By CRAIG HALL
Heavener coach Scott Martin was pleased with how hard the Wolves played in the opening 30-7 loss at Haskell.
“I was very pleased with the effort,” Martin said. “A lot of the problems were on technique, and that is something the coaches have to fix.”
Heavener will try to break into the win column on Friday when the Wolves welcome LeFlore County rival Panama to Harvey Stadium for a 7 p.m. kickoff.
Panama won last year’s matchup, 41-14, but the Wolves have dominated the series against the Razorbacks, leading 39-14-3.
“They look like they are really coached good,” Martin said of Panama. “They’re a good football team. There aren’t any weak sisters on our schedule.”
Panama opened with a 57-14 blowout of Warner in the Razorbacks’ opener at home on Friday.
Heavener’s loss at Haskell was not like most of the losses over the last few years as the score wound up one-sided, but it was misleading.
Haskell didn’t score until 1:42 before halftime and led only 16-0 through three quarters before pulling away in the final quarter.
The Haymakers had a variety of weapons, but Heavener had the answer primarily in the first half thanks to monster games by Caleb Smith and Brent Laneave on defense.
“Caleb had an awesome game,” Martin said. “Brent played really well on both sides of the ball.”
Jacob Hill intercepted a Haskell pass on the Haymakers’ first drive, then Smith stopped a fourth down play deep in Heavener territory, recovered a fumble at the Wolves’ 7 and made a stop on a fake punt. Smith finished with 17 tackles, including nine solo and four sacks. He also caused a fumble.
Laneave also had an impressive performance, harassing Haskell quarterback Tayden Lucero and making several key stops. Linebacker Jack Duschel also had a big game, recording 15 tackles.
Haskell spent most of the first half deep in Heavener territory, thanks to a couple of errors in the punting game, but the Haymakers could not score until they recovered a fumble on an attempted punt. Lucero scored on a 29-yard run with 1:29 left before halftime.
The score stayed 8-0 until midway through the third quarter on a 20-yard run by Kyle Burris. Haskell’s third score came after a long punt return by Lucero set the Haymakers up for a 4-yard blast by Lucero that left the score 22-0.
Heavener had several chances to hit a big play through the passing game, but failed to connect until 3:50 was left when Jordan Terry, who was starting his first game at quarterback, hit Duschel behind the Haymakers’ secondary. Duschel sped down the sideline for a 90-yard touchdown pass for the Wolves’ only score.
Haskell answered on the ensuing drive as Lucero scored his third touchdown on a 19-yard run and after the 2-point conversion, the Haymakers led 30-7.
But unlike last year’s 44-7 stomping by the Haymakers, Heavener’s players were flying all over the field, showing effort that has not been seen by the Wolves in a long time.
Heavener’s offense failed to move the ball for most of the game, leaving the defense on the field for long periods.
“Our kids are not laying down or quitting,” Martin said. “They played to the end and had some fun. We’ve just got to compete and concentrate on Friday and getting a win.”
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