By Ronn Rowland
Phoenix Sports Writer
On a night when the Fort Gibson Tigers needed a win to keep pace in the District 4A-4 title chase, J.R. Singleton used his right arm and his legs to lead the Tigers to a 34-0 win over Muldrow last Thursday.
The junior quarterback completed 8 of 14 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a game-high 85 yards on 13 carries and another score to earn the Phoenix Player of the Week honor for week seven.
“Muldrow’s one of those teams that’s good enough to beat you if you don’t play your best,” Singleton said. “We really needed to come out and play a good game against them. Just not really show a lot of stuff but do what we do and win the game.
“We knew that their corners were going to start biting up on the run a lot because we had been running a lot of toss sweeps. We knew that if we could do some play action, we could get guys open.”
Fort Gibson coach James Singleton, J.R.’s father, knew the importance of the game against Muldrow, coming off a 42-28 loss to Poteau. Another loss could have spelled certain doom for the Tigers’ district title hopes and was proud that his signal caller stepped up.
“We wanted to get the ball down the field and stretch the field vertically,” said the Tigers’ coach. “J.R. was really, really solid. He managed our offense really well. He ran the ball when he had to. He had a couple of scramble runs in key situations instead of trying to force the ball.”
And J.R.’s game management is one thing that his dad has noticed about his son’s growth in the two-plus year’s as Fort Gibson’s starting quarterback. When J.R. has something to offer during a game, the coaches ears are open.
“He’s doing a great job of reading coverages now,” James said. “There’s a lot of suggestions he makes during a game that we end up going with. There are things he sees on the field that obviously we can’t see in certain situations.
“I think the speed of the game has really slowed down for him. He doesn’t really have happy feet in the pocket and kind of waits until the last second to make sure there’s nobody open before he takes off running.”
The Tigers (5-2, 3-1) are in a four-way tie with Poteau, Sallisaw and Cascia Hall, Fort Gibson’s foe on Friday. Cascia Hall has the advantage with a +38-point differential, followed by Poteau (+32), Fort Gibson (+31) and Sallisaw (+17), the Tigers opponent in the final game of the regular season.
J.R. is aware of what is in front of his team but knows that the most important game is the next one. That’s the attitude he and the team are taking this week.
“Preparing for a game like Cascia Hall is a lot easier,” J.R. said. “Because they’re kind of a team that they have a thing that they do and that’s what they do every game. They don’t come out with any bells and whistles and change what they do.
We know they’re probably not going to change up stuff. We just have to come out and play football.”
Week seven honor roll
J.R. Singleton, Fort Gibson – Completed 8-of-22 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries and another touchdown in Tigers’ 34-0 win over Muldrow.
Hayden Perry, Fort Gibson – Caught 3 passes for 119 yards and one touchdown in the Tigers’ victory.
Quintahj Cherry, Muskogee – Completed 15-of–24 passes for 258 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 39 yards on 13 carries in the Roughers’ 38-21 loss to Sapulpa.
Tramal Ivy, Muskogee – Had two receptions for 112 yards and two TDs in the Roughers’ loss.
Chandler Puckett, Hilldale – Was 13 of 28 passing for 258 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 187 yards on 17 carries and one TD in the Hornets’ 42-41 loss to Locust Grove.
Bradley Campbell, Hilldale – Caught eight passes for 164 yards and two TDs in the Hornets’ loss.
Lawrence Evitt, Wagoner – Ran for 137 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns in the Bulldogs’ 42-28 victory over Oologah.
Clint Kite, Warner – Rushed for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the Eagles’ 33-30 loss to Summit Christian.
Jacob Crabtree, Warner – Carried the ball 14 times for 133 yards and two TDs in the Eagles’ loss.
David Dick, Tahlequah – Ran for 126 yards and two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 25-23 loss to Central.
Dillon Coleman, Webbers Falls – Had 129 yards on seven carries as the Warriors beat Maud 36-22.
Eric Casey, Vian – Ran for 168 yards on 19 carries and two touchdowns in the Wolverines’ 47-0 win over Hugo.
Casey Prior, Eufaula – Had 24 carries for 181 yards and two touchdowns as the Ironheads beat Valliant 54-7.
Brody Enkey, Haskell – Threw for 233 yards while completing 21 of 34 passes as the Haymakers fell to Okemah 41-14.
Seth Sandlin, Stigler – Had 27 carries for 207 yards and two touchdowns in the Panthers’ 22-15 win over Checotah.
Dakota Matlock, Keys – Totaled 155 yards on 20 carries and two touchdowns in the Cougars’ 49-16 loss to Lincoln Christian.
This week's sxhedule
All games 7:30 p.m. unless noted
Porum at Dewar.
Cookson Hills at Midway
Muskogee at Jenks.
Pryor at Tahlequah
Wagoner at Cleveland
Fort Gibson at Cascia Hall
Keys at Hilldale
Sequoyah at Jay
Idabel at Checotah
Eufaula at Roland
Stigler at Heavener
Stroud at Haskell
Vian at Wilburton
Quapaw at Hulbert, 7 p.m.
Gore at Hartshorne.
Warner at Fairland
Porter at Afton
Sasakwa at Webbers Falls.
Life Christian at Boulevard Christian, 7 p.m.