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Fort Gibson

 Fort Gibson Tigers Football Preview – Presented By David Kolb of State Farm

Coach: RYAN NOLAN 

SCHEDULE: 8-26 – vs. Oologah 

9-2 – at Berryhill 

9-16 – vs. Glenpool 

9-23 – at Poteau 

9-30 – vs. Broken Bow 

10-7 – at Stilwell 

10-13 – at Madill 

10-21 – vs. Ada 

10-28 – vs. Sallisaw 

11-4 – at Hilldale 

LAST 8 YEARS: 2021 – 6-5 

2020 – 6-5 

2019 – 4-7 

2018 – 4-7 

2017 – 6-5 

2016 – 4-6 

2015 – 3-7 

2014 – 12-1 

OFFENSE 

The offensive fortunes of the Fort Gibson Tigers will certainly revolve around returning quarterback Cole Mahaney (5-10, 170, Sr.). The four-year starter has thrown for over 4000 yards and 43 passing touchdowns in his career to go along with 19 rushing TDs. Last year he threw for nearly 2,000 yards, averaging over 16 yards a completion. Mahaney’s main target will again be slot receiver Cade Waggle (5-11, 165, Sr.) who had 44 catches for 725 yards, passing the 1,000-yard mark for his career, and nine touchdowns in 2021. The game-time results of Waggle earned the Tigers threat to score a VYPE Top 100 selection. “Cade is one of the fastest athletes on the field every Friday night. He has great hands and awareness and is always a threat to score every time he touches the ball and is a lockdown corner on defense,” said new head coach Ryan Nolan. The Tigers will have an abundance of possible targets for Mahaney to pass to with Hunter Branch (6-2, 165, Sr.) who had 528 yards and 10 touchdowns last year and Rylie Ladd (5-11, 180, Jr.) who saw varsity action last year joining Waggle. The line will feature Andrew Sparks (6-1, 220, Sr.) and John Lewis (6-0, 220, Sr.) but will need some more help. Who will line up with Mahaney in the backfield as running back out of the spread offense is still to be determined. With the talent they have on offense the Tigers are hoping they can get past the one-and-done playoff scenario that has marked the past five years. 

DEFENSE 

This side of the ball will probably get the most attention from the new coach as the Tigers lost some size and experience to graduation. There are just four starters back on defense for Fort Gibson led by Mahaney who tied for most tackles last year with 85 plus three interceptions plus Waggle and Branch in the secondary. Lewis, who recorded 50 tackles last year, will return at linebacker along with Kayden Hunt (6-2, 220, Sr.) who had three sacks in 2021. Defensive line will be the big area of concentration in pre-season practices as the Tigers scramble to find replacements as Nolan would like to keep from having to use too many of his offensive personnel on defense. The Tigers are a senior-heavy team with a lot of firepower on offense but less overall experience on defense. It will be up to the senior leadership to keep the train moving forward under the new coach. There will be a couple of new faces in District 4A-4 for the Tigers to contend with this season with the departure of Muldrow and McLain, replaced by Ada and Madill. “We have some solid returning starters that are poised to have a great season and some young talent ready to step into some positions,” said Nolan. 

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