SEMINOLE – The West Plains Wolves made sure that nothing spoiled their first ever playoff game in school history.
Playing against Pecos in the Class 4A Division II bi-district round Thursday at Wigwam Stadium in Seminole, the Wolves had very little trouble in putting away the Eagles, winning 56-7 in a game that was all but over by halftime.
With the victory, the Wolves move to a 7-4 overall record while the Eagles’ season ended at 4-7.
“You look at the team celebrating, that just says it all,” West Plains head coach Adam Cummings said. “I’m proud of our kids. I can’t say enough about where we started and where we’re at and what they’ve done to get to this point. I’m just really proud of them.”
Neither team managed to get anything going in the first quarter as the game was tied at 0-0 heading into the second.
However, the second quarter was a whole different story.
It didn’t take the Wolves long to strike first, scoring on a 7-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Reid Macon to wide receiver Trae Ferril and Joseph Estrada’s extra-point made it 7-0 with 11:04.
Macon then scored on a 43-yard run to double West Plains’ lead at 14-0 with 8:35 on the clock.
Moments later, Macon connected with Ferril again, this time for a 24-yard touchdown pass and suddenly the Wolves had complete control with a 21-0 advantage with 5:16 left.
“This win means everything,” Ferril said. “We had our team dinner the other day and I had to talk to the team. I told them that from day one, they bought in and that I promised them it would pay off. This was going to be something special. I appreciate these guys and it all paid off.”
West Plains’ defense kept the Eagles’ offense grounded and the Wolves added one more touchdown before the end of the half as King Tallant hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass as the second quarter expired for a 28-0 halftime lead.
“We just went into the half, and we were up 28-0 but it didn’t feel like we executed at the level we needed to,” Cummings said. “We didn’t play to our standard. So, our kids refocused and played to that standard.”
The Wolves weren’t done yet as they came out strong in the second half, scoring 21 unanswered points in the third quarter.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a lot early in the game,” Cummings said. “We cleaned some things up. We got more aggressive. We came out in the second half and knew what we were capable of. We didn’t make any adjustments. We just played more focused.”
Pecos wouldn’t get on the board until late in the fourth quarter when Kaleb Paz scored on a 4-yard run with two minutes to go.
“I’m so proud of what our kids did tonight,” Cummings said. “I don’t know if they understand the magnitude of what they did tonight but in 10 years they will. Not everyone gets to the playoffs. That’s what makes it unique. It makes this more special than that first win. Everyone gets that first win eventually. This, not everyone gets to do. I’m proud of their resiliency and how they all stuck together.”
Macon was dialed missing only one pass going 18-of-19 for 212 yards with four touhchdowns. Ferrill hauled in five of those passes for 83 yards and two scores, and Blaine Henry had a tremendous effort piling up 178 yards on only six carries with a pair of TDs.
West Plains advances to the area round and will play Wichita Falls Hirschi (8-2) at 7 p.m. Thursday at Fair Park Stadium in Childress.
Hirschi is coming off a 48-14 win over Hillsboro from Thursday night.