William Goree ran for 172 yards and four touchdowns for Tulsa East Central, helping the top-ranked Cardinals defeat the Wolves 38-14 Friday night and escort Shawnee to an early exit from their first playoff appearance since returning to Class 5A.
Goree scored three of his touchdowns in the first half, as the Cardinals (7-4, 6-1) built a 28-0 lead with 11:31 left in the second quarter.
Miscues ruled the day for Shawnee (5-6, 4-3), which fumbled the ball away on its second possession of the game and had a punt blocked on its third, both leading to Cardinal scores.
Shawnee dug a hole for itself early and never could climb out. Four of East Central's first five possessions started inside the Shawnee 42-yard-line, and the Cardinals' offense took advantage, scoring the first four times it touched the ball.
Devaughn Cherry notched 136 yards on 11-of-19 passing with a touchdown and no turnovers for the Cardinals, which earned first place in District 5A-4.
East Central won its first five games of the year, but an investigation revealed that an ineligible sophomore transfer student had played in four of those games, including one district game. The Cardinals were forced to forfeit those four games.
The Wolves never looked outclassed or outmatched. In fact, only one Shawnee possession ended in a three-and-out, but the Wolves’ offense had a hard time stringing drives together.
It wasn't until the fourth quarter, when senior Theo Berry took a handoff and danced around the right side for a 6-yard touchdown, that the Wolves got on the board.
Berry, who closed out a dazzling career as a Shawnee receiver Friday, added several jaw-dropping runs and a 13-yard touchdown catch from John Jacobs in the closing minutes.
Berry finished with six carries for 56 yards and six receptions for 58 yards, and scored the only two touchdowns for the Wolves. Fellow senior Wolf Kienzle caught four balls for 35 yards.
Jacobs added 47 yards on the ground and threw for 113 yards on 12-of-27 passing, though two interceptions and a fumble marred an otherwise respectable day.
Jacobs, a sophomore, will return to anchor the Shawnee offense in 2013, and showed flashes of brilliance against the Cardinal defense, led by Division I recruits Stanvon Taylor and Deontre Youngblood.
Two-way stars Taylor and Youngblood also connected on a hook-and-lateral on the first play of the second quarter to set up the Cardinals' fourth touchdown.
Kimmie Carson, another two-way player for East Central, accounted for 28 receiving yards and an interception.
Following a thrilling three-game winning streak to end the regular season, culminating in a do-or-die 58-34 shootout victory over Noble Nov. 2, Shawnee and head coach Billy Brown will head back to the drawing board, but the pieces look to be in place for a strong run in 2013.
Page 2 of 2 - East Central will continue its 2012 campaign next week, when it will host Guthrie in the Class 5A quarterfinals. Guthrie knocked off Lawton MacArthur, 31-13, Friday night to advance.