MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

December 25, 2013

2013 MUSKOGEE PHOENIX ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM: Wagoner has MVP, Hilldale draws most selections

Last year, a season 20 yards shy of 3,000 yards wasn’t good enough.

So for Lawrence Evitt, was less more?

His 2,641 rushing yards got the same team results — a semifinal appearance in Class 4A, where the Wagoner Bulldogs were again knocked out by Anadarko which this year went on to become state champion.

And, his coach confesses, some intangibles were added to the package which won Evitt the Most Valuable Player honors on the All-Phoenix football squad.

“He matured and became mentally tougher,” he said. “He was able to fight through pain and fatigue at times, as we played him some on defense. When you get to college ball, this becomes a job so everyone needs mental toughness.”

Part of that began mental toughness evolved from multiple question marks on both the offensive line and at quarterback. Defenses were able to key on the 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior a little more. Yards were more punishing and for a few weeks, so were the statistics that came from those yards.

But the line issues jelled before the end of non-district and his numbers rose to 2012 levels on fewer carries — 238 to 273. He rushed for 31 touchdowns.

“He’s never really been concerned with how many yards he’s had. He’s never come to me wanting more carries. There were times he wanted me to pull him out and put in Devin Hawkins —  a guy who had been through two ACL surgeries in his career — so he could have a scoring opportunity.”

Evitt finished with 31 touchdowns, including two that momentarily stole the momentum in the semifinal loss to Anadarko — a 61-yarder on the final play of the first half and a 20-yard run on the first possession of the second half, giving Wagoner a 14-13 lead.

Anadarko scored 21 unanswered points to finish the contest, then extended the run to 61 in the title game against Poteau. Evitt’s final game in high school netted him 175 yards on 23 carries.

The next move for Evitt depends on his ACT tests. Tulsa, Memphis, Southern Mississippi and multiple Division II teams in the area have offered him scholarships and Oklahoma and Oklahoma State have kept in touch, Condict said.

“I’m grateful for the community and coaching staff at Wagoner for being there for me,” Evitt said. “They really worked to put the offense together and make it work for us.”

Other honorees follow.:

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