Wolves secure third straight victory
It was once again a slow start for Shawnee, but 22 second-half points was enough for the Wolves to capture a 29-6 victory over the Tulsa Rogers Ropers in a District 5A-3 clash and in front of a homecoming crowd Friday night at Jim Thorpe Stadium.
It was the third straight win for Shawnee, which evened its season record at 3-3 and improved to 3-0 in the district.
Jaylon Orange ran for one touchdown of 13 yards and passed for another to Kayden Shaw for 15 yards.
The Wolves also received scoring runs of 4 yards by Landon Davis and 2 yards from Zane Walck. Those two backs each rushed for 134 yards. Davis did it on 15 carries and Walck did it in eight attempts.
Shawnee also got a score from its defense as Logan Cash made a tackle in the end zone late in the game for a safety.
The Wolves led just 7-6 at halftime.
“We didn't start as fast as we would've liked. Some of that can be attributed to some distractions like homecoming,” said Shawnee head coach Jason Sexton.
Like in last week's win at Tulsa Edison, the Wolves were sluggish in the first half, but turned up the heat in the second half.
“Our zone defense was solid in the second half. We focused on getting turnovers, limiting drives and controlling their running game,” Sexton said.
Shawnee was the recipient of three second-half turnovers as Davis intercepted a pass and Cash recovered a fumble.
The Wolves, playing without starting quarterback Karsen Conaway due to injury, opened the game with a long drive, but came up empty after a missed 27-yard field goal.
Late in the quarter, Tulsa Rogers gambled deep in their own territory and tried to get seven yards on fourth down.
Shawnee took over at the Roper 22-yard line and scored three plays later as Orange connected with Shaw on a 15-yarder in the left-back corner of the end zone with 1:37 to go in the opening quarter. Rhett Neese tacked on the extra point.
Tulsa Rogers pulled within 7-6 just before halftime on a 5-yard TD toss from Macuric Demry to Rashaun Jamison. The point-after kick was blocked by the Wolves' Hayden Walker with 2:04 showing on the clock.
That was one of the few Roper highlights of the night as it was all Shawnee in the second half.
After stuffing Tulsa Rogers on the opening series of the first half, the Wolves put together a six-play, 75-yard drive, capped by Davis' 4-yard touchdown run with 8:21 remaining in the third. The key to the series was on the previous play when Davis ripped off a 31-yard down to the Ropers' 4-yard line. After the TD, Reese kicked the extra point to make it 14-6.
Two series later, Shawnee upped its advantage to 20-6 with a late third-quarter, early-fourth drive which resulted in a 13-yard scoring run by Orange. The PAT failed with 10:56 to go on the clock.
“When the lights come on, you can count on Jaylon,” Sexton said.
Despite two holding penalties and a false start, the Wolves were able to go 48 yards in six plays. Davis had runs of 12, 14, 11 and 10 yards to lay the groundwork as the series was also helped by a 15-yard Tulsa Rogers personal foul penalty.
Davis' interception on the next Roper offensive series set the stage for a short field as it took Shawnee only two plays to score. Zane Walck zipped his way 36 yards down to the Roper 2-yard line. He then scored on the next play with 8:06 to go as Neese booted the extra point.
Cash recovered a fumble off the next Tulsa Rogers series at the Wolves' 46-yard line. On the first play, Walck ran 50 yards down to the Roper 4-yard line, but couldn't punch the ball into the end zone as the drive stalled at the 1-yard line.
That field position was a benefit to Shawnee as on the next play, Cash registered a tackle in the end zone for a safety with 3:39 remaining.
“I'm proud of our two freshmen at the cornerbacks Ejion Thomas and Jamir Owens,” said Sexton. “We played a lot of young guys. We're getting some some depth by having some experience.”
Shawnee's next action is Thursday at Tulsa East Central.