MIAMI — After starting the season on the right note, Miami turns its attention to Jay.
The Wardogs opened the 2019 season just as they did in ’18, with an impressive 38-7 Week Zero win over Claremore Sequoyah Friday, Aug. 30 at Red Robertson Field.
MHS topped the Eagles 24-10 in their debut under Zach Gardner, but suffered a 23-14 loss to JHS the following week.
The Friday, Sept. 6 game will be the season opener for the Bulldogs, who were 3-7 a year ago.
“We’ve still got a lot of things to patch up, but it’s nice to get a ‘W’ this early and get the monkey off our back,” Gardner said. “If we are going to compete in our district on down the road, we’ve got a lot of fixing to do. Defense played really well. We played some sound football.”
Gavin Payton ran for two touchdowns and threw for another in the win against Claremore Sequoyah.
Payton staked the Wardogs to a 14-0 lead with runs of 1 and 10 yards in the fourth quarter.
He also had a 35-yard touchdown pass to Damion Burris in the third quarter.
Miami’s other points came on a 34-yard field goal by Skyler Judd as time expired in the first half and third-quarter TD runs of 6 and 13 yards by Gabe McCleary and Tanner Maple, respectively.
Judd also was successful on all five of his PAT attempts.
“We worked hard for that,” Payton said. “I couldn’t have done it without them (the offensive line) — the D-line too. They couldn't run the ball and they’re a running team. They couldn’t pass.”
Miami’s defense limited Sequoyah to only 146 yards in total offense — 92 rushing and only 54 passing — and had a shutout going until there was only 8:45 remaining in the game.
“The field goal at the half was huge,” Gardner said. “That made it a three-score game right there and the momentum was in our favor, then defensively in the third quarter, we just stuffed them.”
The Bulldogs had only 26 yards total — all via the run — in the third.
In addition to Payton’s 110 yards rushing, McCleary added 96 yards.
Payton completed 11 of 21 passes for 114 yards and rushed for a team-high 110 yards.
“He played well, but we put the ball on the ground too many times, especially in big situations that could have turned into scoring drives. We've got to fix that,” Gardner said.
Damion Burris and Josh Throneberry each caught four passes, Burris netting 59 yards and the score while Throneberry netted 32 yards.
Seth Swingle caught three passes for 23 yards.