MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Prep Sports

December 1, 2013

Coach’s worry comes true: Anadarko ends Wagoner’s title hopes for second straight season

STILLWATER – R.J. Sink was anything but a secret weapon for No. 1 Anadarko.

Wagoner coach Dale Condict insists he knew Brandon Pollard, the Warriors junior quarterback, wasn’t either.

It was Pollard’s work behind center that keyed Anadarko’s 34-14 thumping of the No. 2 Bulldogs in the Class 4A semifinal at Stillwater High School on Saturday. Pollard missed his first pass attempt then completed 14 consecutive, three of which went for touchdowns.

He also ran for one as the Indians (13-0) rallied from a 14-13 deficit early in the third quarter, scoring the final 21 points of the game.

“I felt like going into the game he worried me more than Sink,” Condict said, referring to the standout senior running back who hit Wagoner for 171 yards rushing in a 24-14 semifinal win a  year ago.

“People don’t watch him. We haven’t played anybody like him. He looks the same way on film. Great passer, he’s phenomenal. Great runner, he’d be a tailback for most teams and has a very quick release. But the big thing is he’s a field general.”

Sink ended up with 147 yards on 32 carries after just 50 at the half and scored the icer on a 24-yard run with 1:45 to play. But Pollard was on from the outset.

He completed nine straight to finish the half, two TD passes to Josh Parton. The first, a 22-yarder, came on a third-down pass on a 14-play, 60-yard march that began after Ethan Smith recovered a fumble off a run play by Wagoner reserve running back K.J. Lee.

The second came with 16.2 seconds to play in the half and after Kaden Jackson’s sack of Bulldogs quarterback Jake Woodson on a fourth-and-4 from the Anadarko 38. The 11-yard loss set up a 51-yard march where Pollard was 6-of-6, including a 15-yard toss to Parton on third-and-goal  after it appeared Wagoner (12-1) might get out of the half without a score when defensive end Devin Cantrell sacked Pollard for a loss of 7.

With just seconds left, Condict got a time out called as the horn went off to end the half, breaking both teams’ trot toward their respective locker rooms. Wagoner running back Lawrence Evitt, who entered the game with 5,400 yards in his last two seasons, made it worthwhile, taking the ball around the end and cutting back up field, raced 61 yards to make it a 13-7 game at the break.

Wagoner then scored on an 80-yard march to begin the third quarter, Evitt carrying the final 20. At that point the senior had 146 yards. He would finish with 175 on 23 carries.

“I felt great about the momentum we had at the half, then we take the lead and you saw what happened,” Condict said. “They responded. They did the same thing last week against Woodward when they got down and I attribute a lot of it to the quarterback and the play caller who did a great job of mixing it up and keeping us off balance defensively. They also did a good job controlling the ball.”

The Warriors went 68 yards in seven plays, with Pollard connecting on a 40-yard TD strike to Brayden Alexander. The same combo worked for the two-point conversion to take a 21-14 lead with 6:30 to go in the third.

Soon after, the first of two Woodson interceptions landed in the hands of Parton at the Bulldogs 33. Two plays after hitting Parton on a clutch third-and-3 toss, Pollard carried it in from a yard out with 57.2 seconds to go in the quarter.

With a sense of urgency, Wagoner drove from its 35 to the Anadarko 23 in 11 plays, but the drive stalled and on fourth-and-7, Woodson’s pass to the end zone was picked off by Mykel Shaw with 7:20 to play.

Wagoner played the second half without linebacker Roman Rodriguez, who left with an ankle injury. It also took him out of the offensive plan after he had a couple of nice runs off fullback counters.

“That hurt us especially defensively because he was one of our toughest players,” said Condict.

But not as much as Pollard.

“We had what it took up front but we needed some more speed in the backfield,” said Cantrell.

“I think we surprised them a little with the pass,” Pollard said. “We had some good guys make some good plays, especially on third and fourth downs. I had a lot of help out there from the guys around me.”

Anadarko, which lost to Clinton in last year’s final, will face Poteau, a 27-20 winner over Douglass, just a few blocks away from here at Boone Pickens Stadium on Friday.

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