FROM STAFF REPORTS
The Verdigris Cardinals soar into the Class 3A state playoffs with a 36-20 thumping of the Sperry Pirates in the regular season finale Friday night.
Senior running back Tanner Smith powered the Cardinals’ ground attack with four touchdowns.
Verdigris trailed 6-0 at halftime, despite giving up a 66-yard touchdown pass from Sperry quarterback Casey Holcomb to Blake Teel in the first quarter.
Smith and the Cardinals’ offense rolled off 36 points in the final two quarters to solidfy their playoff berth.
Three third-quarter touchdowns via the hard-nosed running of Smith and J.D. Hanslovan put the Cardinals’ ahead 21-8.
Smith scored on runs of 9 and 7 yards, while Hanslovan added a 1-yard touchdown run.
Smith continued to lead the Cardinals with a 35-yard touchdown run and a 5-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Cardinals improved to 9-1 on the season.