Wind and dust swept across the Arbuckles on Friday, giving Sulphur even more to battle against than the force of its biggest rival.
SULPHUR — Wind and dust swept across the Arbuckles on Friday, giving Sulphur even more to battle against than the force of its biggest rival.
It wasn't the gusts that blew the Bulldogs away.
Davis ran for 320 yards and its defensive front seven held Sulphur to 49 yards of offense in a 39-0 win in the annual "Murray County War." The victory gave the Wolves (2-0), ranked fifth in Class 2A, their fifth consecutive win over Sulphur, dating back to 2008.
In that span, Davis has had an average winning margin of 28 points. The Wolves added to that tally Friday behind 94 yards rushing and two touchdowns from senior quarterback Alec Hetheringon, and a suffocating defensive display.
Even with two fumbles in Sulphur territory in the first quarter, Davis still led 22-0 at halftime.
"The coaches were pretty positive," Hetherington said of the turnovers. "It just makes us want to work harder to actually score and not fail when you're in the red zone."
Davis coughed up the ball on the Bulldogs' 4-yard line after a 19-yard run from Deaundre Carr, but was spotted two points when Sulphur took a safety. With the wind in their faces, the Bulldogs snapped the ball out of the end zone to avoid giving Davis a potential short field.
The result wasn't much better. Davis sophomore Blake Summers took the ensuing kickoff back 55 yards for a touchdown. Hetherington scored on a 1-yard run late in the first quarter, and Carr (seven carries, 73 yards) added a 40-yard touchdown run to give him eight scoring runs in three Davis-Sulphur contests.
Ethan Tomlinson added 66 yards on 11 carries, including a 2-yard TD run in the fourth quarter, and Summers ran for 41 yards on five touches.
Sulphur coach Jim Dixon, who coached his 40th Davis-Sulphur game on Friday, said he didn't know how his team would respond after back-to-back games (Wynnewood, Davis) against state championship contenders.
"I'd rather go play Wynnewood and Davis than go play whoever, because that'll make you better in the long run," Dixon said. "It's a great rivalry, and we've got a great rivalry with Wynnewood as well. I thought Davis played extremely well, and we've got another tough game next week (against Marlow).
Davis was able to rest a majority of its starters in the fourth quarter, as it prepares for a game against Class 3A No. 6 Heritage Hall on Friday.
"I think it will help us out in the end, because we'll be able to come back and be fresh and stop them," said Davis linebacker Dedrien Nowden, who registered four tackles for loss against Sulphur.
Nowden was part of a Davis defense that held Sulphur to 32 yards rushing and 17 passing. Jordan Wilson added an interception, and Dillon Jones and Payton Brewer each recovered a fumble for the Wolves.
Davis kept Sulphur's leading rusher Nate Johnson to 22 yards on 15 carries before Johnson left the game with a rib injury. The Bulldogs were already without junior running back Tanner Watson, who tore knee ligaments in a preseason scrimmage and is expected miss the remainder of the season after undergoing surgery.
Nowden said the performance, his fourth win in four tries against the Bulldogs, was just a part of what's expected.
"We did what we came to do: we did work. We have to, that's what we're here for," Nowden said. "It's the greatest rivalry in Oklahoma."
Erik K. Horne