MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Sports

October 5, 2013

Bulldogs use fourth quarter to get past McLain

TULSA – This was one of those weeks that Wagoner coach Dale Condict was glad to get over. Disruptions and a lack of intensity showed on the field —at least for a half Friday night.

Wagoner’s defense held Tulsa McLain to just seven total yards in the second half and the Bulldogs finally got   their ground game going as Class 4A No. 2 ranked Wagoner defeated the Titans, 22-7, at Melvin Driver Stadium.

“We didn’t practice well this week,” Condict said. “We had kids who had to be held out due to injury and some to disciplinary actions. We came out and didn’t play with a lot of intensity or emotion.”

While Wagoner (5-0, 2-0 in District 4A-3) was lackluster, McLain (3-2, 1-1) was motivated. It showed in the form of a Titan defense that held Wagoner’s leading rusher Lawrence Evitt to just 17 yards rushing on eight carries in the first half.

Wagoner amassed only 92 total yards in the first half. The Bulldogs only moved into the red zone once and the result of that was a two-yard loss on fourth down at the McLain 20.

“That’s the type of team they are,” Condict said. “They make you work for everything. They have players that can make plays.”

The Wagoner defense kept McLain in check for most of the half with the exception of one play.

After stopping Wagoner on fourth down at the McLain 20, the Titans were backed up to the 15 on a penalty. The next play, Joshua Jacobs got loose in the Bulldog secondary and rushed 85 yards to give McLain a 7-0 lead.

It appeared as if the lone score might be enough for the Titans to upset Wagoner.

The Bulldogs fumbled on the first play of the second half and were stopped on downs at the McLain 31 as the running game continued to struggle.

But the Wagoner defense pushed McLain back to its own 12 and a heavy rush on a punt resulted in a 21-yard punt that gave Wagoner the ball at the McLain 33.

K.J. Lee had runs of eight and 11 yards to set up Devin Hawkins’ 10-yard scoring run as Wagoner tied the game with 1:11 left in the third quarter.

“The season is a long journey and there’s going to be times that you don’t play your best,” Condict said. “I thought Devin, K.J. and Roman (Rodriguez) did a good job of picking things up. Our defense played well all night, but especially in the second half. They came with more intensity.”

The defense forced turnovers to set up Wagoner’s next two scores. Hadyn Ford intercepted DeQuan Reeves and returned it to the McLain 25. Two plays later, Evitt, who wound up with 100 yards rushing, scored on a 16-yard run to give Wagoner a 14-7 lead.

Wagoner penalties aided McLain’s only real scoring threat of the second half.

But it was Thayvein Faison who came up with a Titan fumble at the 48.

Lee, who finished with 90 yards rushing for the Bulldogs, raced 21 yards and a 19-yard rush by Evitt set up Rodriguez’ seven-yard run with 3:51 left to seal the win.

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