Hayden Jones made the most of his return to the quarterback position.
The senior played about half of last season as the Verdigris signal caller, throwing for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns before moving to wide receiver. Although his last start came on Oct. 4, 2019, he showed little rust Friday night.
Filling in for Dylan White, Jones completed 10 of 15 passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Class 3A No. 5 Cardinals to a 56-0 home victory over winless Mannford. He also rushed for 34 yards on six carries.
Two of his touchdown passes went to Evan Anderson on throws of 9 and 42 yards, and the other went to Reese Roller on a 75-yard strike. Anderson finished with five receptions for 94 yards while Roller tallied 80 yards on two catches.
Elsewhere, Alec James, Carson Calvert and Caden Parnell each notched one rushing touchdown on runs of 11, 11 and 10 yards, respectively.
In all, Verdigris outgained the Pirates 463-125.
Calvert showed his ability on defense as well, intercepting two Mannford passes and returning one 23 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to increase the Cardinal lead to 42-0.
Tyler Mitchell scored on an interception return as well, rumbling 65 yards for the game’s final touchdown.
Parnell and Rushton Williams recovered two fumbles in addition to those three interceptions, bringing the defense’s turnover total to five. Verdigris has 24 takeaways through seven games.
Roller had a notable defensive performance as well, racking up five tackles and three sacks to bring his season sacks total to 21. He has recorded at least three sacks in four-consecutive weeks.
The Cardinals improved to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in District 3A-4 with the win, setting up a colossal Friday night matchup at No. 2 Holland Hall.
The Dutch are also undefeated at 6-0, having allowed only 20 points while registering three shutouts. They haven’t played since defeating Berryhill 31-7 on Thursday, Oct. 15.