The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

October 27, 2012

Salina wears down Quapaw

By Richard Polen
Globe Sports Writer

QUAPAW, Okla. — Salina drove for touchdowns on its first two possessions of the second half and outlasted Quapaw 35-12 in a Class 2A District 8 contest Friday night at Shipman Field.

Salina’s power running game gained 302 yards on 49 carries, led by junior running back Bret Fite, who rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 22 carries.

On its first possession of the second half, Salina drove 66 yards in nine plays, highlighted by a 40-yard pass to sophomore tight end Tyler Underwood from quarterback Cale Backward.

The play was Salina’s only pass in the second half.

“They came off the ball really hard,” said Quapaw head coach Brad Homer. “We knew they would run the wishbone or the flexbone. Then they throw one of those grenade passes.”

Underwood set up Salina’s second touchdown in the third quarter when he recovered a fumble at the Quapaw 47. Fite scored eight plays later on a 14-yard run that gave Salina a 28-12 lead.

Quapaw never led but cut the lead to 15-12 with three minutes left in the first half. On fourth-and-8 from the Salina 23, Quapaw quarterback Seth Brumley found senior wide receiver Tyler Bacon open in the end zone for a touchdown. Bacon had six catches for 75 yards.

Brumley, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound sophomore, was harassed by Salina’s pass rush all night but completed 13-of-19 passes for 166 yards.

“When we are moving the ball, we look pretty good doing it,” Homer said. “But for every rushing yard he had (in the second half), he probably ended up with zero because of the sacks.”

Brumley, who rushed for 46 yards on 13 carries in the first half, was held in check by Salina’s defense in the second half except for a 25-yard scramble early in the fourth quarter. He finished with 72 yards on 25 carries.

Salina took a 7-0 lead on its first possession with a 10-play, 73-yard drive — all on the ground — that ended with Fite’s 1-yard touchdown run.

“We didn’t put them in position to have to throw the ball,” Homer said.

Quapaw cut the lead to 7-6 on its next possession when a 21-yard completion to Bacon on fourth-and-5 from Salina 35 set up Brumley’s 5-yard touchdown run two plays later.

Quapaw’s Beau Kibel stopped two Salina drives in the first half with an interception early in the second quarter and a fumble recovery at the Quapaw 2 just before halftime.