Richard Stroud

Grove Sun

Coming off a 51-27 win over their archrivals the Jay Bulldogs in last week’s Delaware County Bowl, the Grove Ridgerunners, now 2-0 on the season, have every reason to feel good about themselves.

But looming on the horizon are the Wagoner Bulldogs.

Ranked second in 4A by the Associated Press, the Bulldogs are coming off a 35-7 win over the Hilldale Hornets in week two. The Bulldogs opened the season with a 35-21 win over Coweta, a fellow member, along with Grove of district 5A-4.

In 2009 Wagoner, after squeaking into the playoffs with a last-second win over the Hornets in week 10, defeated Jay in the first round before losing to eventual runner-up OKC Douglass in the quarterfinals.

This year the Bulldogs have returned most of their starters and are one of the favorites to claim the 4A state crown. Among those returnees is quarterback Prince McJunkins.

McJunkins, a run/pass threat, has thrown for 227 yards and rushed for 179 yards more in the first two games of the season with a combined eight touchdowns. In 2009 McJunkins threw for over 1,300 yards.

Also leading the Bulldogs on both sides of the ball will be running back/linebacker Jeremy Applegate. Last season Applegate was among the state’s leaders with 162 tackles. This season Applegate has 12 tackles through the first two games as well as 158 yards rushing.

Defensive back Jimmy Carter currently leads the team with 13 tackles and a pair of interceptions.

The Ridgerunners will go into tonight’s looking to avenge a 12-3 loss to Wagoner in week three of 2009. To do that Grove will look to continue getting big plays from senior running back Buck Maples. Maples rushed for 183 yards and four touchdowns against Jay last week and has 246 yards on the season.

GHS will also be looking for big plays from a revitalized passing game. Last week Adam Steffenson completed 9-of-10 for 120 yards and four touchdowns. Through two games so far the Ridgerunners have shown a penchant for the big play with five touchdowns of over 40 yards so far on the season. They’ll need those big plays to counter the explosive McJunkins and the Bulldog attack.

Grove and Wagoner will kick off at 7:30 tonight in Wagon