SKIATOOK — Fort Gibson’s play-in round Class 4A playoff matchup with Skiatook turned out to be more like the Tigers’ season — a promising start that eventually snowballed in the opposite direction.
Skiatook’s Alex Johnson rushed for 193 yards and three touchdowns and the Bulldogs put a merciful end to Fort Gibson’s late season slide with a 42-7 win Friday night at Hap Dunlap Field.
After starting 6-0, the Tigers lost their last five games to finish 6-5. Skiatook (6-3) will travel to Poteau next week.
“Two promising drives we fumble, one with an interception, penalties, dropped passes,” said Fort Gibson head coach Greg Whiteley. “I don’t know about a lot of teams, but we aren’t built to overcome that.”
Fort Gibson was efficient on its opening possession. The Tigers drove 58 yards behind a 31-yard pass to Cameron Dornan and a 23-yard strike to Hunter Branch. Deven Woodworth then ran it in from a yard out to give Fort Gibson a quick 7-0 lead.
The Tiger defense matched the offense’s success by stopping Skiatook on downs on its first possession. But that’s where things started to unravel.
On their next two possession, the Bulldogs needed just three plays to score twice — first on a 51-yard run by Johnson, then on a 93-yard run by Mason Willingham. Willingham would finish with 142 yards rushing.
Twice the Tigers started drives inside Skiatook territory but failed to move the ball. The second drive ended in a Fort Gibson fumble, the first of two consecutive drives to end it Tiger fumbles.
Late in the second quarter, it was Tiger penalties that kept a Skiatook drive alive. Johnson then scored on a 14-yard run to give the Bulldogs a 21-7 lead going in to halftime.
“The defense had to settle down, and we did for awhile,” Whiteley said. “But then they put together a drive to start the second half that killed us.”
Using more of Johnson and Willingham, Skiatook drove 61 yards in six plays to take a 28-7 lead on a 10-yard run by Johnson.
Penalties at the wrong time thwarted the Tigers’ next three possessions and by the time Willingham found Cash Cooper for a 14-yard touchdown pass to make it 35-7, Fort Gibson’s fate was sealed.
“They were a fun bunch to be around,” Whiteley said. “We’re still believers in these kids. We got to play 11 games, which is more than a lot of teams were able to do.”
Cole Mahaney finished with 100 yards passing completing 12 of 30 attempts. Woodworth finished his Tigers’ career with 68 yards rushing.
SKIATOOK 42, FORT GIBSON 7
FG — Deven Woodworth 1 run (Jaxon Perdue kick) 10:07
SKI — Alex Johnson 51 run (Tyler Wilkerson kick) 5:58
SKI — Mason Willingham 93 run (Wilkerson kick) 4:55
SKI — Johnson 14 run (Wilkerson kick) 3:26
SKI — Johnson 10 run (Wilkerson kick) 9:55
SKI — Cash Cooper 14 pass from Willingham (Wilkerson kick) 1:54
SKI — Silvio Falance 1 run (Wilkerson kick) 3:47
Rushing: FG, Deven Woodworth 17-68 TD. SKI, Alex Johnson 17-193 3TD.
Passing: FG, Cole Mahaney 12-30-1 100. SKI, Mason Willingham 2-5-0 25 TD.
Receiving: FG, Cameron Dornan 2-36. SKI, Cash Cooper 1-14.