MIAMI — Miami hopes its roller-coasterish football season heads back up Friday, Sept. 28 when it hosts Catoosa.
The Wardogs beat Claremore Sequoyah 24-10 in the season opener, lost to Jay 23-14, beat Tahlequah Sequoyah 30-13 and lost to Grove 35-14 last Friday.
“We just have to worry about playing better in general and not worry about personnel so much,” Miami head coach Zach Gardner. “We didn’t play very well defensively (in the Grove game), especially in the tackling aspect of it. It was like we reverted back to the Jay atmosphere where we didn’t respond.”
After battling to a 7-7 draw in the first quarter, Grove scored four times to open up a 35-7 advantage.
The Wardogs received a 72-yard romp from Jordon Freeman with 1:36 remaining in the game to create the final margin.
Catoosa slipped from seventh to 10th in 4A by The Associated Press’ Oklahoma high school football poll.
The Indians (3-1) suffered a 31-14 loss to top-ranked Wagoner on Sept. 21.
Senior wide receiver Ashton Bartholomew had touchdown receptions of 58 and 44 yards and running back Schuler Adair also had a pair of scores for the AP No. 1-ranked Bulldogs.
“They definitely battled last week and played with them for a half,” Gardner said. “They gave them (the Bulldogs) pretty much all they wanted. They just took advantage of their athletes.”
Quarterback Daniel Queen accounted for both of the Catoosa touchdowns on runs of 15 and 10 yards. He also had 138 yards on 23 carries.
Jose Ortiz ran the ball 21 times and netted a team-high 158 yards.
“They have an aggressive offensive line and they do a great job of opening holes,” Gardner said. “That quarterback can score from anywhere on the field.”
Freeman has 201 yards and one touchdown on 34 carries.
Folks has contributed 184 yards and a team-best four touchdowns while Gavin Payton has added 152 yards and a TD.
Payton has completed 20 of 38 passes for 289 yards and three scores.
Damion Burris has caught half of those receptions for 143 yards.
Freeman has scored on two of his three catches and Josh Thronebury has the other receiving touchdown.
Defensively, junior linebacker Matt Horn has been in on 39 tackles, including 32 assists.
Michael Heyburn has 27 total tackles, followed by Joseph Armstrong, 26; Issac Lacy, 22, and Folks and Clay McCormick, 21 each.
The two wins are the most for a Miami team since 2015, when it went 3-7.
The Wardogs won just one game each in the previous two seasons.
“The wins will eventually come. They will take care of themselves,” Gardner said.
Miami will be on the road the next two weeks, traveling to Wagoner Friday, Oct. 5, and then Tulsa McLain on Oct. 12.