One team took a big step toward securing a spot in the postseason, while another went in the opposite direction Friday night at Wildcat Stadium.
Piedmont raced out to a 20-0 lead and dominated from start to finish in a 26-12 win over Lawton Eisenhower to improve 3-2 overall and 2-0 in District 5A-2 play.
Landon White ran 27 times for 201 yards for Piedmont while Eisenhower gained just 191 yards as a team and committed eight penalties for 100 yards in a game Piedmont led wire-to-wire.
“We’ve been saying all along how big this game was. We’ve been thinking playoffs all season,” Piedmont head coach Drew Gossen said. “This, obviously, is just one step down that road, but it was a big step.”
White, along with quarterback Noah Ellis and Piedmont’s defense, had a big hand in the victory. Ellis rushed for scores of eight and six yards and also threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Koy Priddy.
But defensive end Christian Bricker made the play that sealed the game. Bricker tipped an R.J. Fisher pass at the line of scrimmage and gathered it in near the goaline for an 8-yard interception return for a score with 2:33 left in the third quarter to put Piedmont in front 26-6.
“It definitely put it away,” Bricker said of the play. “I just came around the corner, tipped it up and I looked up and I was in the end zone and caught it. It was kind of just set up for me I guess.”
On Ike’s next offensive play, Bricker sacked Fisher for a 7-yard loss.
Fisher, Ike’s best offensive weapon, gained 85 yards on 18 carries, but threw for just 77 yards and was intercepted twice.
“We didn’t match their intensity from the start,” Eagles head coach Mike Burris said. “We didn’t move the ball offensively and we just went flat.”
Piedmont gained 221 yards in the first half while building a 20-0 halftime edge. Ike gained only 42 total yards in the half.
For the game, Piedmont totaled 265 yards rushing on 40 carries. Ike had 158.
“They put nine guys in the box and said we dare you to run,” Gossen said. “And we said, OK, and we were able to be successful still. I can’t say how proud I am of these guys. The fact our guys are committed to running the ball and know what it takes to be successful is huge.”
Eisenhower got a 33-yard run touchdown run from Kenneth Graham with 2:20 to play to pull within 26-12, but a failed onside kick allowed Piedmont to run out the clock.
The Eagles are now 1-4 overall and 1-1 in district play with a game vs. Woodward looming next week.
“It was a big game tonight, but if we win four we can still get in,” Burris said. “We’ve just got to play one at a time. We’ve got to beat Woodward next week and go from there.”