By CRAIG HALL
HEAVENER—Just like Dorothy once said, “There’s no place like home.”
That was certainly the case for Heavener Friday as the Wolves bounced back from a disappointing opener and a slow start against Central, before dominating the final three quarters to win, 21-6.
After falling behind 6-0 early, it was all Heavener for the rest of the contest as Blake Smittle ran for 244 yards on 18 carries and scored the clinching touchdown late in the third quarter on a beautiful 58-yard run which featured two great cutbacks before he outran the Central defense into the end zone.
The Wolves took the lead late in the second quarter on a one-yard plunge by quarterback Tyler Hamm.
The go-ahead score was set up when Smittle partially blocked a Central punt that went out of bounds on the Tigers’ 18.
Smittle gained 17 on first down and Hamm scored on the ensuing play. After a bad snap on the conversion, C.J. Farmer scrambled and lobbed a pass to Hamm, who fought his way into the end zone for the two-point conversion and an 8-6 lead.
The Wolves’ defense stepped up big after Central got on the scoreboard first on a 29-yard run by quarterback Aaron Busch late in the first quarter.
Central only rushed for 89 yards in the game and 53 of those came on two carries by Busch in the opening period. The Tigers were held to one first down in the second half and any comeback hopes ended in the third quarter when Busch suffered a leg injury and could not return.
Busch was injured when the Wolves were threatening to increase their lead after an interception by Miguel Alcantar gave Heavener the ball at Central’s 20. Smittle broke free and got inside the Tigers’ 10, but coughed up the ball and the Tigers recovered.
The Central quarterback left the game after that play and the Wolves’ defense even got tougher as the Tigers’ passing game suffered without Busch.
The only area Central had an edge in was passing as the Tigers had 65 yards, with most coming in the first half while the Wolves did not complete a pass until the fourth quarter and finished with only two yards passing.
But Heavener did rush for 324 yards and picked up 18 first downs, 10 coming in the second half as Central appeared to tire from the Wolves’ big offensive line and having to chase Smittle.
The junior running back actually had a slow start. He had only six yards after his five carries, but broke a 34-yard run late in the first quarter, the first of many long carries.
Smittle, who rushed for over 1,000 yards as a sophomore, had runs of 58, 36, 34 and 22 and finished with eight runs of at least 10 yards.
Heavener scored its final touchdown on the last play of the game as Jason Mueller took it in from eight yards out.
The Wolves are now 1-1 overall and travel to Paris, Ark., next week for their final game before starting district play the following week. Central is 0-2 and travels to face undefeated Talihina next week.