The crowd was sparse.
The bands, on either side, were nowhere to be found.
On the field, meanwhile, Hilldale’s 42-0 win was nothing like a playoff-caliber contest.
Of course, it wouldn’t have been a contest at all had the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association not shown the mercy on the entire state when it decided last month that all teams would go to the postseason due to the massive cancellations around the state caused by COVID-19.
But, winless teams are still winless teams, and at times, the Hornets played toward that level, but still came away with a shutout performance that never had an ounce of doubt in it.
On Hilldale’s first play from scrimmage, quarterback Johnnie Durosette connected on a post route down the middle to Dylan Walker for 34 yards and a touchdown. It followed a Wardog helicopter of a punt that went just nine yards. Durossette completed his first six passes and went 11-of-14 for 172 yards, most of that to Walker, who had quite the night, hauling in seven passes for 148 yards.
“We were dialed in on that one, we’d planned it and knew what we were going to do,” said Walker of his TD reception. “One of my best nights.”
It was his best since back to back nights of over 100 yards in week three and four. He caught four for 106 against Atoka and six for 102 against Poteau. He also had an interception Friday, his first of the season, that set up the first of three touchdown runs by Darrin Hays, a 21-yard scamper.
But for the most part, the Hornets, now 10-1 and winners of seven consecutive games, didn’t seem so dialed in.
The Hilldale ground game was largely missing. Hays had just 49 yards on 10 carries and fumbled two handoffs. A jet sweep by Isom Smith for 65 yards made him the top ground gainer for the evening.
“It’s hard to get your kids ready for an 0-9 team,” said Hilldale head coach David Blevins of what is now a finished 0-10 team. “Our kids played hard, it’s just, I mean even the fans knew what we were facing.
“It’s an ugly win. We’ll move on.”
Some of that ugly, again, came in flags. Hilldale had 81 of its 118 yards in penalties in the first half, spread out among both units.
“Same thing again,” Blevins said. “We’ve got to clean that up.”
The Hornets fumbled the ball back to the Wardogs after getting a second-quarter gift of the sort themselves, and again at times just looked half-interested.
Jace Walker made the recovery after an 18-yard gain by Bo Leach. But after Durossette threw a sideline toss to Walker, who shook one tackle near the line of scrimmage then stiff-armed a couple en route to the Miami 10 and a 32-yard gain, things went awry.
Durossette ran it in for a score the next play, but a holding brought it back to the 16. On the next play, Hays couldn’t handle the pitch and the Wardogs came up with the turnover.
Joey Myers recovered an onside kick just before Durossette, found Ty O Neal deep at the 10, but the play was called back due to another flag, and the Hornets would punt away their final drive of the half.
The Hornet defense allowed nine first downs, two by penalty in the first half, and none in the third quarter. Hilldale tacked on three scores in the period, including a 4-yard run by Michael Oeser that was followed by Smith’s long run.
Another bright spot was Jaxson Whittiker’s punting. He averaged 57 yards on two boots.
The Hornets will indeed move on and will host Grove, a 41-13 winner over Muldrow, next Friday. Along with Virgil, they’ll get a good chunk of special teams players and depth back next week as they spend the rest of the month in distance learning, showing up at school only for practice.
“It’ll be the first time we’ve had everybody back in a while,” Blevins said.
HILLDALE 42, MIAMI 0
Miami 0 00 0—0
Hil-Dylan Walker 34 pass from Johnnie Durossette (Jaxson Whittiker kick), 9:25.
Hil-Darrin Hays 12 run (Whittiker kick), 10:31.
Hil-Hays 21 run (Whittiker kick), 2:26.
Hil-Hays 5 run (Whittiker kick), 7:38.
Hil-Michael Oeser 4 run (Whittiker kick), 2:14.
Hil-Isom Smith 42 run (Whittiker kick), :20.7
Passing Yards 66172
Passing: Mia, Redden 5-24-66-1. Hil, Durossette 11-14-172 (TD).
Rushing: Mia, Hunter Nichols 15-70. Hil, Hays, 10-49 (3 TD). Isom Smith 1-65 (TD).
Receiving: Mia, Eric McKibbin 2-37. Hil, Walker 7-148 (TD).