OOLOGAH — Even though his Wardogs suffered their sixth loss of the season, Miami head coach Zach Gardner was pleased with the effort.
“We had more going on positively,” he said following Friday night’s 45-0 loss to Oologah.
“We’re just trying to build on the positives and work on the negatives. They kept their ‘1s’ in the whole game and our kids, we felt like they competed, especially compared to the Cleveland game,” Gardner said. “We played a much better football team in Oologah. We felt like we executed better with our schemes and the kids’ body language was better. We stayed up the whole game.”
This marked the sixth straight win and the 10th in the last 11 games for the Mustangs against Miami (0-6).
They took advantage of a blocked punt on Miami’s first offensive series to get a 32-yard touchdown less than five minutes into the game.
It was 14-0 after the first quarter, 28-0 at the break and 38-0 heading into the final stanza.
“We let a couple deep passes get behind us for easy scores and put the ball on the ground too much,” Gardner said.
MHS had two interceptions and lost two of four fumbles — with one being returned 30-yards for a touchdown.
The Wardogs had to cope with a week where they had to deal with a number of ineligible players and several with COVID-related issues.
“We’re not happy. We’re not content with losing football games by any means, but week in and week out, we’re trying to be a better football team,” Gardner said. “I felt it happened this week with how the kids responded, facing adversity the way they did.”
Freshman Braylon Riley, making his second start at quarterback, ran for 78 yards on 21 carries and completed 13 of his 17 pass attempts for 77 yards.
Another freshman, Garrett Walls, was the Dogs’ leading receiver with five catches for 22 yards.
Bo Leach and Carson Folks ran for 40 and 31 yards, respectively.
Miami’s best scoring chances were second-half drives that reached the Oologah 34- and 38-yard line, but turnover ended each.
Only two of the Mustangs’ six scores came on extended drives and two came on third-down plays.
The Wardogs host No. 1 ranked Wagoner Thursday night.
“We will have our hands full with a short week and hosting Wagoner,” Gardner said. “We’re still going to accomplish many victories by competing series in and series out. Our mindset is as a team is we’re coaching them up to be is not that we have to play Wagoner, it's the fact we get to play Wagoner and see how we can make ourselves a better football team.