The only thing that got in the way of Muskogee was Mother Nature.
A 45-minute lightning delay halted pre-game warmups and the scheduled kickoff, but once that was clear, the Roughers imposed their will on visiting Sand Springs at Indian Bowl on Friday, winning 54-6.
Muskogee scored on all six first-half possessions, added one to start the second, and it was bench-emptying time from that point.
Offensively, it was a methodical work guided by the offensive line, particularly Josh Luckey but certainly not limited to him. Jimmie Coleman had 140 yards on 18 carries, quarterback Ty Williams was 12-of-16 for a modest 100 yards and a touchdown.
The delay was put to good use in the locker room.
“We talked about playing as a unit tonight,” Williams said. “I think we did that.”
Ditto, said head coach Rafe Watkins.
“We played about as complete as we’ve done since 2016 and maybe even then,” he said, referring to the last 5-0 start his teams have posted. They are 2-0 in District 6AII-2.
“We had a few penalties, but the defense swarmed to the ball and offensively we were mauling them up front. I can’t say enough about our offensive line.”
A mix of Coleman and Isaiah Givens got the Roughers going, then Williams kept for the final 18 2 1/2 minutes into the contest. It was a 59-yard drive.
A sign of Sand Springs’ frustration would occur on its first drive.
A first-down came via penalty, and on a fourth-and-2 play moments later it appeared they were opting for that route again, trying to draw Muskogee offsides. That failure forced a time out. Lining up to go for it again with two up backs, both jumped, and the Sandites were backed up five and subsequently did punt away.
A 25-yard scramble by Williams on a fourth and 8 sustained the next drive, which ended on a 5-yard run by Coleman with 3:26 left in the quarter, capping a 52-yard march and a 13-0 lead.
Givens’ 7-yard run capped an 82-yard drive which was largely aided by a 15-yard face mask penalty near midfield, making it 20-0 early in the second quarter.
Coleman added his second TD on a 5-yard run following a Sandites punt.
The MHS defense, which entered the game with 19 of 20 team turnovers and a plus-15 turnover margin, got their first with Jareed Hagerman scooped a loose ball from receiver Jacob Snodgrass’ at the Rougher 43. Back-to-back hookups between Williams and Kentrell Mitchum moved the ball to the 10 after a 15-yard personal foul penalty, and three plays later, Givens went in from 3 yards out, making it 33-0.
With about a minute to play in the half, after a defensive series highlighted by defensive end Kaleb Biglow’s sack of quarterback Ty Pennington for a loss of 15, Coleman received the Sandites’ fourth punt of the half and returned 37 yards to the Sand Springs 35. Williams, who had just missed Jordan Bradley in the corner of the end zone, went to him a second time and it worked for 19 yards and a 40-0 halftime margin.
“Caleb (Webb) came (from linebacker) on the blitz and it opened wide up,” Biglow said of his sack. “I saw (Pennington) and said to myself ‘I gotta catch him.’ I had a speed burst and got him.”
Not only were the Roughers perfect on scoring drives, Coleman and Williams combined for 151 of 179 yards rushing buh halftime. Combine that with Williams 11-of-14 for 94 yards, and the Roughers had 273 to Sand Springs’ 55 with two yards on the ground heading to the break.
For the game, it was 189, but only after the subs were in following two three-and-outs to start the third quarter.
“We always want to go put up a zero but we really wanted to put it up this week to show how physical we are,” Biglow said. “We got a lot more to prove.”
At that point the only question was how long key players would remain in.
Coleman bumped it out off the left side of the line and into the open field, galloping 46 yards four plays into the second half for a 47-0 advantage after Jacob Sheihing’s fifth of six PATs. Another three-and-out by the defense and the benches began to empty.
Mitchum didn’t have his first punt until 6 1/2 minutes remained in the third.
The starters indeed pitched the shutout on their part. The only score for the Sandites (2-3, 1-1) came against backups on a Pennington pass to Jamon Sisco with 6:36 to play. But the point Biglow made about physicality was clearly on target.
The other turnover came when Josh Campbell made both the hit and the fumble recovery on Mitchum’s second and final punt. On defense, Campbell was moved up from linebacker to an end spot and his speed and pressure frustrated Pennington most of the night.
“Wherever they put me, I’m going to go 100 mph,” Campbell said. “They love me and what I do.”
Reserve running back Jaiden Alexander capped the scoring for Muskogee with a 22-yard run.
Next up, another home tilt and Hall of Fame Night against Sapulpa.
MUSKOGEE 54, SAND SPRINGS 6
Mus-Ty Williams 18 run (Jacob Scheihing kick), 9:22.
Mus-Jimmie Coleman 5 run (kick failed), 3:26.
Mus-Isaiah Givens 7 run (Scheihing kick), 10:34.
Mus-Coleman 5 run (Scheihing kick), 7:13.
Mus-Givens 3 run (kick failed), 4:12.
Mus-Jordan Bradley 19 pass from Williams (Scheihing kick) :10
Mus-Coleman 46 run (Schehing kick), 10:04.
SS-Jamon Sisco 21 pass from Ty Pennington (kick failed), 6:36.
Mus-Jaiden Alexander 24 run (Scheihing kick), 3:00.
Rushing: SS, Blake Jones, 16-70. Mus, Coleman 18-140 (3 TD), Williams 8-71.
Passing: SS, Pennington, 11-24-105 (TD). Mus, Williams 12-16-100 (TD).
Receiving: SS, Jacob Snodgrass 2-34, Keaton Campbell 3-32. Mus, Kaunor Ashley 3-32, Mitchum 5-30.