COWETA — Not even an opponent from outside the state of Oklahoma could derail the Coweta Tiger express Friday night.
Mason Ford broke free for a 93-yard touchdown run and joined Will Mason in surpassing the century mark in rushing while another solid defensive effort led Class 5A No. 4 Coweta to a 42-6 shellacking of Frontenac (Kansas) at Tiger Field.
Ford finished with 107 yards rushing on just two carries while Mason had a game-high 117 yards and one touchdown on the ground for the Tigers (3-0) after Coweta opened the season with convincing victories against in-state foes Bishop McGuinness and Wagoner.
Meanwhile, quarterback Gage Hamm passed for 162 yards and two touchdowns as Coweta compiled 415 yards in total offense.
The game turned late in the first half. With Coweta leading 14-0 after driving for TDs on its opening two possessions of the game, Frontenac was threatening to cut into the Tigers’ lead going into halftime.
Starting at its own 44-yard line, the Raiders (1-1) moved to the Tigers’ 7-yard line. But Coweta’s defense rose to the occasion, and on a fourth-and-four, pressure on Frontenac quarterback Collin McCartney by Coweta ’s Nate Long forced a hurried pass and an incompletion.
On the first play of the ensuing Coweta series, Ford took a handoff from Hamm, and on a counter, broke through the line of scrimmage, cut to the left sideline and outran the Raider defense for the momentum-changing play.
“Coach called the play and I knew it was going to be a big one because our offensive line had been blocking really well all night,” said Ford, who also had three catches for 25 yards.
“When I saw the hole, I hit it, made a little cutback and went all the way,” he added.
Coweta coach Tim Harper said the Tigers might have caught Frontenac, a Class 3A school located in the southeastern corner of Kansas just northeast of Pittsburg, off guard on Ford’s touchdown run.
“We wanted to show them a formation we hadn’t shown anyone this year until that play, and the first time, we hit it for 93 (yards),” he said.
Ford spoke to the importance of the team’s defense in setting up his big play.
“It was a huge stop from the defense,” the junior said. “Our defense has been playing well all year. After we got that stop, I knew we needed to capitalize on it and we did.”
Coweta jumped in front 14-0 in the first quarter on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Hamm to Cade Denton and a three-yard touchdown run from Braden Youngker.
Leading 21-0 at halftime, Coweta opened the second half with 14 unanswered points on Hamm’s second touchdown toss — this one a 57-yard score to Justis Grammar on a third-and-17 play — plus Lo Lo Bell’s three-yard scamper.
Mason added the Tigers’ final points on a one-yard plunge late in the fourth quarter.
Frontenac avoided a shutout when McCartney fielded a high snap in the shotgun formation and sped around the left end for a TD with 7:46 to play.
Denton ended up with three receptions for 30 yards. He also had a first-half interception on defense. Grammar netted 77 yards on three catches.