By CRAIG HALL
SALLISAW–A late touchdown in the second quarter shifted all the momentum over to the Poteau side.
Blake Roley’s touchdown reception cut Sallisaw’s lead to 10-7 and the Pirates were poised to pull off a big win which would get them back in the thick of the playoff race.
But whatever momentum the Pirates had was lost at halftime as Sallisaw went to the air in the third quarter and blitzed Poteau by scoring 24 points en route to a 41-7 win.
The Black Diamonds’ passing game was a little shaky in the first half, but was sharp as a tack in the third quarter.
Quarterback Ben Obserte was on target as Sallisaw pretty much abandoned the run in the period and eventually scored 24 points to put Poteau away.Sallisaw improves to 5-2 overall and 4-0 in district play before next week’s showdown with Hilldale.
Oberste was only 4-14 passing in the first half, but was 10-15 in the big third quarter as the Diamonds dominated play. Sallisaw took the opening drive of the third quarter and quickly scored on a nine-yard pass to Chase Hunt, which covered 61 yards.
Poteau turned the ball over on its next drive and Sallisaw capitalized, getting a 40-yard field goal from Sinue Rodrigueez, his second field goal of the game after booting a 30-yard field goal late in the first half.
Senior running back Dakota Petree then added a pair of touchdowns later in the quarter and Sallisaw had clinched its fifth straight win in the series.
Poteau kept the game close in the first half with a pair of big defensive plays. Jesse Woodson stopped Sallisaw’s first drive with an interception and Kaydon Evans later intercepted a pass in the end zone to kill a drive.
After Rodriguez’s field goal with 1:33 left in the second quarter, Poteau’s offense finally got untracked and the Pirates drove the length of the field, scoring on the 15-yard pass from Wilson Klutts to Roley with only four seconds left before halftime. Blake Williams’ PAT was perfect and Poteau trailed by only three points at intermission.
The Pirates struggled to run against Sallisaw’s tough defense and were forced to go to the air as Poteau rushed for only 21 yards through three quarters.
Poteau drops to 3-4 overall and 1-3 in district play and likely needs to win its final three games to reach the playoffs.
The Pirates are at home next Thursday before closing out the schedule with road games against Fort Gibson and Muldrow.