Wolverines get rematch with Washington tonight in Class 2A state quarterfinals
For the second time in three weeks, the Vian Wolverines will have a rematch with a team they faced in the regular season.
The Wolverines (8-4) will meet the Washington Warriors (12-0) in the Class 2A state quarterfinals at 7 tonight at East Central University’s Norris Field at Koi Ishto Stadium in Ada.
When the two teams opened the season during Zero Week on Aug. 25, the Warriors routed the Wolverines 55-13 in Washington, Okla. However, Vian coach Gary Willis said things have changed since that night for his team.
“We’ve grown and matured,” Willis said. “We’re playing a lot better football. Washington is a really talented team. They’ve had a lot of success through the years. Obviously, you just worry about yourself and concentrate on getting better. Our guys are in a lot better shape. They’ve played a lot of football this year. We have a year’s experience (full season to this point) under our belts. Hopefully, that will benefit us.”
Willis mentioned what he thought were the big factors in why the Warriors won the first game against his Wolverines.
“One is the straight-up talent level,” he said. “They have six kids on that team who have been given Division I offers. They’re a really talented team. A lot of our guys were playing their first high school football game that night.”
Now, the Wolverines will look to have a different outcome than the one suffered against the Warriors on Aug. 25.
“We’re going to have to play mistakefree football and play with great effort,” Willis said. “We obviously have to not have any stupid penalties. We moved the ball on them (Adair) a little bit in our last game, but we had penalties or a bad snap that killed our own drives. They (Washington) are definitetly good enough that we can’t give them any help. We have to be on top of our game in all areas. Of course, you have to deal with how good they are as well. We have to take care of ourselves, play clean and play with great effort.”
With a win tonight, the Wolverines will be two wins from the Class 2A state championship, which helps being a motivator for the players.
“That’s exciting,” Willis said. “With these guys, we’ve been talking just taking it one game at a time. I think Washington has our attention. I don’t think anyone is looking too far ahead. They’re focused up and have been playing good football here the last two weeks (first two playoff wins).”
On Nov. 22, 2019, the Wolverines stunned the Oklahoma City Millwood Falcons 47-16 at St. John Stadium to end the OKC team’s long winning streak. Willis said the Wolverines are having that kind of mental approach to tonight’s game against Washington.
“We talked to the boys how a few years ago we ended (Oklahoma City) Millwood’s 45-game winning streak,” he said. “it’s a similar deal (tonight). It’s not quite the same thing as the teams are a little bit different, but the same thing is you have to go play a complete game, don’t take any plays off and not make any mistakes to have a chance to pull it off.”
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TO GET THERE — Take Interstate 40 west to U.S. 75 west of Henryetta. Take U.S. 75 south to Calvin. Take Oklahoma State Highway 1 west to Ada. In Ada, Highway 1 becomes Arlington Street. Proceed west on Arlington to Highland Avenue. Take Highland Avenue south, where it becomes Stadium Drive. Proceed south on Stadium Drive to Norris Field at Koi Ishto Stadium on the East Central University campus.