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Shawnee Wolves Lose Opening Game To Guthrie, 34-16

 

September 3, 2020

The 2020 Shawnee Wolves' football season has arrived. The Wolves have begun the Jason Sexton era, with a coach who spent the better part of the last two decades serving as defensive coordinator at Muskogee and Midwest City. 

Shawnee also returns to Class 5A stadiums this season after two years of 6A-II. The Wolves opened their season last Friday night at iconic Jelsma Stadium in Guthrie during week zero, a time when, traditionally, teams would be preparing for a second scrimmage.

On an exceptionally hot night, Guthrie (1-0) defeated the Wolves (0-1), 34-16, avenging a 2019 loss to Shawnee. Sexton expected a tough game from the Bluejays, saying "I knew they would have great athletes and be very well coached by Kelly Beeby."

The Wolves got on the board first in the opening quarter when junior quarterback Karsen Conaway connected with senior Zane Christopher for a 16-yard touchdown. Guthrie answered with two touchdowns in the second quarter before Shawnee closed out the scoring in the first half with a 25-yard field goal by junior Ian Johnson. 

Guthrie led 14-10 at the half. Shawnee was plagued by penalties in the game, totaling 14 for 114 yards. Coach Sexton was proud of his team afterwards. "Unfortunately we did have a lot of penalties, but zero personal fouls or fighting, which I'm proud of our guys. They were perfect in that aspect."  Third and fourth down conversions hindered the Wolves as well. Shawnee converted only 1 of 13 on third downs and 1 of  5 on fourth downs.

Coach Sexton was proud of his guys, however. "The offense started quickly and had success the first drive with the jump ball to Zane Christopher. He is a special player and competitor. Overall, our offense had highs and lows, like all of our three phases did. Our offensive line and running backs were good at times but need to be more consistent as all of our units do."  Guthrie scored three more times in the second half before Conaway found Christopher again in the 4th quarter for a 41-yard strike. The Shawnee defense allowed only 249 yards of total offense against the Bluejays, including 223 on the ground.  The secondary only gave up 26 yards on 5 completions of 12 attempts. 

Neither team was in sync on offense, as Guthrie converted only 1 of 9 plays on third downs and 0 of 4 on 4th downs. "The defense was pretty solid despite being put in numerous bad situations at times on short fields and then the blocked punt for a touchdown.  We still need improvement because we did not win but it was our best performing unit and we must continue to get better with our tackling efficiency."

hawnee will resume play on Friday, Sept. 11, for a home opener against the Ardmore TIgers with a kickoff set for 7 pm.  Coach Sexton, besides being head coach, is the defensive coordinator and coaches the defensive backs. His assistant coaches are Rocky Winkle (offensive coordinator/quarterbacks), Darren Dean (running backs), JR Moore (H back, tight ends, linebackers), Tyree York (wide receivers), Brandon Edwards (wide receivers), Jack Dingus (offensive line), Tyler Harrison (offensive line), and Todd McGuire (defensive line).

 

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