Holdenville got the miracle it needed, and as a result the Wolverines will open the Class 2A playoffs Friday with a home game that was a longshot just two weeks ago.
After a Week 8 loss at Morris, Holdenville fell a game behind both Stroud and Morris in the District 2A-5 standings with just two games to play. But Morris lost Friday, 13-6, to an Okemah squad Holdenville had blown out, 46-14, in Week 6, and dropped into a tie with the Wolverines, who claimed the runner-up spot in the district with a wild 56-28 victory at Meeker.
With the win, Holdenville earned the maximum 15 points in district play and edged past Morris on district points for the season, 30-27. As a result, Holdenville (8-2, 5-2) will host Hartshorne Friday night while Morris goes on the road to play 2A-6 runner-up Vian.
“We needed (Morris) to lose by at least five (points), and we needed to win by 15,” Holdenville coach Butch Rawls said. “It was a big win for us, and now we get to host a playoff game.”
In the only other game Friday with playoff implications for an area team, Sulphur (4-6, 3-3) routed Dickson, 42-3, on the road but missed the playoffs by a single point after Lone Grove (a team the Bulldogs beat earlier in the season) routed Purcell, 46-21.
Elsewhere, Stratford closed out an 8-2 season with a 48-25 win at Maysville and, as the third-place team in District A-5, will travel to Quinton Friday to open the postseason, and Allen — eliminated from the District B-3 playoff race a week earlier — closed out a 6-4 campaign with a 54-6 mercy-rule victory at Canadian.
Holdenville 56, Meeker 28
Meeker outgained Holdenville, 469-451 but committed six turnovers while the Wolverines were turnover-free.
The Bulldogs jumped out to a 12-0 lead on a 12-yard run by Jacky Cloud and a 28-yard pass from Caleb Martin to Seth Jones in a five-minute stretch of the first quarter, and after Holdenville junior quarterback Collin Meadors threw the first of his four touchdown passes in the game (a 6-yarder to Tré Harjo) Meadors was tackled in the end zone for a safety, following a Meeker fumble at the Wolverine 2.
Meadors hit his favorite target, senior wideout Denzel Hughes, on a game-tying 64-yard touchdown pass with 6:52 left in the half and gave Holdenville the lead with a 15-yard run less than five minutes later. Martin, who threw for 199 yards in the first half before being knocked out of the game on the final play, hit Dalton Maston on a 25-yard touchdown pass to cut the Wolverine lead to 21-20 at intermission.
Hughes caught his second scoring pass from Meadors, a 16-yarder with 9:16 left in the third quarter, to extend the lead to 28-20, but Meeker came back to tie the score for the final time on a 25-yard pass from back-up quarterback Tyler Jones to Mandrale Henry and a conversion run by Ky Davis at the 6:23 mark.
Holdenville scored 28 unanswered points, however, over the final 15 minutes to finally seal the victory.
Colt Jett started the decisive run with a two-yard scoring burst with three minutes left in the third quarter, then Meadors hit Landon Stallings on a 60-yard bomb just 36 seconds into the final period to extend the lead to 42-28. Hughes got the Holdenville defense on the board with 5:35 to play, returning an interception 39 yards for a touchdown, and Harjo wrapped up the scoring on a 16-yard run with just 1:15 left
Meadors threw for a career-best 279 yards and the four touchdowns on just 11 completions (from 18 attempts), and Hughes caught seven passes for a career-high 195 yards. Harjo gained 72 yards on nine carries to pace a ground attack that accounted for 172 yards and averaged over five yards per attempt.
Although Meeker had 266 yards rushing and 203 yards through the air, Holdenville had some heroes on defense other than Hughes — who also intercepted a pass in the end zone in addition to his pick six in the fourth quarter. Harjo had 14 tackles and Jett added 12 from their linebacker spots, Meadors also had 12 stops, and Cody Davenport had nine tackles and one of Holdenville’s three fumble recoveries in the victory.
Sulphur 42, Dickson 3
Versatile junior Ty Williams ended a breakout season with a huge all-around game, but the Bulldogs couldn’t avoid just their second losing campaign and their second non-playoff year in the last 26.
Williams ran for two touchdowns, he threw for two more, he returned a punt 52 yards for still another score, and he kicked six straight extra points to lead a 42-0 run after neither team scored in the opening period.
