Verdigris rallies over Cl. Sequoyah
BY JON POTTS World Correspondent
Friday, October 19, 2012
10/19/12 at 6:06 AM
VERDIGRIS - Fifth-ranked Verdigris enhanced its chances of hosting a first-round playoff game with a 43-21 victory over Claremore Sequoyah Thursday night at Verdigris Stadium.
The Cardinals (7-1 overall, 3-1 in District 3A-5) also are still in the hunt for the district championship.
Verdigris finishes the regular season with road trips to Dewey and Sperry, needing a victory in either game to secure a playoff spot.
"This is a great group of kids," said Verdigris coach Dan Nickles. "It is a blast to coach them. I think the light switch went off at the half. We have a great group of seniors and they understand what they need to do."
The Eagles (4-4, 2-2) have home games against Metro Christian and Dewey to close the regular season. Claremore Sequoyah should qualify for the playoffs with a win in either contest.
Verdigris' Tanner Smith gained 148 yards on 28 carries and scored two touchdowns. Teammate J.D. Hanslovan gained 134 yards on 13 carries and scored three touchdowns.
"Tanner and J.D. both played great," said Nickles. "J.D. had one of the best runs I have seen since I have been a coach."
Claremore Sequoyah quarterback Daniel Moniz passed for 292 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score.
Colten Graves had seven receptions for 165 yards and two touchdown grabs for the Eagles.
Verdigris was down 21-7 at the half but dominated the second half. Hanslovan put the Cardinals ahead for good at 28-21 when he scored on a 25-yard run at the 1:38 mark of the third quarter.
Hanslovan set up his own score two plays earlier when he intercepted a pass at the Claremore Sequoyah 36.
Verdigris scored first when Smith capped a 13-play, 78-yard march with a 3-yard run with 1:23 remaining in the first quarter.
The Eagles, however, answered just 14 seconds later when Moniz connected with Graves on an 80-yard scoring strike.
Claremore Sequoyah took a 14-7 lead when Moniz hooked up with Graves again. That score covered 11 yards.
The Eagles stretched their advantage to 21-7 after Moniz scored on a 1-yard sneak with just 28 seconds to play in the first half.
The Cardinals cut the deficit to 21-14 when Hanslovan scored on a 34-yard touchdown run with 3:29 remaining in the third quarter.
Chase Bryant then made a huge play for Verdigris. The senior linebacker returned an interception 17 yards for a score to knot things at 21-21 with 2:27 left in the third period.
The Cardinals then sustained that momentum thanks mainly to the duo of Smith and Hanslovan.
VERDIGRIS 43, CLAREMORE SEQUOYAH 21
V: Smith 3 run (Hanslovan kick)
CS: Graves 80 pass from Moniz (Schultz kick)
CS: Graves 11 pass from Moniz (Schultz kick)
CS: Moniz 1 run (Schultz kick)
V: Hanslovan 34 run (Hanslovan kick)
V: Bryant 17 interception return (Hanslovan kick)
V: Hanslovan 25 run (Hanslovan kick)
V: Hanslovan 23 run (Smith run)
V: Smith 4 run (Hanslovan kick)