With that ice-breaking first district win out of the way thanks to a 36-3 romp over Skiatook, Miami now turns its attention to another challenge: crawling back into the playoff picture.
The 2-4 Wardogs can take another step in that direction Thursday night when they entertain Tulsa Rogers in a District 5A-3 clash at Robertson Field.
The game is being played a day early due to fall break.
“That was a big game for us, because Skiatook had already beaten Pryor,” Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover said. “The third and fourth spots were kinda coming down to us, (Tulsa) Kelley, Pryor and Skiatook vying for those last two spots. Skiatook beating Pryor made that game even more important that we get it taken care of.”
The 36 points was a season-high for the Dogs, who also hit the high water mark in total yardage - 440. They also gained a season-best 303 rushing yards.
The 440 yards is the 11th best performance in school history.
Their 19 first downs tied for 12th all-time. MHS also had 19 in a 1984 game with Tulsa Central.
The 1-2 punch of Trent Turner and Grant Longcrier led the way for the Wardogs.
Longcrier netted 152 yards on 10 carries and caught one pass for 26 yards.
Turner rushed for 73 yards and two touchdowns and completed 9 of 12 passes for 99 yards. Jordan Simons was his favorite target, snagging seven balls for 65 yards.
The Dogs' only TD via the pass came on a little trickery: Turner lateraled to James Pickens, who then fired a strike to Turner down the left sideline, going 39 yards for a TD.
On the down side, the 12 penalties drawn by the Dogs were the ninth most ever.
“We need to sharpen that up,” Risenhoover said. “A couple were legit, but we have to make sure we take those situations out of the officials hands and play smarter.”
The Wardogs had four holds, four motion and an intentional grounding call on offense.
“We tell our kids if we don't get one or two (holding penalties) a game, we're not playing hard enough,” Risenhoover said. “There is a fine line. We want every one downfield blocking and want to make sure we have a hat on everyone. Taking as many as we have is getting a little out of hand.”
The previous high for penalties had been nine (for 79 yards) against Bixby.
Defensively, Miami allowed only 207 total yards, a season low. Ironically, that comes a week after being ravaged for 476 - seventh-most ever - in a 48-28 loss to Tulsa Washington.
“We've just got to keep getting better as a football team and stay healthy over the next four weeks,” Risenhoover said. “We really feel having seen Booker T and having played with Bixby will help.”
The difficulty factor of the Dogs' schedule lessens over the next couple of weeks.
After Rogers, Miami tests Tulsa Hale (1-5 overall and 1-2 in the district) and Pryor (2-4, 1-2) before finishing up the regular season at Kelley (4-2, 1-2)
Rogers' only win came in Week 2 with a 19-7 decision against Webster, which also is off to a 1-5 start.
Junior defensive back Sedrick Campbell returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown, giving the Ropers a 12-7 lead against Webster. Webster had only 46 total yards and turned the ball over eight times.
The Ropers have lost to Pryor 49-24, Hale 38-13 and Kelley 49-6.
“They have speed at some spots,” Risenhoover said. “The quarterback (senior A.J. Laurin) is extremely athletic. As a team, they have a hard time putting things together on a consistent basis, but they do have some fine athletes.”
Laurin was a 5A state qualifier in the 4x100-meter relay, the long jump and high jump, an event he placed sixth.
“On film, the quarterback has as good speed as anybody in the district. They have kids in the back end that play well. It's just that overall, they don't have what we've seen in some of the other schools.”
Rogers is in its first season under head coach Wade White. The Ropers were 1-9 a year ago. That came on the heels of a 6-5 showing in 2006, their first winning season in 32 years.