Take outstanding run defense then add the shifty running of Braden Drake, the passing of quarterback Sawyer Jones and great individual play of linebacker Kaden Charboneau and you’ll have a recipe for victory.
That’s what Wagoner did in a dominating 56-7 performance over Catoosa to open 4A-3 District play before a homecoming crowd of 2,000 at W.L. Odom Field on Friday night.
There were added ingredients to this winning menu.
The Bulldogs, now 1-0 in district and 3-1 overall, cooked up 434 yards of total offense and held Catoosa to zero first downs until the 10:09 mark of the fourth quarter. The Indians also were limited to (minus) -12 rushing yards and finished with 43 yards of total offense.
“Our run defense has been solid,” said Wagoner football coach Dale Condict. “We’re starting to see the potential of the team shape up. It was a great night for Bulldog football.”
Condict was right. One could almost go down the list of players that saw action and make a case for how well each performed.
Others that contributed mightily were: Jaden Snyder, who kicked all eight extra points and scored a 9-yard touchdown run.
You can add Chochee Watson’s two rushing TDs of 1 and 14 yards. Nunu Clayton is normally a running back, but was wide open when he caught a 57-yard TD pass from Jones.
Wide receiver Jamon Davis caught Jones’ other TD pass. Davis’ score was from 9 yards.
Jones finished by hitting 9-of-16 attempts with one interception for 166 yards. He also punted one time for 40 yards.
But this night belonged to the Wagoner defense.
“We’re starting to see some things,” Condict added. “The varsity defense has pitched two shutouts now.”
The standout on defense was Charboneau. The junior tipped two Catoosa passes, got an interception, blocked a punt that later turned into a Wagoner score and recovered a fumble.
“After the (Pryor) loss, we wanted to rebound and get better,” said Charboneau. “I think our hard work has paid off in the summer work we did.”
The defense definitely barked loudly against Catoosa, 0-1 and 0-4.
The offense made some noise, too. Drake scored a pair of TDs on runs of 21 and 19 yards. These were not easy scoring runs, either.
Drake used the same kind of shifty moves that made him a 2019 State wrestling champion. He could not be brought down and showed moves that Barry Sanders could appreciate. The junior finished with a game-high 64 yards on 7 carries.
“I just kept my feet moving,” Drake said as to the secret of being hard to tackle.
Clayton was also hard to bring down when he got a hold of the football.
“Running the ball, I feel like a beast out there,” Clayton said. The junior finished with 78 yards of total offense to lead both teams.
Grove comes to Wagoner on Oct. 4 for the next District game on the schedule. The Ridgerunners have become a much better team than over the last two seasons and stand 2-2 on the season and 1-0 in District action.
Game time is 7 p.m. at Odom Field.