MUSKOGEE – This was the proverbial perfect storm.
Hilldale returned the bulk of a team that made it to the Class 4A quarterfinals in 2016.
Miami started an inexperienced team, including a freshman at quarterback, in its first game under new head coach Andrew Rice.
The end result was the sixth-ranked Hilldale breezing to a 68-8 victory at Hornet Field Friday, Sept. 1.
“We’re young, obviously,” Rice said. “In the second half, we came out and did what we asked. They didn’t lay down. They stayed together and fought.”
The game was never close.
The Hornets scored on their first two offensive plays and three on their first five snaps.
Running back Mikey Winston headed up the Hilldale charge, rushing for five touchdowns and 269 yards on 17 carries.
The hosts led 21-0 after the first quarter, and then dropped a 41-point bomb on the Wardogs in the second period.
“He’s special,” Rice said of Winston. “All of those guys played as freshmen. Four or five years ago, they weren’t very good. They had a group that bought in and now you see the results of that.”
Jackson Satterwhite, Caden Folks, Callan Cox and Hunter Hartman were only starters back for Miami from last season’s 1-9 team.
The Dogs’ only touchdown came on an 18-yard pass from freshman quarterback Jay Porter to sophomore receiver Gavin Payton with 9:48 remaining.
Young then teamed with sophomore wide receiver Mateo Moreno on the conversion.
Most of the second half was played with a running clock.
Young was a bright spot for the Wardogs, completing 10 of 26 passes for 119 yards.
He was 5 of 11 in the second half, netting 97 of his total passing yards.
“We showed some good things in the second half,” Rice said.
On the down side, Miami finished with minus-40 yards rushing as Porter was sacked nine times.
The Wardogs had only three running plays out of their 17 total that went for positive yardage.
Twice they were stopped for no gain.
Winston, who gained 2,140 yards while scoring a whopping 43 touchdowns a year ago, picked up where he left off.
Winston scored on a run of 35 yards in the first 53 seconds of the game.
He also had TD runs of 11, 1, 48 and 1 during a seven-touchdown salvo by the Hornets in the second quarter.
Hilldale quarterback Jaron Nail had scoring passes of 22 yards to Ty Neighbors and 47 yards to Kaden Kerr.
The Hornets’ other TDs covered 31 yards by Hayden Fitzgerald, 38 yards by Devin Hembry and 2 yards by Darrin Hays.
Kicker Peyton Bennett converted on eight of his 10 PAT attempts.
Defensively, Matt Horn had a team-high seven tackles. Garrett Moore, Corbin Hernon, Tasi Peters, Issac Lacy and HUnter Hartman had four each.
Miami opens the home portion of the schedule Friday, Sept. 8 against Verdigris.
The Cardinals (0-2) dropped a 54-24 decision to Inola on Friday, Sept. 1.