WAGONER - Playing keepaway while constructing an early lead, Wagoner rolled to a 35-12 victory over Miami Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.
The loss was the third straight for the Wardogs, who had been 5-2 at one point in the season.
Next up for MHS is a trip to Broken Bow for a first round Class 4A playoff game. The third-ranked Savages rolled to a 42-7 victory over Fort Gibson in their finale.
Miami had the ball for only seven plays in the first quarter and 10 total through the first 17 minutes and change as the Bulldogs opened up a 21-0 lead.
“It was a tough offense to stop - they just kinda methodically moved it,” Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover said. “Our defense played well most of the time. We just made some silly mistakes when it looked like we'd have a stop or jump offsides.”
Wagoner's first scoring drive gobbled up 4:40, the second 4:25 and the third chewed up “only” 3:21.
“When we do get it, we've got to sustain some drives,” Risenhoover said. “We've got to keep it away from them. We had too many three-and-outs early.”
“It was a solid win,” Wagoner head coach Dale Condict said. “We knew we lacked a little bit of intensity because of all the emotion we expelled last week (in a 28-20 win over Grove). We've got to limit the turnovers and penalties.”
The Bulldogs coughed the ball up three times, twice on fumbles, and had four penalties - three for holding.
Gus Jones, a 6-2, 215-pound tailback, and senior quarterback Durell Parker were the biggest problems for Miami.
Jones had 119 yards. He didn't score, but most of his 15 carries were in big-play situations.
Parker, who had missed a month with an ankle injury and still looked gimpy at times in the first half, launched a season-high 21 passes. He completed 11 for 162 yards and two touchdowns.
“We had seen them on film and they really prefer to run it,” Risenhoover said. “They threw it quite a bit tonight. They may be forced to throw it on down the road.”
The Bulldogs, who completed a sweep through District 4A-3 for the second straight year, wound up with 385 yards in total offense.
Miami, however, sputtered.
The Wardogs had gone into the game averaging 360 yards total, but managed only 225 against Wagoner. They had only 76 yards passing - second lowest of the season - and 149 rushing.
Miami had just two turnovers (a pair of interceptions), but one was a back-breaker.
The Wardogs got an 11-yard touchdown run from Jeff Meeks with 3:02 left in the half.
They got the ball back three plays later when Nick Henson pirated a Parker pass and returned it to the Wardog 23.
MHS lost 5 on an offside call, and then quarterback Trent Turner was forced to scramble and his screen pass was intercepted by offensive tackle Stan Buchanan.
Buchanan rumbled into the end zone for a 15-yard touchdown.
The PAT kick by Daniel Brown staked the Bulldogs to a 28-6 advantage.
“It was the big play in the game because it was 21-6 when that happened,” Risenhoover said. “We had a chance to make it a seven-point game right before half and instead throw an interception on a screen play, We just didn't stop the charge of the linebackers and got ourselves in trouble.”
Miami's only other touchdown in the game came on an 11-yard pass from Turner to Josh White with 2:18 left in the game.
The Wardogs had taken over at the Wagoner 11 on a fumble recovery by Grant Longcrier.
White and Turner hooked up on the first play of the drive. James Pickens was stopped short on the conversion run.
“Hopefully we'll go down to Broken Bow and play our cleanest game of the year, get as great effort and get it done,” Risenhoover said. “We haven't played a perfect game. I scratch my head. You look at the stats, offensive yardage, first downs, passing yardage and all, and you would think you are looking at a team that is 7-2, but instead it's a team that is 5-5.
“I feel in my heart that something good is going to happen to this football team because of the way they approach things and the way they play. They've stuck together and compete every snap.”
Miami had two other scoring opportunities in the second half.
Miami drove from its 28 to the Wagoner 24 in the third quarter, overcoming an illegal block penalty after a 21-yard carry by Turner. Turner hit White with a pass for 15 yards, then Grant Longcrier was stopped for a yard loss.
The drive came to a halt when cornerback Mikeus Moore intercepted Turner at the 12-yard line.
His 25-yard runback started the Bulldogs on their way to what appeared to be a fourth scoring drive, but White recovered Moore fumble at the Miami 14.
The second chance came late in the game as the Wardogs drove from their 30 to the Wagoner 10. However, Longcrier was stopped for no gain on a fourth-down carry
The Bulldogs fumbled on the first play, with Longcrier recovering at the 11. Turner and White teamed up for their 11-yard TD on the very next snap.
Wagoner's first touchdown, a 21-yard reception by Shaver, came on a fourth-and-6 hitch pass from Parker.
The next two scores, a 10-yard run by Jermaine Sherman and a 1-yard run by Shaver, were on third-and-goal plays.