SKIATOOK — A bundle of small mistakes added up to one big thumping for Piedmont in its season opener Friday night at defending 5A state runner-up Skiatook.
A errant throw here and a missed assignment there ended in a 40-0 romp for the Bulldogs, who had plenty to do with the lopsided score.
“When we go back and watch film, I know what we’re going to see. We’re going to see a bunch of guys that were close, but not quite there,” Wildcats head coach Drew Gossen said. “It was a bunch of little bitty mistakes that just piled up.”
Mistakes piled up, but the yards and points did not. Piedmont’s offense totaled just 74 yards in the game, 47 through the air and 24 on the ground. PHS gained seven first downs and four came by penalty.
Skiatook, which played its reserves for the final quarter, moved the ball with relative ease. The Bulldogs ran for 260 yards on 31 carries and threw for another 128 on six completions, three for touchdowns.
Playing for injured starter Stephen Upton, Bulldogs’ quarterback Brendon Babb didn’t throw often in the game, but was efficient when he chose to put the ball in the air. He connected for scoring strikes of 6, 27 and 70 yards, the first of which went 27 yards to Beau Wooden and put Skiatook in front 7-0 with 7:22 to play in the first quarter.
“That’s one of the dangers of a team that runs the ball so well, especially if they have one or two guys that can stretch you,” Gossen said. “Credit to them, they are a solid football team and they did a good job of exploiting our mistakes.”
Skiatook sophomore running back T.K. Wilkerson, who ran for 191 yards on 15 carries, picked up 79 of his yards on one play in the first quarter.
Wilkerson went untouched on the first play of the Bulldogs’ third drive of the game to put Piedmont in a 14-0 hole.
Skiatook’s defense delivered the final blow to a reeling Piedmont offense with 8:44 to play in the first half. Defensive back Shae Garner intercepted a tipped pass from quarterback Noah Ellis and raced 42 yards for a touchdown to give the Bulldogs a 21-0 lead.
“Turnovers are deflating, especially when the other team scores on it,” Gossen said. “You could tell that was where the tide might’ve turned.”
Laben Fisher tacked on field goals of 35 and 20 yards to stake Skiatook to a 27-0 halftime lead. Babb and receiver Jaren Knight connected for a 70-yard touchdown with 4:13 to play in the third quarter. Laterm Billy Beyen reeled in a 6-yard scoring strike from Babb to capitalize on Piedmont’s third turnover of the night.
Ellis completed 4-of-15 passes for 47 yards with two interceptions in his first start for Piedmont. Dylan Meador rushed for 22 yards on 15 carries.
The Wildcats (0-1) travel to Weatherford next week.
“We’ve got a lot of potential on this team, it’s just a matter of getting it all together,” Gossen said. “We’ll try and do that next week.”