VINITA - Miami made it a clean sweep of games against Vinita here Thursday night.
The Will Rogers Middle School seventh-graders picked up their first victory of the season when they upended the Hornets 18-6.
The eighth grade Wardogs improved to 4-0 with a 32-8 win and the Miami High School freshmen coasted to a 14-0 victory.
“This was a great first win for these guys,” said seventh-grade coach Matt LeFay. “We started out a little slow in the first quarter and let them strike first, but the kids fought back, took control of the game and came out on top”
Vinita got its only points on a touchdown with 1:58 left in the half, but Will Rogers (1-3) countered with a 48-yard TD romp by Andrew Reavis just 28 seconds later. The conversion attempt failed, leaving the game tied 6-6.
A fumble recovery by Caden Collins set up the go-ahead score, a 31-yard pass from Kameron Jinks to Daniel Salazar with 5:10 left in the third quarter.
Another Vinita turnover, an interception by Reavis, set up an insurance touchdown, a 15-yard run by Reavis with 5:01 left in the game.
“The guys have been working really hard in practice this week,” LeFay said. “We’re going to ride this momentum into next week and go down to Locust Grove and get another win.”
The eighth-grade Wardogs jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
Christian Folks got the first score on a 27-yard run at the 3:10 mark, then just 16 seconds later, the Dogs got the ball back thanks to a Garrett Chase fumble recovery.
Folks capped the drive with a 26-yard run with 2:18 left in the first quarter.
Another turnover, a fumble recovery by Gabe Simons set up a 71-yard TD run by Folks with 5:14 until intermission.
Vinita scored on the ensuing possesion, narrowing the gap to 18-8.
The Wardog stunned the hosts with a 54-yard TD strike from Hunter Forkum to Folks with 49 seconds remaining. The conversion failed, leaving WR with a 24-8 halftime lead.
The Wardogs missed out on a scoring chance as the third quarter ended.
An interception by Ryan Perry set up a drive that reached inside the Hornet 10-yard line. However a holding penalty and a quarterback sack pushed the ball back to the 24. Forkum and Hayward teamed up for the completion, but Hayward was downed at the 1.
WR finally broke through with 6:54 remaining when Forkum had a 1-yard keeper on a fourth-and-goal call. Chase kicked the two-point conversion.
Ben Pulley had the Dogs' third fumble recovery of the night with 5:35 remaining.
“This group keeps getting better and better as the season goes,” Will Rogers coach Jeremy Herd said. “Christian has done a great job of ruinning the ball and the passing game is starting to catch fire as well. Defensively, they are just outworking people and we're getting all 11 guys to the football. They work hard in practice and it carries over to the game.
“This is a special group of players.”
In the freshman game, Blake Ragsdale gave the Wardogs the only points they needed when he scored on an 11-yard run with 5:23 left in the first half. Cody Andrews added the PAT kick.
Nathan Coombes added a 15-yard TD scamper with 6:22 remaining.
Andrews again toed the extra point.
Jarod Forkum recovered a fumble at the Miami 25-yard line with 6:02 left.
The Wardogs (3-1) kept the ball for the rest of the third quarter and into the fourth while driving the length of the field.
“This is a hard-nosed group of players,” freshman coach Cord Baldwin said. “They come out and just outwork people. I think having them practice with our JV guys has helped them improve tremendously from when they were eighth graders.
“I really like the way they come ready to play on Thursday nights. They're only going to get better when they come to the varsity level.”
The Miami teams travel to Locust Grove on Thursday.