If there were questions on how the Guthrie Bluejays would perform with their district opener getting moved up a day due to potential storms on Friday, it didn’t take long for them to provide some answers.
The Bluejays opened the game by marching 75-yards in seven plays on their opening drive, capped off by an eight-yard Jackson Waddell quarterback keeper to put Guthrie up 7-0.
After forcing a Piedmont fumble, the Bluejays settled for a 35-yard field goal to put Guthrie in front 10-0.
After another forced turnover, Guthrie scored its second touchdown of the game, this time through the air, as Waddell found Marcellus Owens deep down the field, who hauled in the catch before scampering the final 40 yards for a 73-yard touchdown to take a commanding 17-0 lead.
The Wildcats scored their only touchdown midway through the second quarter when Colby Matlock dipped into the end zone from two-yards out.
In the third quarter, Vargas nailed his second field goal of the game, this time from 25-yards out to put Guthrie ahead 20-6.
Vargas would end the night going 3-for-3 on his field goal attempts. His final one came in the fourth quarter with 9:38 to go to put Guthrie up three scores.
After a Piedmont field goal, Waddell scored his third touchdown of the game. On third and six, Waddell took the snap and darted to his left with a fleet of Bluejay blockers. He would go 71-yards, untouched for the touchdown. Waddell finished with 17 carries for 119 yards and two touchdowns. He also added another 154 yards and a score through the air.
With 4:36 remaining in the game, the Guthrie defense did what they have done so many times this season. On the second play after the Waddell touchdown, linebacker Cade Whitfield broke through the line, knocking the ball loose from the Piedmont quarterback. David Scott scooped up the fumble and returned it 15-yards for the Bluejays final touchdown of the night.
The Guthrie defense added to their already impressive start to the season, forcing Piedmont into four turnovers. Guthrie now has forced 18 turnovers through four games. Nine of them have been returned for a touchdown.
“We’ve had some balls bounce our way this year,” Guthrie head coach Kelly Beeby said. “Any year that Guthrie has been successful, we’ve had some breaks go our way. I think the biggest thing this season is the mental preparation and effort. Those guys are hustling and playing with great effort and communicating well. We’ve been blessed. We just have to stay healthy and keep playing hard.”
Not only were the Bluejays successful in forcing turnovers against the Wildcats, but they were also very good in third and fourth down situations.
When facing a third down, Guthrie held Piedmont to 5-of-14 on conversion. As good as they were on third down, they were even better on fourth. Piedmont only converted for a first down one out of six tries Thursday night.
“This has always been a tough place for Guthrie to come over and play,” Beeby said. “These Piedmont kids get up to play us. They are better than their record indicates. We knew it would be a physical ball game. We made adjustments in the second half. Coach (Scott) Mick dialed up enough offense for us to get some first downs and big plays and score when we had to.”
The Bluejays are now 4-0 for the first time since 2014. Guthrie will be favored in their next two ball games against Guymon and at Woodward. That would set up a potential colossal showdown with rival Carl Albert at ‘The Rock.’
Guthrie will return back home on Friday when they host the Guymon Tigers for Homecoming.