost by just a point to a Class 2A school. With a little hard work to correct the mental mistakes, the Bulldogs should quickly find themselves on the winning side of the ball once again.
Summit Christian 50, Haileyville 7
No team wants to lose by 43 points. But last year’s Warriors couldn’t score in their final six games, and this year’s Warriors scored in their season-opener.
“They were excited about playing, and they were excited about how things are going right now,” Haileyville coach Dennis Ford said.
Haileyville’s touchdown came via a 20-yard run from Rico Richardson in the fourth quarter. Ford said the Warriors looked poised to score twice in the fourth, but turned the ball over.
“The score wasn’t indicative of the game that we played,” Ford said. “We would move the football, and we’d have a first down or two, and then we’d fumble the football.
“We stopped ourselves, which was typical of first-game jitters.”
The Warriors will try to base their offense off the run this year, overloading on one side to give running backs an easy outside route. Ford said the team accomplished that Friday, and now it’s just a matter of fine-tuning the backs’ technique to avoid turnovers.
Haileyville entered the season with a quarterback competition between Seth Davidson and Briley Cozad. Ford said Davidson started at QB against Summit Christian, but as a free safety, Cozad did a great job helping limit the Eagles’ strong passing game.
Caddo defeats Canadian, forfeit
With nine players academically ineligible, the Cougars could only suit up 12 for Friday’s season-opener, according to team statistician Corey Koedyker. Rather than risk injury or a big loss, Koedyker said coach Mike Terney opted to forfeit the game.
The Cougars had been scheduled to host Seminole JV on Saturday, but as that game won’t affect the team’s standings in the district, Koedyker said that game has been canceled as well.
Now with two weeks to get their grades up, the Cougars should next play Sept. 20 at home against Depew.
Talihina 70, Wilburton 28
The Golden Tigers put this one away by halftime, outscoring the Diggers 48-8 in the first 24 minutes. The Diggers’ only first-half score came after recovering a fumble by Talihina’s second-string quarterback.
Wilburton scored 20 in the second half. Coach Frank Marsaln couldn’t be reached for comment.
Contact Matt Goisman at firstname.lastname@example.org.