High School Football: Vian stumbles against Lincoln Christian in matchup of two top five teams
VIAN — In a matchup featuring two top-five teams in their respective classes it came down to the team that executed and didn't beat themselves.
Unfortunately for the Vian High football team missed opportunities and too many mistakes doomed the Wolverines as they fell 21-13 to visiting Lincoln Christian Friday night at St. John Stadium.
“We missed a PAT, a very makable field goal got blocked and we got a second down on the ½ yard line going into score — that's 11 points in an eight point loss,” Vian coach Gary Willis said. “We got to take care of ourselves and punch that in. Somethings we need to get better on and most of that is mental focus.”
Vian held Lincoln Christian — the No. 4 ranked team in Class 3A — scoreless in the second half but couldn't execute themselves.
Credit the Bulldogs who outside of a Gray Cloud 49-yard touchdown run only allowed an explosive Wolverines offense to just one other play of 20 yards or more the rest of the game.
Lincoln Christian turned to some tricky when facing a fourth down the Bulldogs executed a fake punt that resulted in a 46-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Marsh to Chase Ricke that tied the game 7-7 early in the second quarter.
A 14 or 15-point swing occurred when Vian was driving to take the lead late in the first half but a miscommunication at the one-yard line resulted in a fumble with Lincoln Christian clinging to a 14-13 lead.
Lincoln Christian (2-0) responded with a nine play 92-yard drive that was capped by an 18-yard touchdown pass from Ricke to Jace Ward with 24 seconds left until halftime.
“Little mistakes costs us the game for sure,” Cloud said. “Fumbling the ball at the one-yard line hurts our team — you got to capitalize on plays like that. Tonight was just small mistakes costs us.”
Lincoln Christian took a 21-13 lead going into halftime and the score held up.
“We didn't execute and left 11 points out there,” Willis said. “That wins the ball game for us. The defense played well against a good offense. It was two good teams going against each other and who made the most mistakes and that just so happened to be us. I take full responsibility as coach and put that on me — I didn't have them as focused as they needed to be.”
Ricke threw for 174 yards on 9-of-17 passing including two touchdowns and an interception.
Sam Brueggemann had a game-high 115 yards receiving on four catches including a touchdown for the Bullodgs.
Vian (1-1) got the ball inside the red zone once in the second half but it resulted in a blocked field goal.
The Wolverines did themselves no favors committing 10 penalties for 80 yards including four false start penalties and three personal foul penalties.
“We need to keep our composure a lot better,” Cloud said. “We let our actions take over and that's not good. It costs us with a lot of penalties.”
Cloud rushed for 71 yards on six carries while River Simon led Vian on the ground with 76 yards on 16 carries.
Bodhi Vann scored the first points points of the game on a 29-yard punt return touchdown and rushed for 55 yards on 17 carries and had two receptions for 19 yards.
“All-around we played good but when then when we had to step up and do stuff but we choked,” Simon said. “Bottom line that and we had mental errors and when got tired and didn't think.”
Simon completed 2 of his 6 pass attempts for 19 yards.
Defensively Kade Cato had the lone sack for the Wolverines and Isaiah Teehee had an interception.
Vian — who came into the game ranked No. 2 in Class 2A — feel they let one get away.
“I still think we are a lot better team than what they are,” Simon said. “We didn't step up when we needed to and that hurt us big time. You can't win a game when you do that.”
Vian will close out its non-district slate with their first road game of the season next Friday Sept. 14 when they visit Okmulgee.
Okmulgee (1-1) defeated Tulsa Rogers 26-10 on Friday.