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Wagoner rallies past Tahlequah, 22-10

Wagoner rallies past Tahlequah, 22-10

Wagoner had just posted a 22-10 victory over a gritty Tahlequah team, but Bulldog coach was not in the best mood after Friday night’s game at W.L. Odom Field.

A crowd estimated at 2,000 watched the Class 4A No. 1 Bulldogs move to 2-0 on the season. However, the record hides the slow start of the offense.

“Offensively, that’s two weeks in a row (of struggling),” said Condict. “I’m starting to take it personal. Our defense played a solid game. The run defense was exceptional.”

The offensive woes were just the tip of the iceberg.

“We’re not playing with energy and effort,” Condict added. “We’re making silly mistakes.”

The Bulldog defense limited the Tigers to 39 rushing yards and 163 yards total offense. Wagoner also intercepted two passes by Julian Smith and Chase Nanni.

The Bulldog offense was just a bit better than Tahlequah’s. Wagoner had 198 yards of total offense, but completed just two passes.

Quarterback Sawyer Jones got his first touchdown pass in the third quarter. Jones hit Nanni on a 55-yard toss and Nanni outfought the defender to gain control of the ball.

Running back Braden Drake led the Bulldogs in rushing with 72 yards on 18 carries and a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter for an insurance score.

Condict admitted he’s trying to install a new offensive look. Wagoner went back to its normal diamond look and seemed to do better in the second half.

“We’ve tried some new things, but we have a lack of energy on offense,” Condict added.

Tahlequah held a 3-0 halftime lead before Wagoner got going in the third quarter.

Jones scored from 1-yard out after Drake nearly scored on the play before. Wagoner chose to go for a 2-point conversion and Jones threw to Nunu Clayton for an 8-3 lead.

Nanni’s long TD catch made it 15-3 and suddenly everyone could breathe again.

However, a high snap while attempting a fourth down punt gave the Tigers great field possession deep in Wagoner territory.

The Bulldog defense did not make it easy and forced Tahlequah to attempt many plays before finally scoring.

Now, it was 15-10 with plenty of time left in the fourth quarter.

Wagoner then had a time-consuming march capped by Drake’s 2-yard score on fourth down with 1:51 left.

The Bulldog defense did the rest to preserve the 12-point win.

Wagoner travels to tradition-rich Sperry on Sept. 18 for the last non-district game of the season.

GAME NOTE: The Wagoner victory broke a 12-game losing streak to Tahlequah in the head-to-head series. The last time the two teams met came in 1991.

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