By Mike Kays
Phoenix Sports Editor
WARNER – Warner’s deep stable of running backs rolled up a season-high 488 yards on the ground here Friday night, making its first home playoff game since 1998 a footloose and fancy free 40-6 romp over the Yale Bulldogs in the opening round of the Class A tournament.
Moving to 11-0 and into next week’s second-round game here against Talihina (a 42-34 overtime winner over Wewoka), the Eagles also got two 100-yard rushers for the first time this season.
Jake Leybas rushed for 147 yards on seven carries and two scores, both in the third quarter. Kyle Taylor, who scored a pair of second-quarter touchdowns, had 105 on eight carries.
A big bunch of Leybas’ real estate came on an 80 yard run off a trap. Perhaps it’s this depth that had him running on fumes from about the Yale 20 to paydirt.
“That 42 trap is the only play I run,” Leybas said.
With eight guys, you can specialize that way. And everything the Eagles hit the Bulldogs (6-5) with worked.
“The sweep and trap are our bread and butter,” Warner coach Chris McMullen said. “They were teeing off trying to stop the sweep. Well, if you run up field then you’re susceptible to the trap. If they lay back and try to stop the trap, they’re not as aggressive and we can get our down blocks on the sweep.
“That’s the beauty of the wing-T. Everything just complements each other.”
Briar Campbell’s 35 yard run off a sweep capped the Eagles’ first drive of the contest, a five-play, 71-yard march. Warner struck on its next possession, taking just three plays to go 59 yards, Justin Wright running the sweep 51 yards for a 12-0 lead.
Yale quarterback Konner Fowler directed a 65-yard drive to get the Bulldogs on the board, scoring on a 1-yard keeper near the end of the first quarter. His defense seemed to be settling in as well, holding the Eagles to a three-and-out and forcing a fumble just after his offense had coughed up one.
The fumble seemed to pull Warner back into its zone. Backed up at its own 6 due to an illegal block on a punt return, The Eagles took over at their own 6 and went 94 yards in 11 plays. Clint Kite’s 12-yard run got the Eagles to the Yale 37, then on a second-and-10 play, quarterback Anthony Carney found Jakob Anderson for 17 to the 20, then Collin Carlton for six, setting up Taylor’s 14-yard carry to make it 20-6.
After a three-and-out by the Eagles defense, Taylor took it 56 yards on a sweep for his second TD of the game.
Carney’s 64 yards passing put Warner above 500 total yards for the first time this season, with 552.
WARNER 40, YALE 6
Yale 6 0 0 0–6
Warner 12 14 14 0–40
W-Briar Campbell 35 run (pass failed), 8:37.
W-Justin Wright 51 run (run failed), 5:55.
Y-Konner Fowler 1 run (run failed), 1:52.
W-Kyle Taylor 14 run (Jake Leybas pass from Andrew Carney), 2:56
W-Taylor 56 run (pass failed), 1:39.
W-Leybas 19 run (Clint Kite run), 9:09.
W-Leybas 80 run (pass failed), 5:07.
First Downs 12 19
Rushes-Yards 45-145 37-488
Passing Yards 32 64
Passes CAI 3-11-0 6-9-0
Punts-Avg 4-28 1-32
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-1
Penalties-Yards 0-0 4-44
RUSHING: Yale, Monte Wiseley 11-50. Warner, Leybas 7-147 (2 TD), Taylor 8-105 (2 TD), Campbell 7-77 (TD), Wright 3-57 (TD).
PASSING: Yale, Fowler 3-11--0-32. Warner, Carney 6-9-0-64.
RECEIVING: Yale, Junior Wakley 2-23. Warner, Kite 2-26, Jakob Anderson 1-17, Leybas 1-15.