QUINTON — Quinton’s offense looked inconsistent in the first half, but it combined a solid second half with great defense to beat Hilldale JV 43-16 and win Thursday’s Homecoming game in Quinton.
“We talked about protection at halftime, and the kids made an adjustment,” Quinton coach Jeremy Reeder said after the game. “We changed our pass-protection up just a little bit.”
Peyton Knell led the Savages on offense with 237 all-purpose yards. He completed seven passes for 195 yards, caught a 32-yard pass from Kirby Needham and rushed for a 24-yard touchdown that put Quinton up 16-8 heading into halftime.
“Once our protection got better, he started feeling a lot better in the pocket and started throwing the ball a lot better,” Reeder said of Knell.
Knell connected with Needham for about a 12-yard reception, then Needham outran Hilldale’s secondary 64 yards down the visitor sideline for a touchdown and a 23-8 Quinton lead on the first play of the third quarter. Fourth-quarter touchdown runs by Knell, Preston Lemons and Riley Coliron pushed the lead to 46-8 before Hilldale scored once against Quinton’s reserves.
Needham finished with 77 rushing yards, 76 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Lemons finished with 88 rushing yards and two touchdowns.
Joseph Perez caught four passes for 76 yards.
“Joseph’s been good for us all year,” Reeder said. “He’s just been nicked up the last couple ball games.”
Perez also intercepted a Hilldale pass, one of six turnovers forced by Quinton’s defense. Coliron recorded two interceptions, Knell recorded one and Clay Lemons and Grayson Cox each recovered a fumble.
The nondistrict win improved Quinton to 5-4. The Savages can clinch a playoff spot and their first winning regular season since 2010 by beating Warner on Friday.
Hartshorne 61, Okemah 7:
The Miners clinched their district last week, making their final two games of the season more or less irrelevant. But rather than lose focus against a nondistrict opponent, the Miners put Friday’s game away early.
“It was 28-0 before they scored, and then we scored three more times before halftime so it was 49-7,” Hartshorne coach Justin James said.
“This is a team we could be potentially playing against in Week 11.”
Week 11 is the first round of the playoffs.
LaMarcus Morris led the Miners with four rushing touchdowns. Tyler Lindley hit Breylin McCullar for a 65-yard touchdown pass and Troy Ray for a 41-yard touchdown pass.
The Miners also got a 1-yard touchdown run from Trey Medicine Bear, a 3-yard touchdown run from backup quarterback Chance Parker and an 8-yard touchdown pass from Parker to Robert Nichter.
Hartshorne also forced seven turnovers, including five fumble recoveries.
“It makes a big difference when you take away their offensive possessions,” James said. “Most of the times you do that you’re going to gain good field position.
“We were very pleased with them last night.”
Hartshorne, now 8-1 overall this season, wraps its season Friday against Pocola.
Savanna 22, Central Sallisaw 16:
Central Sallisaw used a 32-yard touchdown pass to build a two-possession lead early in the third quarter, but Savanna responded with two touchdowns in the final six minutes of the game to hand Central Sallisaw its first loss of the season. The Bulldogs, 6-3 overall and 4-1 in district play, can clinch second place and a first-round home playoff game by beating Gore next Friday.
“It was a great effort,” Savanna coach James Bond said. “Great effort offensively and defensively. We hit them in the mouth.”
Chase Woods rushed for two Bulldogs touchdowns, including a 3-yard run that cut the lead to 16-14 with 5:37 left in the game. Ryan Weeks then intercepted a pass and returned it 45 yards for a touchdown, and a fake extra-point attempt led to 2-point conversion by Woods that made it 22-16 Savanna.
Josh Lindley intercepted another Central pass to end the Tigers’ final drive. Lindley batted away a pass in the Savanna end zone as part of a goal-line stand in the first quarter, and Tyler Laurent-Smith also had an interception.
“It just went back and forth,” Bond said. “It was crazy. Just all in all hard-fought.”
Central’s 80-yard touchdown pass made it 8-7 Tigers at halftime.
Canadian 26, Arkoma 20:
The Cougars gave away the lead in the third quarter, then took it back in the fourth to claim their second win of the season and snap a six-game losing streak. Chance Tanner rushed for 191 yards and three touchdowns, scoring the game-winner on fourth-and-16 with 2:20 left in the game.
“We handed it off to Chance, and he ran it 39 yards for the touchdown,” Canadian statistician Corey Koedyker said.
Tanner also had first-quarter touchdown runs of 6 and 60 yards for a 12-0 lead. Taylor Koedyker rushed for 154 yards, including a 60-yarder in the second quarter that gave Canadian an 18-8 lead at halftime.
“We ended up with 44 rushing attempts,” Corey Koedyker said. “Normally we average about 20, 21.”
Corey said the Cougars’ defense gave up just 23 rushing yards. Canadian finishes its season Friday at Wetumka.
Pocola 34, Wilburton 19:
The Diggers trailed by just a touchdown going into halftime, but Pocola scored two touchdowns in the third quarter to put the game away.
“Those five minutes right there killed us,” Wilburton coach Frank Marsaln said.
“At the end, we were starting to come back, and we missed some chances on a couple plays.”
Wilburton quarterback Bryan Lawrence threw three touchdown passes: a 45-yarder to Seth Ezekiel and a 15-yarder to Tyler Crabtree in the first half, and a 43-yarder to Ezekiel in the second half.
“My quarterback, he played his best game without a doubt,” Marsaln said.
The Diggers practiced well heading into the game, Marsaln said, which translated into their closest game of the season. Wilburton, 0-9 this season and on a 22-game losing streak, plays winless Liberty in Week 10.
Wetumka 34, Haileyville 12:
The Warriors let Wetumka build a 22-0 lead in the first half. Haileyville got to within two touchdowns in the second half, but that first-half lead proved too big to overcome.
“It could’ve been a lot closer,” Haileyville coach Dennis Ford said. “We started out just making mistakes. We had no consistency on offense.”
Reco Sweet threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Seth Davidson in the third quarter. Jordan Smith later connected with Aubrey Champion to get the Warriors inside the Wetumka red zone, and Smith rushed 6 yards for a touchdown that made it 28-12 Wetumka.
Wetumka responded with a late touchdown to finish the game.
“We’re improving but we still have a ways to go,” Ford said.
Haileyville, 1-8 overall and 1-7 in district play, finishes its season Friday at Weleetka.
Contact Matt Goisman at email@example.com.