HEAVENER â€” One goal the Heavener Wolves set out to accomplish this 2011 football season was to make the playoffs â€” and they did.
â€śYou can never overlook the first game (of the season), and all the way up to the last game,â€ť Heavener Coach John Thompson said. â€śYou just have to take them one game at a time. We're one of those teams that made it. We got an extra week of practice. We made the playoffs, and that's a plus right there.â€ť
Things did not look so good for the Wolves (5-5) to make the playoffs at halftime of last week's home game against Pocola at Harvey Stadium. The Wolves trailed the Indians 12-0, and looked lifeless. But the Wolves had a totally different second half to pull out a 21-12 victory to earn the playoff berth.
â€śThey scored on the very first play (from scrimmage),â€ť Thompson said. â€śTheir second score was on a pass which was tipped first by Shaun Bradley, then by Levi Chuculate, then it fell into the hands of the Pocola guy standing in the end zone for a touchdown. That was just one of those lucky things for them. We came here (the locker room at halftime), and we told them all week long that (Pocola) was quick in every position. We basically told them, 'You have to fix it! You know who to block, and you're not coming off the ball. You're playing flat. If you don't win, that's it. We'll check our stuff in Monday.' That's basically what was said. They came out in the second half with a little spunk and got after them.â€ť
The reward for the Wolves for making the playoffs is making a three-hour road trip to Stroud to face Class 2A's third-ranked Tigers (10-0) in the opening round of the playoffs. The kickoff will be at 7:30 p.m. tonight.
â€śThey're good fundamentally,â€ť Thompson said. â€śThey block well. They tackle well. They just do things right. They're a smart group of kids. In throwing the ball, we've seen better teams than they are. Running the ball, that's where they make their yards â€” on the ground. They'll play a five-man front on defense.â€ť