By Andrew Glover
MORRISON, Okla. —
The Morrison Wildcats may not have played as well as they wanted to but Jordan Quinata had four first-half touchdowns and five total, leading Morrison to a 44-7 rout of the Fairland Owls in the first round of the Class A playoffs at Dennis Casey Stadium.
“We didn’t come off the football really well,” coach Cory Bales said. “We were really passive up front and they were playing soft techniques and playing at the line of scrimmage and we didn’t run through very well. ... On the flip side we will definitely take a 44-7 win and move on. It’s going to take a better effort next week.”
The Wildcats (10-1) gained momentum early with their special teams and defense. After giving up a touchdown on Fairland’s first possession, Morrison senior Josh Hite returned the ensuing kickoff 69 yards to the Fairland 6. Four plays later, sophomore quarterback Jordan Quinata scored on a 4-yard run to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead.
On Fairland’s next possession, quarterback Jared Johnson fumbled and Morrison’s Walker Alexander recovered at the Owls’ 36. Quinata would end up with his second touchdown — scoring from five yards to give Morrison a 14-7 lead. The Wildcats ended the quarter with the passing game resulting in a score as Quinata connected with senior Justin Bearry for a 64-yard touchdown.
“The first half we were never forced to punt,” Bales said. “We scored every possession — just weren’t really crisp.”
Quinata, who was held in check last week, picked up plenty of yards Friday on the ground and through the air. The sophomore quarterback rushed for 122 yards and scored four touchdowns and passed for 125 yards and threw one touchdown.
“Throwing the ball felt good,” Quinata said. “It felt like I couldn’t miss tonight.”
Bales said Quinata stepped up on offense.
“After Scotty (Van Dorn’s) week last week, (Fairland) did a good job of shutting him down and that enabled Jordan to have some good carries and yards,” Bales said.
“I was finding holes,” Quinata said. “The linemen were blocking well.”
Most of Fairland’s offense in the first half came on its touchdown when Aaron Vann rushed for 53 yards before fumbling in the end zone and being fortunate to have a teammate recover for a score. The Owls (4-6) moved the ball in the second quarter but turned it over on downs inside the Morrison 30 and punted.
Morrison led 30-7 at halftime and padded its lead in the third quarter with touchdown runs by Quinata and senior Scotty Van Dorn. Van Dorn finished with 127 yards rushing and one touchdown. The Wildcats’ defense forced four fumbles and recovered three. Bales said the defense played well.
“The defense did a great job of creating turnovers and getting the ball back,” he said.
Morrison plays the winner of Elmore City-Pernell and Central Sallisaw at home in the second round Friday.
“We got to show up next week and play harder, smarter and better,” Quinata said.