Jeff Kaley/ For The Duncan Banner
The Duncan Banner
Waurika came into a key District B-2 game Friday against Paoli hoping to add a line to its playoff resume: Has beaten one of the better teams in the district.
Following a fourth-quarter collapse at Cy Sloan Stadium, the Eagles’ resume still lacks that line.
The Pugs (4-3, 4-2) scored on a long touchdown pass and then recovered an onside kick that led to a scoring run by Jo Gibson, with 3:06 remaining, as Paoli came back from a 12-point deficit to trip Waurika, 36-34.
Despite producing nearly 600 total yards rushing and passing, and leading 34-22 going into the final period, the Eagles’ post-season hoped were damaged. With a clash against No. 4-ranked Fox coming up Thursday, WHS is at 3-4 overall and 3-3 in B-2.
The Foxes need a win to lockup the district title, leaving Alex, Paoli, Cyril, Central High and Waurika trying to land one of the other three playoff berths.
After watching a golden opportunity slip away down the stretch, capped by WHS failing to score when it had first-and-goal at the Paoli 9 in the final minute, head coach Glenn Howard said, “This one’s on me. Coach (Joe) Masoner and Coach (Roger) Jessie had good game plans for our offense and defense. The kids did a great job of understanding and doing what we wanted to do.
“But I didn’t do the things I needed to do. There was some clock-management I could have done different (late in the game), and I didn’t have some of (the players) in certain positions they should have been in.
“I’ve told the kids that it’s the little stuff that will get you beat, and failing to do the little stuff was on me (Friday).”
After scoring and recovering the ensuing onside kick, the invigorated Pugs used four running plays to get to the WHS 36, before Aaron Webster came around right end and wasn’t touched on a 36-yard scamper to the end zone. Webster added a 2-point conversion run to give Paoli a 36-34 lead, with 3:06 to go in the game.
The Eagles had another opportunity, however, getting good field position when Josh Jacobson fielded an onside kick at the WHS 46.
Waurika put together a drive fueled by a halfback pass from Wilkerson to quarterback Shockley and a run by Masoner that resulted in additional yardage for a facemask penalty. With just under a minute left, the Eagles were first-and-goal at the PHS 9.
Masoner lost two yards on first down, but Wilkerson followed with a four-yard run to the PHS 7. Waurika got no closer.
On third down, a pass to Masoner was broken up in the end zone, and on fourth down, Shockley was sacked by Pugs noseguard Dustin Duncan.
Masoner finished with 263 yards on 26 carries, while Wilkerson had 132 yards on 19 hauls. Wilkerson’s six receptions produced 96 yards and Masoner’s half-dozen catches reaped 82 yards.
Webster led the Pugs with 110 yards on 13 carries and Gibson added 98 on 17 totes. Although he completed only five of 15 pass attempts, Moore’s three touchdown passes accounted for 176 of 206 total passing yards.
The teams began the game by trading scores in the initial 20 minutes. Masoner had a one-yard TD run that gave WHS a 6-0 edge in the first quarter, but the Pugs responded with a 37-yard scoring run by Gibson and a 2-point pass from Moore to Hashhagen to go in front, 8-6, at the end of the first stanza.
Masoner dashed for a 42-yard TD with 6:49 remaining in the second period, but a guard-eligible pass to Ron Crawford resulted in a 28-yard touchdown that nudged the Pugs back in front, 14-12.