WAGONER — It was the same song, different verse after a week off. Wagoner’s offense continued to score and the defense continued to dominate into the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.
Wagoner’s Braden Drake rushed for 110 yards and five touchdowns while the Bulldog defense recorded its sixth shutout en route to a 56-0 win over Sallisaw Friday night at W. L Odom Stadium.
Top-ranked Wagoner (11-0) will host fourth-ranked Tuttle next week in quarterfinal action. Tuttle was a 31-21 winner over Newcastle. Sallisaw finished its season at 5-5. The win marked the 16th straight season that Wagoner has won its opening round playoff game.
It was more of the same for Wagoner. The offense was unstoppable and the defense shut down a Sallisaw offense that had averaged 30 points since district play began.
Drake continued to add to his impressive numbers and it began with the first play of the game when he outran the Black Diamond defense for 54 yards to give Wagoner a 7-0 lead just 20 seconds into the game.
Drake then played a part in the first big defensive play of the game when he deflected a pass that was intercepted by Nunu Clayton in the end zone to thwart a Sallisaw scoring threat. Sallisaw drove 65 yards on the drive but would only manage 3 yards the rest of the half.
“If he’s not scoring touchdowns, he’s making plays on defense,” said Wagoner head coach Dale Condict. “We were pretty amped up for playoff football. We haven’t had to sky high this year but two weeks off, we were ready to play.”
While Wagoner’s averaging scoring drive was just under 52 yards, the Bulldog offense took advantage of Clayton’s interception and drove 86 yards on its next possession to take a 14-0 lead on a 28-yard run by Drake.
It was during that drive that quarterback Sawyer Jones began an almost perfect night of throwing the ball. Jones completed his first six passes and finished with 170 yards passing completing nine of ten.
Chase Nanni was the recipient of most of that yardage. Nanni out-jumped a Sallisaw defender on a 41-yard pass to set up Drake’s fourth touchdown run to make it 28-0 with 2:30 left in the first half.
Wagoner then used its timeouts to get the ball back at the Sallisaw 48 following a short punt with 1:59 left. But it only took the Bulldogs one play to add to its lead. Jones scrambled right and then found Nanni open in the end zone giving Wagoner a 35-0 lead.
“I think this was Sawyer’s best half of this year,” Condict said. “The throw he made to Chase was just exceptional.”
The offense, whose 48 point average is the most since 1938, continued to pour it on the second half. Drake’s final score came on an 8-yard run following a short punt that gave Wagoner possession at the Black Diamond 15.
Chochee Watson then made his presence known scoring on a 40-yard run. Watson finished with 92 yards rushing on just five carries. Wagoner as a team averaged nearly 12 yards per carry.
Marquez Barnett capped the scoring for Wagoner carrying for 35-yards on a sweep that gave Wagoner a 56-0 lead with 22 seconds left in the third quarter.
The Bulldog defense has given up just 46 points through 11 games which is the fewest since 1946.
“I’ve never been a part of a defense that has been so dominant,” Condict said. “I think this team keeps waiting on someone to challenge them. Things will get tougher starting next week.”
WAGONER 56, SALLISAW 0
WAG — Braden Drake 54 run (Ethan Muehlenweg kick) 11:40
WAG — Drake 28 run (Muehlenweg kick) 2:10
WAG — Drake 13 run (Muehlenweg kick) 6:50
WAG — Drake 9 run (Muehlenweg kick) 2:30
WAG — Chase Nanni 48 pass from Sawyer Jones (Muehlenweg kick) 1:49
WAG — Drake 4 run (Muehlenweg kick) 10:15
WAG — Chochee Watson 40 run (Muehlenweg kick) 2:25
WAG — Marquez Barnett 35 run (Logan Bloxham kick)
Rushing: SAL, Jaxon McTyre 17-21. WAG, Braden Drake 10-110 5TD.
Passing: SAL, McTyre 10-22-1 94. WAG, Sawyer Jones 9-10-0 170 TD.
Receiving: SAL, Pason Dotson 2-42. WAG, Chase Nanni 3-96 TD.