By Kenton Brooks
Phoenix Sports Writer
MIDWEST CITY – Whether it was a Vian hangover or Davis’ solid defense, the result was not a good one for the Wolverines in the Class 2A semifinals.
Vian had averaged 399.6 yards of total offense per game and had scored 821 points in 13 games coming into this contest. But all of that faded in the shadow of seven turnovers – six interceptions and a lost fumble – in the 22-0 loss to the Wolves at Rose Field on Friday night.
“We got beat,” Vian coach Brandon Tyler said. “They hit us in the mouth and we never responded.”
It definitely wasn’t the night for Class 2A’s high-flying offenses. Frederick lost 55-32 to Oklahoma Christian in the other semifinal. The Bombers finished the season with 822 points, one more than the Wolverines, and won the far-less significant race as Oklahoma’s highest-scoring team ever, the national record of 891 points over 15 games remaining intact.
Tyler’s squad was coming off a 43-13 win over two-time defending state champion Hennessey last Friday to avenge the loss in last year’s quarterfinals. The coach admitted his team was “a little flat” in the week leading up to the semifinals.
“We had been looking for the Hennessey game for a year,” Tyler said. “(The Wolverines) got what we wanted there. We, as coaches, knew when we met with them on Saturday after the game that it was going to be the biggest thing to get our heads back up.”
Nobody probably felt flatter than Vian quarterback Landon Decker, who had an unhappy birthday Friday night.
The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior was intercepted four times in a 2-of-9, 14-yard evening before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.
Vian assistant coaches said after the game that he had a concussion. He was not making any comments when approached in the locker room, but was seen after the game crying on shoulders of coaches and family.
Backup quarterback Rylee Simon was intercepted twice and completed 5 of 12 passes for 46 yards.
Alec Hetherington and Dedrien Nowden had plenty to say for the Wolves. They intercepted two passes each. Jordan Wilson and Blake Summers each had one.
“Our front line just hassled that quarterback,” Hetherington, also the Davis quarterback. “They were all over him early which caused him to throw it early or not into a good spot. We just took it from there. We haven’t that many interceptions in a game this season.”
Two of Decker’s interceptions that led to the Wolves taking advantage and going into the locker room with a 14-0 halftime lead.
Decker was intercepted by Nowden with 9:56 left in the first period. The Wolves then marched 11 plays and 32 yards with Hetherington scampering the final two yards for the touchdown. The lead was 6-0 lead as the extra-point attempt failed.
Decker was intercepted by Hetherington with a minute left in the first half.
Hetherington then found Michael Nowden for a 30-yard TD pass on the ensuing possession six seconds later. The two hooked up on the two-point conversion and the Wolves had the two-touchdown lead at halftime.
Hetherington finished with a team-high 61 yards rushing on 23 carries and completed three of six passes for 54 yards.
Nowden intercepted Decker the second time with 8:06 left in the third quarter. The Wolves then marched 93 yards on 14 plays and used 7:58 off the clock. The drive ended with Blake Summers prancing 28 yards for the touchdown with 8.8 seconds left in the period.
For the game, Vian had 176 yards – 116 rushing and 60 passing.
Ranked No. 1 in the final Associated Press poll, Vian ends the season at 13-1 but will win one state title as 2A academic football champion.
DAVIS 22, VIAN 0
Vian 0 0 0 0—0
Davis 6 8 8 0—22
Davis – Alec Hetherington 2 run (kick failed), 4:45
Davis – Michael Nowden 30 pass from Alec Hetherington (Nowden pass), 0:54.3
Davis – Blake Summers 28 run (Summers pass), 8.8
First Downs 10 10
Rushes-Yards 29-116 50-177
Passing Yards 60 54
Passes CAI 7-21-6 3-6-0
Punts-Avg. 2-30.5 5-34.4
Fumbles-Lost 2-1 1-0
Penalties-Yards 5-30 4-26
Rushing: Vian, Landon Decker 13-60, Rowdy Simon 9-43. Davis, Hetherington 23-61, Braden Ruth 13-46.
Passing: Vian, Landon Decker 2-9-4-14. Rylee Simon 5-12-2-47. Davis, Hetherington 3-6-0-54.
Receiving: Vian, Tre Locust 2-25, Eric Casey 3-20. Davis, Jordan Wilson 2-24.