MULDROW -- On a water-soaked field on a crisp cold night, the Fort Gibson Tigers ruined homecoming for the Muldrow Bulldogs winning 57-6 behind a great game and solid defense.
The Tiger defense began the game by forcing the Muldrow Bulldogs to a three and out. The Fort Gibson offense then went to work. The offensive line seemed to open lanes with ease as Tavien Woodworth sped through with force. Great field position along with a great blocking allowed the Tigers to drive 39 yards capped off by an 11-yard touchdown run by Woodworth with 8:22 left on the opening quarter clock.
This would prove to be the first of many scoring runs by the Tavien Woodworth and his Tiger teammates.
“We responded,” Woodworth said, regarding bouncing back from last week’s loss to Poteau. “It starts with those guys up front. It’s the linemen doing their job.”
Meanwhile, the defense forced another Bulldog punt and Woodworth would carry his team into scoring position, setting up quarterback Cole Mahaney to get a rushing touchdown at the 5:00 mark.
“We knew the field conditions would be like this and so it was time to put in the heavy package and hand it off to out tailbacks,” said Tigers coach Greg Whiteley.
It wasn’t until the Tigers’ third possession that the Bulldogs forced them to punt. However, the Tiger offense would not stay off the field for long, as Carson Ladd intercepted a pass to give the Tigers the ball at the 39 yard line. But a bad handle on the snap led to a fumble which Muldrow recovered.
For a moment, it seemed Muldrow had momentum with subsequent passes up the middle of the field of 17 and 13 yards, followed by an 8 yard run. However, a false start penalty caused the momentum to shift as a bad center/quarterback exchange led to fumble recovered by Fort Gibson.
Woodworth would then run the ball down the right side of the field for a 47 yard touchdown with 5:41 left in the first half. He would score another touchdown from one yard out at the 4:38 mark, bringing the Tigers’ lead to 28-0 at the half.
Things looked bright for Muldrow at the start of the second half after a fumble on the attempted catch of the kickoff led to great field position at the Tiger 31. Fort Gibson intercepted a pass, but it was quickly followed by a pick-six from Muldrow’s Sean Irvan which gave the Bulldogs their first and only score of the game. They failed the two point conversion.
The Tigers would grab the momentum back with another scamper on second and goal from quarterback Cole Mahaney, making the score 35-6 at the end of the third. A touchdown run by Jesse Rudd at the 9:58 mark would add to the lead. Then a long pass from Mahaney to Codale Ford led to a 35-yard touchdown. The final score was a 59-yard touchdown run by Ford, followed by the made extra point by Xan Hazen.
The Tiger defense helped establish the tone in the first half, holding Muldrow to three punts, an interception, two fumbles and a turnover on downs.
“Our defensive coaches do a great job. We focus on turnovers and call it Turnover Tuesday,” Whiteley said.
The Tigers travel to Sallisaw to take on the Black Diamonds on Thursday before hosting their cross-river rivals, Hilldale.