Warner no longer a surprise


Tuesday, October 10th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6



OKLAHOMA CITY - The Warner High School football team has made sure that it won't be overlooked anymore this season.

Warner, unranked in Class 2A all year, went on the road Friday night and beat No. 1 Cascia Hall 40-33. It was an impressive performance by a team that was picked in the preseason to finish no better than third in the district.

``We knew we had a good football team going in,'' coach Larry Spangler said. ``There were people who said we'd be lucky to go 5-5 or 6-4. We just laughed.''

The Eagles are 6-0 now, 3-0 in District 7.

Cascia Hall won the Class 3A championship a year ago and is expected to make a strong run for the 2A title this year. The Commandos had been ranked No. 1 all season, and they took an early 6-0 lead in the game Friday night.

But Warner scored three consecutive touchdowns to take the lead for good. One TD was set up by a fumble recovery, another by a long interception return.

Cascia Hall got within 18-16, but an interception late in the half helped lead to another Warner touchdown and a 26-16 halftime lead. Mario Youngblood's third touchdown, on an 80-yard run, made the score 34-16. Cascia Hall got no closer than the final score after that.

``I said that if it's an upset, it's a mild upset,'' said Spangler, who is in his second year at Warner. ``In the three games prior to playing Cascia, we had our JV team in there early in the third quarter or we would have scored more.

``We knew going into the ball game that offensively we were going to move ball on 'em. Our question mark was how good was our defense going to play?''

It played plenty well enough, coming up with five turnovers. Spangler said his two defensive ends combined to knock down eight passes.

Youngblood gives the Eagles a breakaway threat in the running game, and Spangler's son, Robert, provides a throwing threat at quarterback. The defense contains a good mix of size and speed.

Unbeaten through six games, it appears likely Warner will go into the regular-season finale against Eufaula with a 9-0 record. But the Eagles have seen to it that from now on, they won't be able to sneak up on anyone.

``I'd rather have it that way,'' Larry Spangler said.

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There were several outstanding performances during Week 6:

_ Vinita's Jermaine Landrum ran for 167 yards and two TDs, and returned an interception 101 yards for a score in a 42-35 victory over Bristow.

_ Piedmont's defense came up with eight sacks and held Deer Creek to 143 total yards in a 33-0 victory.

_ Randy Jones of Tulsa East Central carried 43 times for 283 yards in a 23-21 victory over Shawnee.

_ Chouteau beat Adair 41-8 thanks in part to the play of Justin Sparks, who ran for 268 yards and five TDs.

_ Shane Davison of Bixby was 15 of 22 for 281 yards and two TDs in a 27-17 victory over Coweta.

_ Weston Elmore of Marietta caught 10 passes for 241 yards and four touchdowns in a 38-7 victory over Tishomingo.

_ Apache's Bennie Claborn had 320 yards and three TDs on 26 carries in a 49-15 victory over Hollis.

_ Andre Daniel completed 9 of 11 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns as Carl Albert beat Class 5A's top-ranked El Reno, 37-7.