Special to the Progress
In a convincing win Friday night at Mustang Stadium, the Oologah Mustangs defeated the Sallisaw Black Diamonds (8-4, 6-1) 28-17 in the first round of Class 4A playoffs.
A dominant defense and a stellar running game were the keys to success for the Mustangs.
Sophomore running back Jimmy McKinney led the way with 179 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown.
Oologah quarterback Payton Craig capped off an 87-yard drive with a 1-yard quarterback keeper to put the Mustangs up 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Sallisaw’s quickly responded back when field goal kicker Sinue Rodriguez kicked a 50-yard field goal to put the Black Diamonds only down 7-3.
Oologah’s next touchdown came from an 80-yard bomb caught by sophomore wideout Breyden DeSpain, putting the Mustangs up 14-3.
McKinney was able to send the Mustangs up 21-3 at halftime on a 40-yard touchdown run.
Oologah’s defense the set the tone from the beginning of the third quarter as freshman Hunter Gibson intercepted the ball for a 22-yard touchdown.
Sallisaw, however, wasn’t going to go down without a fight.
In a valliant effort in the fourth quarter, the Black Diamonds scored 2 crucial touchdowns.
The first touchdown came on a 17-yard run from senior Cale Wilson.
A scary moment occurred for Sallisaw late in the fourth as sophomore quarterback Quint Scoufos went down after a big hit. After sitting out one play, Scoufos came back in a threw a 28-yard touchdown catch to put the Black Diamonds down 28-17.
Oologah’s defense, however, sealed the win with a key fourth down stop with less than three minutes remaining to advance to the second round of playoffs.
”Our kids really exceeded our expectations tonight,” Oologah head coach Brandon Craig said.
“We knew it was going to be a tough game. Our kids got a nice lead, but I think we played a little too conservative at the end, but we ate up the clock and game out with a win.”
The Mustangs (8-3) will face Oklahoma City Douglass on Friday in Oklahoma City.