Miami held a 23-10 edge in first downs, had two players go over 100 yards rushing and held a 440-259 edge in total yardage.

So why all the long faces following Thursday night's Grove-Miami game at Robertson Field?

The second-ranked Ridgerunners carted off a 34-20 victory in a battle of unbeaten District 4A-3 teams.

“I was real pleased with our running game and with our effort - it was similar to last year in a way in that we didn't get the breaks, Miami head coach Chris Risenhoover said. “We needed some breaks. They ended up getting them. We turned over the ball on the first drive of the (second) half, had a couple of drops in the first half where we could have put another one on the board.

The loss was the first in five weeks for the Wardogs, who had battled back from a 1-2 start to put themselves in the middle of the 4A-3 title chase.

The Ridgerunners improved to 8-0 on the season, 5-0 in the district.

In other games involving the district frontrunners, Wagoner routed Tulsa Webster 44-12 while Oologah topped Pryor 35-14. The Bulldogs are also 5-0 in the district while Oologah - which hosts Miami next Friday - improved to 4-1 and pulled into a tie for third with MHS.

Grove hosts Wagoner next Friday in a game that likely will determine the district championship.

Miami prevented the Ridgerunners from maxing out in district points when it got a 15-yard run from quarterback Grant Longcrier and the ensuing conversion pass to James Pickens with 26.3 seconds remaining.

But Grove head coach Dennis Millican wasn't upset.

“I don't concern myself with that (the point system) a whole lot, he said. “We'll see how the district standings play out in heads-up games, so if you win them all, points won't matter.

Miami was its own worst enemy in the game, turning the ball over four times. It lost two fumbles and Longcrier was intercepted twice - with one being returned 78 yards by Corey Davenport for a touchdown.

That's the fourth time the Ridgerunners have done that this season.

Miami rolled up 23 first downs - their second-most ever in a game. They had 17 rushing first downs and only five passing.

The record is 27 during a 2005 game with Glenpool.

The Wardogs also held a 440-259 edge in total yardage.

Thanks to the 1-2 punch of Tye Turley and Longcrier, MHS generated 308 yards on the ground.

Turley had a career-best 185 yards on 19 carries, but he was kept out of the end zone just a week after getting four TDs against Webster.

Longcrier added 109 yards and a touchdown rushing. He completed 12 of 21 passes for 132 yards and two scores.

“I think our kids played the game the way it's got to be played, Risenhoover said. “They played with a lot of energy and executed fairly well. Our defense played well against the run. But, you have to take your hat off to the Hopper kid (quarterback Darrius Hopper). He got the ball in some tough spots and made some plays when they needed them. They have a lot of team speed and execute well.

Grove set the tone for the night when Hopper teamed with wide receiver Dusty Gehrke on a 63-yard TD strike on the first play from scrimmage.

Gehrke was wide open, catching a play-action pass over the middle. He virtually strolled into the end zone.

Miami countered with one of its best drives of the season, going 79 yards in 11 plays, the capper a 10-yard toss from Longcrier to Pickens.

However, the extra point kick by Seth Rhodes strayed to the right, leaving Grove with a 7-6 lead with 5:59 left in the first quarter.

The Ridgerunners snatched the momentum back when it needed just over two minutes to drive for its second score, a 35-yard lob from Hopper to Michael Hudgens. T.J. Griffith again nailed the PAT, giving Grove a 14-6 edge, which stood up through the half.

Miami took the second half kickoff and put together a nice threat, with Longcrier carrying for 3 and 29 yards to move the ball to the Grove 36.

He got the call again, but this time fumbled, with Laramie Raymond recovering.

Grove scored twice in the span of just over 3 minutes to take charge. Hopper accounted for both touchdowns, getting a 1-yard blast with 4:09 left in the third, then he added an 8-yard scamper with 20.2 seconds left.

Davenport's interception return was countered by another impressive drive by the Wardogs.

They overcame a holding penalty to drive from their 16, with Longcrier teaming with Trent Turner for a 2-yard touchdown. The conversion pass to Turley was incomplete, leaving Grove with a 22-point cushion.

Miami then put together the drive for its final score in the closing seconds.

“Obviously it wasn't a perfect game, but Miami has a very good team, very potent offensively, Millican said. “They played well up front. We sputtered at times but persevered in the end.

Hopper accounted for 259 yards and four touchdowns for the Ridgerunners, throwing for 210 and two TDs while running for 49 and another two scores.