What a difference a week makes.
Last week with star quarterback Justice Hansen sidelined with a lingering groin injury, the Santa Fe Wolves produced an anemic offense and fell to visiting Midwest City, 3-0.
Thursday night at Wantland Stadium after an hour-and-a-half weather delay, Hansen and the Wolves came out clicking on all cylinders for a 49-35 shootout win over Yukon.
And while he was happy with the win and the performance of his offense, Santa Fe coach Lance Manning was concerned about the performance of his defense which went from limiting Midwest City to just a field goal to yielding 35 points and more than 400 yards of offense to Yukon and quarterback Hayden Somerville.
“That’s too much,” said Manning. “We’ve got to get better on defense. We are not a team that is going to depend on outscoring people. I thought our guys up front got tired on both sides of the ball.”
Hansen, who received his Under Armour All-American game jersey in a special assembly at Santa Fe earlier Thursday, made an immediate impact on the game.
After an eight-yard completion to Aaron Jones on the Wolves’ initial play of the game, Hansen scrambled through the Miller defense for a dazzling 23-yard gain to ignite the Santa Fe faithful.
After a 10-yard pass to Malcom Dade, Hansen found Malik Earl on a slant pattern and hit him in stride for a 37-yard TD strike. Edward Smith hit the first of seven PATs for a 7-0 lead that the Wolves would never relinquish.
By the time his night was over, Hansen had completed 15 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns and added 115 yards on 13 carries and two more touchdowns.
On the first play after the kickoff following the Wolves’ early touchdown, the Santa Fe defense answered as Jones stepped in front of a Somerville pass and sped untouched 36 yards for a 14-0 bulge with 6:42 left to play.
The Millers’ Hunter Sconce answered with a 28-yard scamper to cut the deficit to a single touchdown, but Yukon would get no closer in spite of a spirited comeback attempt in the final period.
It only took Hansen and Co. four plays to complete an 82-yard drive following the Yukon kickoff.
Cameron Westbrook, back at his more comfortable running back slot after temporary duty as Hansen’s fill-in last week, picked up 11 and then Hansen and Dade hooked up for seven more yards. Then, after Westbrook earned a gain of three, Hansen again found Jones open down the boundary and hit him in perfect stride for a 55-yard beauty to make it 21-7 after Smith’s PAT.
Hansen got another boost from his defense on the next series when Ashton Preston came up with a tipped ball to give the Wolfpack the ball on its own 23. This time it took 10 plays with Hansen going the final 13 for the score, but his arm accounted for 31 yards to Earl and 15 more to Quinzell Jones to set up the TD to make it 28-7 at the 9:42 mark.
But Sconce cut that deficit in half with his second tally, this one from the four after Somerville set it up with a 12-yard scramble.
On the ensuing 70-yard TD drive, Hansen connected with Earl for gains of 29 and 18, the latter down to the eight where K’Marrie Carter-Hartfield bounced in for the touchdown but the Millers beat the clock and Somerville and Caelen Groce collaborated for a 12-yard TD with 2:19 left to make it 35-21 at halftime and the clock on the wall nearing 10 p.m.
Q. Jones came up with a defensive gem to force the Millers to give up the ball on downs at the Santa Fe 25 early in the third period. Starting at the 11 following a Hansen punt, the Millers rattled off 14 plays before Jones slapped down a fourth-down pass to give the Wolves Fe possession on its own 26.
Three plays, 74 yards, touchdown! Hansen gained 13 on a keeper and Westbrook added two before the potent Hansen-and-Earl combo did it again, this time from 58 yards out to make it 42-21 but the pesky Millers got it back in one play as Somerville found wide open tight end Noah Gillette over the middle. The big fellow made it all the way to the end zone, dragging a couple of Santa Fe defenders with him.
Not to be denied, the Wolves continued the offensive frenzy taking the kickoff at their own 24 and taking just seven plays to reach paydirt with Hansen accounting for 61 of the yards with his feet. He showed absolutely no lingering effects from the hamstring on the TD run as he used speed, power and deception to cover the final 41 yards to wind up the Santa Fe scoring for the night.
But the Millers weren’t through running a punt back to the Wolfpack 20 with four minutes left and Somerville took care of the rest, connecting with Sconce for nine and then the TD toss to Parker Bohanan for the final score.
The Wolves will play Edmond North in Round 2 of Edlam next Friday night at Wantland Stadium.
What a difference a week makes.
Santa Fe thwarts Norman North offense
The Edmond Santa Fe Lady Wolves added another plaque to their collection and took one more step toward a gold ball Thursday night.
Edmond took down a feisty Norman North squad 64-47 at Choctaw High School to win the Class 6A west area tournament and advance to the state tournament that begins March 13.
