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October 12, 2013

Pirate defense outscores Jay in 40-3 laugher

JAY, OK — Tenth-ranked Locust Grove embarrassed Jay 40-3 in the Bulldogs’ homecoming game Friday night behind an exceptional defensive performance and a balanced offensive attack.

With the win, Locust Grove improved to 6-0 for the first time in over a decade and punched its ticket to the playoffs.

The Legion of Doom defense never allowed Jay to find the end zone and outscored the Bulldog offense 12-3. The Pirates scored their first touchdown in the third quarter off of a 40-yard interception return by junior Vance Wilson. Wilson has been an anchor on the Locust defense this season and went into last night’s contest with 78 tackles, which ranked among the top ten in the state.

Not to be outdone, senior Traden Sokoloski showed seniority over Wilson by scoring on a 68-yard pick-six of his own on the Pirates’ very next defensive stand. The nine-point margin marked The Legion of Doom’s second time to outscore the opposing offense this season.

“They just played lights out tonight,” LG head coach Matt Hennesy said of the defense.

The Pirate offense also played tough, finding the end zone four times and putting up 433 total yards of offense. Senior Cory Rohde led the offense for the second straight game with 166 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. Both of Rohde’s scores came in the second half on 48-yard and 84-yard touchdown runs.

After a scoreless first quarter, sophomore quarterback Mason Fine and senior receiver Cameron McIntire jump-started the Pirates early in the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown pass. The Fine-McIntire duo hooked up again later in the half with an 83-yard score.

Fine ended the night with 215 yards through the air and McIntire had 125 receiving yards. Both players had two scores apiece. Hennesy said the balanced offensive attack is hard for opposing defenses to stop.

“They tried to take away our pass game, so when they did it gave up the running game. You can only defend so much stuff and so our guys are versatile enough, we can run, we can throw. But we have a big one next week, so that’s the real test,” Hennesy said.

The Pirates (3-0 District 3A-7) will return home Thursday to take on their toughest opponent thus far in Hilldale. The 11th-ranked Hornets are 5-1 and coming off a big road victory at Lincoln Christian Friday night. Hilldale’s only blemish is a seven-point loss at 4A No. 7 Fort Gibson. A Locust Grove victory next week could set the Pirates up on the road to a perfect season.

“We set our goals this year to win a state title. Our district title is next, that’s the next step, and it runs through Hilldale,” Hennesy said.

The Pirates and Hornets will kick off at 7:30 p.m.

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