Special to The Sun
Edmond Memorial entered with the momentum, Edmond Santa Fe left with it — and another championship.
The Wolves won their second straight district title in surprisingly easy fashion with a 55-6 rout of the Bulldogs Friday night at Wantland Stadium. Santa Fe outgained Memorial by nearly 300 yards in the first half alone, dominating on both sides of the ball.
The Bulldogs, now 3-6, had been on a three-game winning streak. They can still make the postseason with a win against Putnam City West and one of two scenarios playing out next week.
The Wolves, 8-1, appear to be playing as well as they’ve played all season. They’ve won six in a row since their only loss to Edmond North, winning those games by an average of 25.5 points.
“I’ve said all along that we’re a team who’s better later. We’re a team that’s now refined, later in the season,” ESF head coach Lance Manning said. “And we’ve done a good job preparing for big games.”
Santa Fe had more than 500 yards of offense, going for 352 through the air and 162 on the ground. Quarterback Justice Hansen had 155 yards rushing on 15 carries, while throwing for 261 yards and five touchdowns on 14-of-21 attempts. Trevan Smith was Hansen’s favorite target, catching six passes for 140 yards and two scores.
Just as big a key in this one, though, was Santa Fe’s ability to quiet Bulldog sophomore Warren Wand, who finished with 47 yards on 21 carries, including a longest rush of only 8 yards. Wand entered the game averaging 187 yards rushing a week and 9.5 yards a carry.
“Our guys have started to figure it out defensively,” Manning said. “We’ve always had the athletic ability, always had the speed, we just haven’t been able to match up. But I knew we could go out and put a lot of hats on No. 6 (Wand) and slow him down.
“I’m really pleased with how we’re playing defensively right now. That’s going to be our biggest thing in the playoffs.”
The Wolves took the opening possession 80 yards in 11 plays, getting a 3-yard touchdown run from Hansen. They fumbled away their second drive, but got the ball back on an interception by Jalaun Parker. Hansen then found a streaking Smith for a 44-yard touchdown bomb to make it 13-0.
The Bulldogs fumbled away their next possession, and it took Hansen just one play to put more points on the board, tossing a 48-yard touchdown to Dale Jefferson. Before halftime, Santa Fe also added a 1-yard touchdown plunge by Phillip Sumpter and a 28-yard scoring strike from Hansen to Calvin Harkless to make it 35-0 at the break.
Hansen hit Smith for a 21-yard touchdown pass midway through the third period, and finished his night with a 20-yard score to Harkless.
Santa Fe has now won 13 straight district games in capturing its second straight district crown. The Wolves travel to Choctaw next week, before hosting a first-round playoff contest.
“Whenever you look at our district and how we’ve played the last two years, that’s a key for us,” Manning said. “From week-to-week, it’s a dogfight. So, to be able to win 13 straight district games, I’m really pleased with that.”