FORT GIBSON — Deven Woodworth had a night that everyone will remember for the Fort Gibson Tigers on Friday.
Woodworth blocked two Glenpool Warrior punts, recovered one fumble, sacked the quarterback twice, recorded nine tackles, caused one fumble and for the cherry on top, scored on a nine-yard scamper in the third quarter that put the game away for the Tigers in a 20-3 win at Leo Donahue Tiger Stadium.
“Our special teams played big time tonight,” said Tigers’ coach Greg Whiteley, whose team moved to 3-0 on the year and for the first time since 2014. “We had a great game plan for their punt set and the kids executed it perfectly. Special teams are the third phase of the game and a lot of teams forget about them.”
On top of the two blocked punts, Tigers’ kicker Jaxon Purdue was able to coffin corner his kickoffs, keeping the Warriors (1-2) pinned inside their own 25-yard line all night long.
On Glenpool’s third possession of the first quarter, punting from their own 21-yard line, Woodworth jetted off the left side of the punt formation to block his first of two on the night. Recovering at the Warriors’ 2, Cole Mahaney quarterback sneaked it in from there and put the Tigers up 7-0 with 2:24 left in the first quarter.
Opening the second quarter on defense, Woodworth again showed his superpower on special teams. He blocked a punt at the Warriors 25 and gave chase before recovering it at the Glenpool 12.
Five plays later Kamaron Clopton dove in from a yard out and pushed the Fort Gibson lead to 14-0 with 9:18 to go in the second quarter.
“The coaches kept telling us that we could get to the punt with their blocking formation,” said Woodworth. “They just told me to attack it, I stretched out and was able to get a hand on it.”
Two possessions later Glenpool made it 14-3 with a 12-play drive that culminated with a 21-yard Drake Poth field goal with 1:08 to go in the half.
Putting up only 50 yards rushing in the first half, the Tigers were ready to make an offensive statement to open the third quarter. They embarked on a methodical 15-play, clock-chewing seven-minute drive, going 91 yards.
Mahaney tossed a 22-yard strike to Hunter Branch on a second-and-12 to get the Tigers engaged. As Woodworth was flipped head over heels on a two-yard gain, the Warriors began some trash talk. On the next play, he busted out for a 20-yard to the Warrior 20. Three carries later, Woodworth jaunted in from nine yards out, putting the Tigers up 20-3 with 5:03 left in the third.
“They said some not very nice things and I took them personal,” said Woodworth. “I was going to make I scored on them for the trash talk.”
Defensively, Fort Gibson held Glenpool to minus-one yards rushing in the second half after yielding 93 in the first half. They also forced six Glenpool fumbles in all, two interceptions, eight quarterback sacks and added two blocked punts on special teams.
“We made some adjustments to our defensive scheme in the second half, and to be honest we just played harder,” said Whiteley. “Same thing on offense, their defensive front was giving us fits, we fixed some things and played some smash-mouth football.”
The Tigers will open District 4A-4 play hosting Muldrow for Homecoming next Friday night.
FORT GIBSON 20, GLENPOOL 3
GLENPOOL 0 3 0 0—3
FGHS – Cole Mahaney 2 run (Jaxon Purdue kick) – 2:24
FGHS – Kamaron Clopton 1 run (Purdue kick) – 9:18
GHS – Drake Poth 21 FG – 1:08
FGHS – Deven Woodworth 9 run (kick failed) – 5:03
Rushes-Yards 42-127 33-92
Punts-Avg. 3-38 4-23.5
Rushing: FGHS, Deven Woodworth 12-59, Kamaron Clopton 18-43. Gle, Shawn McClaughlin 16-101.
Passing: FGHS, Cole Mahaney 7-10-77-1. Gle, Ashton Gorbet 8-15-108-2.
Receiving: FGHS, Hunter Branch 5-61.