TULSA — Cade Waggle found the end zone three different ways, scored four touchdowns and racked up 229 all-purpose yards for Fort Gibson, as the Tigers routed the Tulsa McLain Titans 60-8 in a District 4A-4 matchup, Friday night at Melvin Driver Stadium.
“Cade is so explosive, and he can do some special things,” said Tiger head coach Greg Whiteley. “So many of our kids are explosive and they all complement each other.”
Waggle may have taken the headlines, but it was Cole Mahaney and Toby West that got the Tigers jumpstarted.
Mahaney came out slinging for the Tigers as he connected on his first four passes and engineered a 10-play, 73-yard drive, capped by a eight-yard toss on fourth and goal to Hunter Branch to put the visiting team up 7-0 with 7:45 left in the quarter.
A quick three-and-out by the Titans, it was Toby West's turn to go to work for the Tigers with a pair of first-down runs, then scampering in from five yards out for Fort Gibson’s second score and a 13-0 lead with 6:04 in the first quarter.
On the ensuing possession, the Titans showed promise with a 50-yard kick return to the Tigers 45-yard line, but a fake punt on a fourth-and-16 failed, setting the Tigers up in McLain’s territory.
A 23-yard run by Mahaney set up, what looked like a 27-yard touchdown run by West, but a holding negated the run, setting up a Mahaney to a streaking Hunter Branch for a 37-yard strike, pushing the Tigers up 19-0 with 2:35 left in the first stanza.
“Up front on both sides of the ball played very well tonight,” said Whiteley. “On defense they were quick, aggressive, they flew to the ball and on offense they gave Cole time to throw and Toby room to run. “Both sides did a great job.”
Jeremy Crooms tried to get the Titans back in the game when he connected with Micah Simmons down the throat of the Tigers' defense for a quick score and gave the home team some momentum, still down 19-8 with 1:24 in the first quarter.
The momentum was short lived, when Waggle took the ensuing kickoff at his own 15-yard line, dashed to the left then teleported to the right, sprinting up the sideline for his first of three touchdowns on the night and push Fort Gibson's lead to 25-8 to close out the opening period.
Mahaney opened the second quarter by tossing an ill-advised pass, leading to a Titian interception. However the Tigers defense held strong, forcing another three-and-out. Mahaney went to work, again engineering a 10-play, 62-yard drive, and atoning for his earlier mistake with a 14-yard touchdown scamper and pushed Fort Gibson up 32-8 with 5:08 left before halftime.
With just over three minutes left in the second quarter and forced to punt once again, the Titans launched their best punt of the night. Unfortunately for them, Waggle was on the receiving end of the punt. Waggle took the punt over his shoulder, jetted right, picked up a line of blockers and the rest was a 62-punt return for a touchdown and a 39-8 lead.
Waggle picked up his third touchdown when Mahaney found him diving from 11 yards out with :40 left in the first half, pushing the Tigers up 46-8 at the break.
West got the Tigers started in the third with an 11-yard run, then Mahaney connected with Waggle on a crossing route for a 30-yard catch and run score, adding to the FGHS lead at 53-8 and 6:22 left in the third stanza.
Connor Loepp led the Tigers defensively with six tackles and harassed the Titans quarterbacks with five hurries on the night. Atlas Potter and Tim Murphy each recorded five tackles each.
West finished the night with 99 yards rushing on 15 carries, Branch led the receiving corps with 72 yards receiving on four catches, Waggle ended with 47 yards receiving on five catches.
The Tigers host the Sallisaw Black Diamonds next Thursday night at Leo Donahue Tiger Stadium.
“We did what we needed to do, we came in and took care of business, we got in and got out with our 15 district points,” said Whiteley. “The kids know what is ahead of us, and they’ve had Sallisaw circled on the schedule for a year
“We need to build off this win, do our thing and take care of business next week.”
FORT GIBSON 60, TULSA MCLAIN 8
FORT GIBSON 25 21 7 7—60
TULSA MCLAIN 8 0 0 0—8
FGHS – Hunter Branch 8 pass from Cole Mahaney (Jaxson Purdue kick), 7:45.
FGHS – Toby West 5 run (Kick wide left), 6:04.
FGHS – Branch 37 pass from Mahaney (pass fail), 2:35.
TMHS – Micah Simmons 47 pass from Jeremy Crooms (Dennis Nolan run), 1:24.
FGHS – Cade Waggle 85 kick return (run fail), 1:11.
FGHS – Mahaney 14 run (Purdue kick), 5:03.
FGHS – Waggle 62 punt return (Purdue kick) 3:11.
FGHS – Waggle 11 pass from Mahaney (Purdue kick) :40.
FGHS – Waggle 30 pass from Mahaney (Purdue kick), 6:22.
FGHS – Damian Mayton 4 run (Purdue kick), 8:11.
FIRST DOWNS 26 5
RUSH YARDS 225 39
PASS C-A-I 14-18-1 5-23-0
PASS YARDS 184 71
PEN – YDS 5-30 9-65
PUNT – YDS 0-0 5-31
FUM – LOST 0-0 0-0
Rushing: FGHS, Toby West 15-99. McLain, Dennis Nolan 9-34.
Passing: FGHS, Cole Mahaney 14-18-184-1-4. McCain, Croons 5-23-71-1-0;
Recieving: FGHS, Cade Waggle 5-47, Hunter Branch 4-72. Tulsa McCain, Micah Simmons 2-46.