By CRAIG HALL
Over the years, Heavener has won many memorable football games.
Heavener will try to recreate one of its biggest wins ever on Friday as the Wolves visit Muldrow. But perhaps the biggest upset came 50 years ago to the date when Heavener visits Muldrow.
On Oct. 13, 1967, which was also a Friday the 13th just like this week, Talihina came to Harvey Stadium as the defending state champions, ranked first in the state and on a 21-game winning streak.
In Ralph Perdue’s second season as the Wolves’ head coach, Heavener entered the game 0-4-1, tying Coweta in the opener, before losing to Broken Bow, Vian, Eufaula and Spiro.
The previous year, Heavener was 1-9 and lost to Talihina 28-8 as the Golden Tigers finished as state champions.
“It was a crazy deal,” said Denton Mead, a member of the team. “I think Talihina was not looking for a ballgame. We gave them the ball twice early and they scored a touchdown so I’m sure they thought they were going to coast.”
Carl Lazalier, the longtime reporter on the Wolves for the Ledger, led off his story with “David slew Goliath.”
The Wolves received the opening kickoff and picked up a pair of first downs before Talihina returned a fumble for a touchdown.
On the Wolves’ next possession, they turned the ball over again on an interception, but the Golden Tigers missed a field goal, leaving the score 7-0.
Heavener had a team of walking wounded.
“We had so many casualties,” Mead said. “The only other back who had started the year was our quarterback Randy Pickle, who was listed at 120 pounds but I doubt his weight was right.”
Also in the backfield that night were Allen Rockwell and Larry Ingram.
Mead intercepted a pass for Heavener and returned it to Talihina’s 35.
“After the interception, everybody played over their head,” he said.
Heavener scored, but missed the PAT to still trail 7-6.
The Wolves took the lead early in the third quarter to take a 12-7 lead, only to see Talihina respond with a touchdown for a 15-12 lead.
Heavener scored with around five minutes remaining on a touchdown by Roy Faulkenberry and Mead scored on the 2-point conversion for a 20-15 lead.
Talihina marched back down the field inside Heavener’s 15, before the Wolves got the stop on fourth down on a play where Pickle and Mead both had a chance to make the interception.
“I thought about it that it has been 50 years since that happened,” Mead said. “It all turned around.”
Heavener lost the next week to Wilburton, 9-6, but won two more games that year over Hartshorne and Stigler before finishing with a loss at Poteau to finish 3-6-1.
The following year, Heavener was 5-5 with another win over Talihina.
Get our free daily email updates. Click HERE to sign up.
Spread the word on your business or service, sponsor SPORTS or another section of heavenerledger.com or leflorecountyjournal.com. Call (918) 649-4712 for more information.
To submit a story or information, or to make a correction please send an email to [email protected]
Copyright 2017 Heavener Ledger. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.