MIAMI — Hypothetically, Miami could have been looking at a big District 4A-3 win instead of its sixth straight loss.
Tulsa McLain had touchdown runs of 39 and 50 yards and an 88-yard TD strike over the course of a 36-29 victory over the Wardogs Thursday, Oct. 17 at Red Robertson Field.
“Once they get loose, speed kills,” Miami head coach Zach Gardner said. “Turnovers killed us, obviously — we turned the ball over too many times.”
The Dogs had four turnovers — two interceptions and two fumbles. McLain converted two of those into points.
The win was the first in district play for the Titans while MHS fell to 0-4.
“We can’t find a way to win, still yet,” Gardner said.
The backbreaker was an 88-yard touchdown pass from Talyon Orr to Jaylon Holmes just five plays after Miami had scored to narrow the gap to 30-17.
The Wardogs recovered a pooch kick and reached the McLain 19 before a fumble.
McLain lost 5, gained 10 then used the long ball to score its final points just 15 seconds into the fourth quarter.
That was the second-longest TD strike in MHS history. The longest was by Wagoner in 2016 when Malcom Rodriguez (now a starting safety at Oklahoma State) hooked up with Nakia Jones on an 89-yard play.
The Wardogs inched back into the game when they got a safety at 5:43, then Tanner Maple bulled in from the 2 and Skyler Judd added the PAT to shave the deficit down to 10 at 4:14.
Miami pulled off another onside, getting the ball at the McLain 26, but bogged down at the 9 — so settled for a 27-yard field goal from Judd to make it a one-touchdown game.
The Titans got the ensuing kickoff and ran seven plays to kill off the remaining three minutes.
Miami mounted a 76-yard drive to get its first points, a 1-yard run by quarterback Karson Jinks, just 4:42 in the game — but McLain countered with a 39-yard run by Kiontay Walker less than three minutes later.
Judd nailed a 27-yard field goal to put the Dogs on top 10-6.
However the visitors scored on three of their next four possessions on runs of 65 and 50 yards and a 20-yard pass to balloon the score to 30-17 and set the stage for the crazy fourth quarter.
The Wardogs had a season-best 299 yards rushing on 51 plays.
Also, for the first time this season, they had two players break the 100-yard mark: Maple with 107 yards on 12 carries and Josh Thronebury with 100 yards on 20 totes.
Thronebury also caught all three of the pass completions by Jinks, who was pinch hitting for the injured Gavin Payton.
“I was proud of the way the offensive line played. It was beneficial since we had a freshman quarterback (Jinks) back there and were trying to get him comfortable,” Gardner said.
McLain rolled up 528 yards in total offense, with Walker netting 207 yards on 15 carries and Orr picking up 164 on 17 attempts.
Orr was 4 of 8 passing for 181 yards and the two TDs.
Miami travels to Oologah Friday, Oct. 25.