Sulphur exploded for four second-quarter touchdowns, and Williams had a hand in each one. His 12-yard run with 8:49 left in the half made it 7-0, his punt return just over a minute later extended the lead to 14-0, he ran 59 yards for a third touchdown at the 2:46 mark, and he capped the period by hitting Caleb Neal on a 40-yard touchdown pass just 40 seconds before intermission.
Williams threw his second scoring pass, a 40-yarder to Hayden Rogers, with 3:21 left in the third quarter as the Sulphur lead ballooned to 35-0, then Dylan Walker closed the Bulldog scoring parade on a 14-yard run with 9:22 to play.
Sulphur outgained Dickson, 361-176, with Williams (10-106) and Tylor Graves (10-101) pacing a 277-yard ground game.
Allen 54, Canadian 8
Seth McLean rushed for 152 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries, and, despite missing the playoffs, Allen finished with a winning record for the second straight season.
“It was good to let our seniors go out on a victorious note and put together back-to-back winning seasons,” Allen coach Kenny Deaton said. “We were a little short of our goal this year, but we had some key injuries.”
Sophomore Conner Johnson had a solid game in his second start subbing for injured junior quarterback Brady Caldwell, and his 34-yard touchdown pass to Brett Edens gave the Mustangs a 6-0 lead at the 7:18 mark of the first quarter.
McLean’s eight-yard burst in the final minute of the opening period sent Allen to the second quarter with a 12-0 lead, and runs of one yard by Scott Manuel, 14 yards by Luke Mullicane and 45 yards by Josh Holder before intermission gave the Mustangs a 32-0 lead at the break.
A 61-yard gallop by McLean and Kane Thompson’s five-yard touchdown run offset the only Canadian score of the game and made it 46-8 heading to the fourth quarter, and Allen ended the game on the mercy rule when Jamie Lassiter scored from three yards out just 25 seconds into the final period.
Donovan Cato had two interceptions, Matt McCarn also had an interception, and Edens and Chance Griffin recorded six tackles apiece to pace a Mustang defense that held Canadian to 102 total yards.
Stratford 48, Maysville 25
Stratford blew open a close game with a run of 26 straight points in the final 10:02 of the half and cruised to the victory.
The Bulldogs — who finished with eight wins for the first time since 2005 — led just 15-12 after Maysville quarterback Cody Donaho and wideout Cameron Ray hooked up for their second touchdown pass of the game — a 24-yarder — just 32 seconds into the second quarter.
From there, though, it was all Stratford for the rest of the half.
Bulldog senior quarterback Chase Chamberlain answered the second Maysville score by hitting Tommy Lawson with a 59-yard touchdown pass at the 10:02 mark to make it 21-12, and the Stratford defense got into the act less than two minutes later when Tyler Scoles returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown to extend the lead to 28-12.
Chamberlain’s four-yard run 3:37 before intermission put the Bulldogs up 35-12, and a one-yard run by Regand Ardery with 48 seconds left gave Stratford a 41-12 lead at intermission.
Ardery, who finished with 105 yards on 13 carries to record his third 100-yard rushing game of the season, scored on a 27-yard gallop with 8:05 left in the third quarter to close out the Stratford scoring, then Maysville scored two late touchdowns to make it respectable.
The Bulldogs outgained Maysville just 350-268 but limited their hosts to 58 yards on 31 rushing attempts. Donaho accounted for most of the Maysville offense, completing 15-of-25 passes for 210 yards and the two first-half scores.
Lawson scored on a 50-yard run on his only carry of the night and Ardery added a run for the two-point conversion to give Stratford an early 8-0 lead, and Chamberlain answered the first Donaho-to-Ray scoring pass (a four-yarder) with a nine-yard touchdown run to put the Bulldogs up 15-6 midway through the opening period.
Stratford could have suffered a big blow to its running game, though, when tailback Clay Rindal suffered a first-quarter shoulder injury that could sideline him for Friday’s game at Quinton.
“We weren’t real happy with the way we played early, but we played well the second quarter then just tried to get through the second half,” Stratford coach Michael Blackburn said.
Nick Cosby led the Stratford defense with 10 tackles (including a sack) and a fumble recover, Cody Watts added nine stops, and Lawson and Tyler Gaines added six tackles in the win.