HARTSHORNE — After what was evidently a temporary bout of insanity, Hartshorne’s offense got back on track Friday night.

The bout of insanity? Well, it had to be the attempted pass that fluttered incomplete with four minutes remaining in the first half – the Miners first pass attempt of the game. And, with the way their running attack was chewing up yards, it could be argued that any pass at all would have come a bit early in the eventual 42-6 victory.

“(Running the ball) was our game plan tonight, you bet,” Hartshorne head coach Mike Reddick said. “I was happy with how we executed it.”

All tongue-in-cheek comments about insanity aside, Reddick’s offense looked like a primordial beast against Valliant, piling up 278 yards on an eye-popping 52 carries. Ian Robichaud was the primary bludgeon in the old-fashioned attack, toting the ball 19 times for a game-high 148 yards.

“It was what we wanted to do and it is what we usually do: Run the ball,” the soft-spoken Robichaud said. “I knew we could have success running the ball.”

Having success running the ball was a perfect tonic for the Miners (5-2 overall, 4-0 District 2A-8) against the lowly Bulldogs (0-7, 0-4). Hartshorne had just come off of a string of highly-emotional victories, culminating with what the coaching staff described as the Miners’ best effort of the season at Spiro last week.

Therefore, with winless Valliant coming to town, the possibility for a letdown was high – and something Reddick was worried about coming into the game.

“We’ve had four emotional, tough games in a row and I was concerned about them coming out and playing flat today. I was worried about them overlooking (Valliant). But they didn’t and I’m proud of them.”

Reddick had a chance to be proud of his team early and often on Friday. On Hartshorne’s first possession of the game, the Miners promptly marched 62 yards on 6 plays, culminating with an 8-yard scoring dive by quarterback Bryce Killingsworth.

This drive, fueled by six straight running plays, proved to be a microcosm of the contest. The Miners scored on all four of its first half possessions on time and ground consuming drives. There were only two attempted passes in the opening 24 minutes by Hartshorne and, adding insult to injury for the Bulldogs, one of these was completed for a 34-yard touchdown from Killingsworth to Cory Parker. By the time the dust had settled and the teams were headed to the halftime locker room, the score was 28-0 in the Miners’ favor.

Valliant finally slowed Hartshorne’s running attack in the second half, forcing a punt and a couple of turnover-on-downs. Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, this was the epitome of closing the barn door after the horses had gotten out as the Miners had already done the damage they needed with their running game in the first half.

“It was a great team effort for us tonight and I’m proud of our guys,” said Reddick, whose team faces Stigler next week in what might end up being the battle for the district crown.

Jeremy Cowen is a trade magazine editor and freelance writer in the Oklahoma City metro area and can be reached at jeremy@oba.com.