“We’re going to enjoy that for tomorrow and now we’ve got to go find who we play on Saturday and we’re going to focus,” said Paul Bass, Santa Fe head coach. “It’s one game at a time. We’re 24-1, but that really doesn’t matter because now we’re in the third tournament of the year for us. This is the one that’s most important — get to state and try to get that gold ball.”
SLIDESHOW: 6 from Edmond, Deer Creek are state champs
Edmond North and Deer Creek wrestlers won 6 titles at the state championships Saturday night at State Fair Arena.
Defensive battle falls in favor of Deer Creek
A pair of defensive teams coming out on each other, both 20-5 Deer Creek and 20-5 Collinsville played to a 20-19 score after three periods with the Lady Antlers on top Thursday night at Owasso High School in a Class 5A area championship game.
The final panel wasn’t much different, as Deer Creek used two mammoth defensive plays by Dakota Vann to stave off the Cardinals 31-28 and advance to the state tournament beginning March 13.
“Last week at practice, I told the girls that the road to get back to the state tournament was that somebody was going to have to make a play,” defending state champion Deer Creek coach Totsy Manning said after the victory over Collinsville. “I told the girls to go out and make a good play.”
Vann, a 5-10 junior, did just that — twice.
Bartlesville’s 6-2 star forward Hailey Tucker averaged over 22 points a game for the Lady Bruins this year.
But not with Edmond Memorial’s Elise Wyatt on her.
Thursday night in a Class 6A area consolation contest at Sapulpa High School, Wyatt and the Lady Bulldogs ended Bartlesville’s season and stayed alive in the high school playoffs with a 48-42 triumph. Memorial will tip off with Putnam North — a team that beat the Lady ‘Dogs at the final horn in the semifinals of the Bruce Gray Invitational — at 1:30 Saturday at Catoosa High School in a do-or-die contest to make it to the state tournament.
5 memorable college hoops tourney buzzer beaters
It's March, which means the NCAA Tournament is just around the corner. But before March Madness takes hold, the conference tournaments, which get under way this week, often provide their own share of exciting finishes. Here are five memorable buzzer beaters from conference tournament play.
USA sitting volleyball hires Kraeer as UCO-based mens sitting team head coach
The University of Central Oklahoma-based U.S. mens sitting volleyball team welcomes a new head coach, Quinton Kraeer. The university is the official training site for both the mens and womens sitting volleyball teams.
Kraeer will take over the mens program after serving as an assistant for the last several months. He brings nine years of volleyball coaching experience to the team and has served as a pipeline assistant for both the mens and womens teams since 2008.
2014 Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series coming to Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark
The Oklahoma City RedHawks have announced the schedule for the fourth annual Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series, set to begin this week at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark.
The series begins with three games Saturday and will culminate Saturday, April 5 during the Mayor’s Cup, featuring a triple-header between the three high schools from Edmond and Moore.
The Majestic Roofing High School Baseball Series gives teams and their fans from around the state a chance to have a “professional” experience complete with the use of batting cages, dugouts and state-of-the-art scoreboards.
Sterling Fans 9 in 11-2 victory over Washburn
Jared Sterling went the distance against Washburn (4-4, 4-4 MIAA) striking out nine and walking just two as Central Oklahoma (9-3, 5-3 MIAA) defeated the Ichabods, 11-2, on a dreary Saturday afternoon at Wendell Simmons Field.
Sterling retired the first seven hitters he faced as he scattered five hits over nine innings. Both runs were unearned in the fifth as both runners reached on an error. When the Ichabods did have a runner on base, Sterling twice induced an inning-ending double play.
The Ichabods leadoff man reached base only twice, once in the fifth via an error and a leadoff single in the ninth. The runner in the ninth was part of a double play that ended the game as Sterling gave an emphatic fist pump.
Deer Creek sweeps home regional
Lady Antler Whitney Jones stole an outlet pass with just less than 25 seconds to play in regulation with the game tied at 51 Saturday afternoon at Deer Creek High School in the regional championship.
After a time-out, Antler Dakota Vann drove to the goal, drew a foul in the process and converted a pair of free throws as fifth-rated Deer Creek went on to defeat Del City 55-51 for the regional crown. The Lady Antlers, 20-5, play at Owasso for the area championship against Collinsville at 6:30 p.m. Thursday with the winner advancing to the state tournament. The Lady Cardinals ripped McAlester 66-30 in their regional championship.
Remington Park announces new season’s events
Remington Park officials released the lineup Monday for its American Quarter Horse and Mixed-Breed season, which kicks off Friday and runs through June 1. The 2014 American Quarter Horse and Mixed-Breed season features 50 race dates and many special events.
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