WAGONER - Week 10 brings almost as much anticipation in the Miami High School football camp as Week 1 did.
The Wardogs face their third major test in as many weeks Friday when they battle second-ranked Wagoner in the regular-season finale. They're attempting to gain some momentum heading into the playoffs while breaking a two-game losing streak.
And they will do it with a different look in the offensive backfield.
Trent Turner will get the starting nod at quarterback while Grant Longcrier will be in the rotation at running back.
Part of the change was planned and part of it wasn't.
Turner was rewarded after engineering two impressive scoring drives in the fourth quarter of last week's 44-28 loss to Oologah.
“We were happy with the way he played,” Risenhoover said. “We felt it was the best thing for the team (at the start of the season) was to have Grant there and Trent at H to give us more speed at receiver. Grant is a fine quarterback. He was leading Class 4A in throwing the ball.
“But we were making some mistakes in games that hopefully we won't from here on out. I hate it. He's as quality of a kid as I've been around.”
Turner had rushed for 127 yards on 31 carries, with 55 yards on eight carries against Oologah. He completed all six of his pass attempts against Oologah for 94 yards.
Turner started at quarterback the last half of the 2006 season after Longcrier suffered a broken collarbone.
Turner completed 59 of 96 passes for 866 yards and six touchdowns in ‘06.
The other major lineup change was unplanned: leading rusher Tye Turley withdrew from MHS Monday and enrolled at Afton on Tuesday.
He won't play for the Eagles in their remaining games, AHS head coach Zach Gardner said Wednesday.
Turley had rushed for 874 yards on 123 carries, an average of 7.11 yards per carry. He scored 11 touchdowns.
Risenhoover plans on alternating Longcrier with Jeff Meeks and Ethan Harwood at running back. And with the move of Turner to quarterback, Josh White will be seeing more action at H-back.
Oologah stunned the Wardogs by scoring twice in about 3 minutes in the first quarter.
Miami took a 14-13 lead with a 9-yard run by Turley with 9:27 until intermission, but the Mustangs scored on back-to-back possessions to go up 29-14 at the break.
“It became a slugfest and we were definitely not happy with the way we played up front on defense,” Risenhoover said. “We had some kids play uncharacteristically bad. If they score, we had to go score.
“But you've got to give Oologah credit - they played an excellent game,” he said. “Their front line blocked well and they had two running backs (Brett Swindell and John Jarred) who were exceptional. Their quarterback (Jordan Barrett) played really well, too. I really think we would have had to have played our best game of the season to get out of there with a win.”
Wagoner pinned the first loss of the season on Grove last Friday when the Bulldogs captured a 28-21 victory.
Halfback Everett Shaver got what turned out to be the game-winning touchdown with 1:23 remaining on a 17-yard run.
“Wagoner has a great football team,” Risenhoover said. “They are athletic at basically every position. They are exceptional in some spots. They have some Division I athletes. It's one where we will have to play extremely well and hope we can stay with them.”
Shaver has rushed for 943 yards and 11 touchdowns while tailback Gus Jones has 754 yards and another 11 scores.
“They can pound it at you, and they have a very athletic quarterback (Durell Parker) who can fling it down the field 60 yards,” Risenhoover said. “He also has a lot of power and very quick feet. Of they can go with smaller backs who are lightning fast. They've got a good nucleus of players.”
Wagoner's lone setback was in Week 3 against 5A Coweta. Since then, the Bulldogs have rolled through the 4A-3 schedule.
Their seven-point win over Grove left them at plus-82 out of a possible 90 district points.
Defending 4A state champ Oklahoma City Bishop McGuinness has been a consensus No. 1 in the state's high school polls (Associated Press, Tulsa World and Oklahoman).
Wagoner moved up to No. 2 with the win over Grove, which dropped to fourth.
"That's two very talented football teams if they (McGuinness and Wagoner) run into each other (in the playoffs)," Risenhoover said. "I saw McGuinness last year and they are big and fast. They are also well coached. Wagoner is well coached. They both would be tough to deal with."
Post-season play begins next Friday with the Wardogs traveling to Broken Bow.