SALLISAW – It was like two heavyweight fighters standing toe to toe and who ever could withstand the other’s haymakers would be left standing.
For Fort Gibson it was their running attack led by senior Deven Woodworth’s 204 yards rushing and four rushing touchdowns. For Sallisaw it was the passing attack of Jaxon McTyre and his 223 yards passing and four touchdown tosses.
Ultimately, it was McTyre and the Black Diamonds that held off the Tigers for a 39-34 thriller at Perry F. Lattimore Stadium Thursday night.
McTyre ran for another 57 yards and kept the Tigers defense off balance all night with the zone read option while Pason Dotson added 105 yards on the ground for good measure.
“We worked on those defending plays all week long,” said an exasperated Tigers coach Greg Whitley. “We knew what they were going to do, we just have to make plays and adapt to what is going on.
“We didn’t overcome that adversity as a team or coaches tonight.”
The loss drops Fort Gibson to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in District 4A-4 play.
McTyre and company struck first when he connected with Riley Scavo from 18 yards out and put the Diamonds up 6-0 with 9:00 left in the first quarter.
On the ensuing possession, Woodworth and the Tigers countered with a 36-yard scamper three minutes later and with the PAT took a 7-6 lead.
McTyre again engineered a score on their next possession, finding tight end Tye McHenry open in the end zone from three yards out and put the Diamonds back on top 12-7 with 3:52 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers countered on their next possession with a Woodworth one-yard dive and give Fort Gibson their second lead of the game, 14-12 with 6:17 left in the opening stanza.
Isaiah Blaylock became the workhorse for the Diamonds in the second quarter, ripping off 30 yards in runs before diving in from four yards out to push Sallisaw up 20-14 with 8:58 left in the second quarter.
Again Woodworth wouldn’t let the Tiger nation down, capping an 11-play, 68-yard drive, ripping off an 18-yard touchdown run with 4:52 left in the second quarter to give Fort Gibson their third and final lead of the night, 21-20.
With 4:52 left to go before the half, McTyre again went to work, twice hitting Scavo on long pass completions before finding his favorite target form seven yards out to give the Diamonds a 26-21 lead at the half.
Sallisaw struck again to open the third quarter with a 14-play, 65-yard drive capped by Blaylock bulling in from the 1 and a 33-21 with 7:15 left in the third.
After an unsuccessful onside kick by the Diamonds, the Tigers took their first snap of the third quarter and Woodworth jetted down the right sideline for a 47-yard score to inch closer at 33-28.
“We run blocked great most of the night and got Deven some room but we just couldn’t protect the quarterback tonight,” said Whitley.
Coleman Patterson gave the Tigers a glimmer of hope of regaining the lead after he recovered a Blaylock fumble at the Sallisaw 26 towards the end of third quarter, but the Tigers turned the ball over on downs on the possession.
After McTyre connected with Scavo once again, this time from 57 yards out and a 39-28 lead, Fort Gibsson showed it wouldn’t go away as Cole Mahaney hit Morice Ford on a swing pass and a 36-yard score.
“We fought till the end, so I am proud of the way we didn’t give up, we didn’t quit,” said Whiteley. “All of us after we got down in the third quarter could have just quit.
“We have some things to fix, we’ll get on it and correct those mistakes and get ready for Broken Bow.”
Fort Gibson will host Broken Bow next Friday night.
SALLISAW 39, FORT GIBSON 34
Fort Gibson 14 7 7 6 -34
Sallisaw 12 14 7 6 -39
SHS – Riley Scavo 18 pass from Jaxon McTyre (pass fail) 9:00
FGHS – Deven Woodworth 36 run (Jaxon Purdue kick) 6:05
SHS – Tye McHenry 3 pass from McTyre (run fail) 3:52
FGHS – Woodworth 1 run (Purdue kick) 6:17
SHS – Isaiah Blaylock 4 run (Blaylock run) 8:58
FGHS – Woodworth 18 run (Purdue kick) 4:52
SHS – Scavo 7 pass from McTyre (run fail) 1:57
SHS – Blaylock 14 run (Pason Dotson kick) 7:15
FGHS – Woodworth 47 run (Purdue kick) 6:55
SHS – Scavo 57 pass from McTyre (kick fail) 11:45
FGHS – Morice Ford 36 pass from Cole Mahaney (pass fail) 3:41
First Downs 22 29
Rushes-yards 37-246 44-232
Passes C-A-I 9-19-0 17-28-1
Passing yards 116 223
Punts-avg. 0-0 0-0
Fumbles-lost 1-0 1-1
Penalties-yards 11-105 13-120
Rushing: Fort Gibson,Woodworth 22-204 (4 TD). Sallisaw, Dotson 15-103.
Passing: Fort Gibson, Cole Mahaney, 9-19-116-0. Sallisaw, McTyre 17-28-223-1 (4 TD).
Receiving: Fort Gibson, Cade Waggle 8-41. Sallisaw: Scavo 9-145 (3 TD).