VERDIGRIS — It may have been Senior Night, but a pair of freshmen stole the show against Locust Grove.
Quarterback Dylan White and running back Caden Parnell combined to lead Verdigris to 638 yards of total offense in a 62-14 victory over the Pirates on Friday night at Cardinals Stadium.
With the win, Verdigris moves to 7-2 overall and 5-1 in District 3A-4, setting up a showdown with Berryhill next week for the league championship.
The Cardinals clinched a tie for their best season since 2014, when they finished 7-4.
Mainstream quarterback Hayden Jones returned to the lineup from injury, but White replaced him after VHS got off to a slow start against the Pirates (2-7, 1-5).
Down 7-0 after committing four turnovers on their first four possessions, White entered for the Cards, leading a 63-yard drive in four plays, producing a 7-7 tie.
White went on to complete 14-of-16 passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns while also running for a score.
Meanwhile, Parnell ran wild, gaining 194 yards with four touchdowns. Senior ball carrier Sloan Roller added 105 yards and a touchdown, all in the first half.
Verdigris said adios to 13 seniors with another stout defensive effort, limiting Locus Grove to minus-10 yards rushing in the first half and 38 overall.
Offensively, the Cardinals racked up 30 first downs and scored on drives of 63, 57, 86, 66, 60, 69, 30, 53 and 74 yards.
VHS finally got on the board and produced a 7-7 tie after Parnell ripped off a 14-yard run, weaving his way into the end zone with 2:21 left in the first quarter.
Parnell added a 1-yard score for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:12 into the second period. His third touchdown came on a 3-yard burst, making it 20-7 and capping an 86-yard, seven-play series.
Roller bolted 4 yards around the right flank, increasing the Cardinals’ lead to 27-7 with 2:17 remaining in the first half.
The Pirates quickly reacted with quarterback Colton Bell uncorking a 64-yard scoring strike to senior Henry Sartan.
Still not finished, Verdigris covered 60 yards in five plays, scoring on a 24-yard toss from White to ace receiver Toby Willis as time expired, giving the Cardinals a 35-14 lead at intermission.
On the home team’s third snap of the second half, Parnell exploded for a 56-yard touchdown and the rout continued.
Senior Kyle Pickens recovered a Pirate fumble, and White found Ty Moore with a 30-yard TD pass on the next play.
White followed up with a 10-yard touchdown run to make it 55-14 with 6:26 left in the third period.
Senior Dylan Collins closed it out with a 9-yard run into the end zone six seconds into the final quarter.