MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

December 2, 2012

Vian begins healing process after stunning exit

— Vian’s hurt won’t be going away soon.

The Wolverines had their season of big wins and points come to a crushing end this past Friday with the 22-0 loss to the Davis Wolves in the Class 2A semifinals at Midwest City.

Vian, finishing the season at 13-1, had six of its passes intercepted and lost a fumble in the game.

“When you have as many turnovers as we did, that puts you behind the eight ball at the wrong time,” coach Brandon Tyler said. “We played our worst game of the year. I hate losing like we did. We’re a lot better than we showed.

“Still, I’m proud of this team. Our ultimate goal was to win a state title. We fell short of that. These players got the program going in the right direction.”

Speaking of hurt, quarterback Landon Decker suffered a concussion in the game after throwing four of the six interceptions. Tyler said the senior, who had his birthday on Friday, was feeling better Sunday.

Tyler wasn’t sure when the injury actually occurred.  

“Some say (the concussion) may have happened on the first play of the game and others said it was during the first drive in the second half,” he said. “I just don’t know. He had a great career. He was a winner. There’s not another kid I would’ve wanted quarterbacking Vian. I hated for the way he went out in his last game.”

It was a season highlighted by the Wolverines scoring 821 points in 13 games. The biggest win was the 43-13 victory against Hennessey in the quarterfinals to avenge the loss in the same round a year ago.

“That was our best game of the year,” Tyler said. “I wish we had played that way (on Friday night). We just couldn’t get the emotion back that we had the week before.”

Decker and the other seniors leave Vian with a 42-7 record  and two district championships in four seasons.

“We still want to be in Stillwater (for the state championship game) one day. We’re not going to lay off that goal,” Tyler said. “Our work ethic will stay the same and we’ll be focused on what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to keep working.”

But Tyler likes the way the Wolverines will go into the 2013 season with five starters returning each way. Three of the returnees are Rylee Simon, Andre English and Eric Casey.

Casey ran for 670 yards and 13 touchdowns, while catching 456 yards in passes and 10 more TDs. Simon had a team-leading 136 tackles this season with three sacks. English had 91 tackles and also three sacks.

“The returnees we have give us a good starting place,” the Vian coach said. “We’ll have a lot of young kids who will be ready to step in and accept the challenge. They’ll have to get in the weight room, work out in the off-season, go into wrestling or what they need to do.”

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