Jeff Cali Sports Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
The Ada Cougars scored the go-ahead touchdown with just over 33 seconds left on the clock to escape with a heart-pounding 29-27 win over upset-minded Glenpool in a fall break classic Thursday night at the Chaffin Sports Complex.
Fourth-ranked Ada also needed to convert two critical fourth-and-long plays to keep its final two touchdown drives alive.
“(Whew!) is a good way to describe it. It was for sure not a pretty win, but again I’m proud of our kids. That’s twice this year that they’ve just stayed after it when their backs were against the wall,” Weber said, pointing to Ada’s equally amazing 36-35 come-from-behind win against Durant in Week 3. “Wins are too hard to come by to not enjoy them, so we’re going to enjoy this one and then get all our problems fixed. That’s our plan.”
The Cougars now have won six straight games since dropping the season opener to Ardmore and, more importantly, they improve to 4-0 in District 4A-2 play.
The second half was a seesaw affair that found Ada trailing 27-23 and facing a fourth-and-10 play from the GHS 20 with time running out. Quarterback Cory Kilby took the snap, rolled to his right and then looked back left and hit target Gabriel Simons for an 18-yard pass. On the next play, Kilby lunged into the end zone from the 2 to put Ada on top 29-27. Daulton Cardwell blocked Todd Penick’s PAT kick, but the Cougars were still celebrating their slim two-point cushion.
Kilby said the fourth-down play worked just like it was drawn up.
“We had been going over it all week just in case we needed it. It was a pretty bad throw, but Gabe made an amazing catch,” Kilby said between “attaboys” after the game.
Glenpool wasn’t done yet. Colby Meece, also the team’s kicker, hauled in a 24-yard pass from quarterback Austin Head that got the Warriors to midfield. It looked like the game was over when Head missed a wide-open target near the Ada 25 as time expired, but a personal foul penalty gave Glenpool one more snap from the Ada 37. But Simons broke up a pass near the 10 — the receiver likely would have been tackled anyway — to preserve the precarious Cougar win.
Head is normally the Warriors’ top receiver but took over as the signal caller due to a concussion suffered by normal QB Sean Davis in a loss to Douglass the week before — a story that should sound familiar to Ada fans.
Kilby completed 10-of-14 passes for 168 yards in the contest and was also Ada’s leading rusher with 106 yards on 17 carries.
“We came in knowing they were going to be rough and coming at us. They had been talking smack to us. We just had to come in here and take care of business,” he said. “It may not have been our best game, but we got the win. That’s all that matters now.”
Kilby’s second of three rushing touchdowns put Ada on top 23-20 with 10:38. During that drive, he completed an 11-yard pass to Scott Johnson. But he kept it going when he threw a perfect pass to Simons, who caught it over his left shoulder for a 23-yard gain on a fourth-down play. Three rushes by Shiloh Windsor got the Ada offense close enough for Kilby to sneak it in from the 2, but the Warriors came storming back.
Trailing 23-30, Glenpool used a punishing rushing attack to cover 68 yards in 14 plays. But Head used a little fourth-down magic of his own when he completed a do-or-die, 20-yard touchdown pass to Meece on a fourth-and-6 play. Head scrambled to his left, avoided an Ada rush and ran back right before finding Meece all by himself in the right end of the end zone.
Ada led 16-6 at halftime, but Glenpool dominated the third quarter. Running back Parker West repeatedly ran through big holes in the Cougar defense and gobbled up most of the 80 yards the Warriors needed to score on the opening drive of the period. West capped it off with a 1-yard run to cut the Ada advantage to 16-13.
Head then made an athletic interception of a Kilby toss. On Glenpool’s next offensive snap, West took off on a 75-yard gallop before Kilby momentarily saved the touchdown with a nice stop at the 4. West would score on the next play to give the home team its first lead of the game at 20-16.
West would finish with a whopping 242 yards on 21 carries to lead a Warrior ground attack that piled up 339 yards.
“I’m exhausted. That was an exhausting game to coach,” said Weber. “They did a good job on their end, running the football on us. We haven’t stopped them yet. But we kept answering. I think our kids are showing a lot of character. We’re pretty beat up right now, but out kids are not using that as an excuse.”
Ada marched right down the field on the first drive of the game with a 26-yard catch by Johnson and a 17-yard run by Windsor on the big plays. But the Glenpool defense stiffened, and Ada settled for a 25-yard Penick field goal to get on the scoreboard first at 3-0.
Kilby got free for a 56-yard run on Ada’s next drive that was negated by a holding penalty. The Cougars still moved the ball down the field and scored on a 7-yard catch by tight end MIcah Simmer, who was wide open in the front, left of the end zone. The play was similar to Simons’ big reception late in the game as Kilby rolled to his right and then looked back left for Simmer. The PAT kick sailed wide left, leaving Ada on top 9-0.
A fumble recovery by Clayton Henry led to a 62-yard scoring drive by the Cougars. Kilby had a 42-yard run up the middle to get Ada close, and running back Austin Feezel capped it off with a 7-yard run. Penick’s PAT gave Ada a 16-0 lead and had Cougar fans thinking blowout.
Glenpool then went on an impressive seven-play, 90-yard, momentum-stealing drive that ended with West’s 29-yard TD scamper. A fake PAT kick play was buried by the Cougars (mostly by Riley Alexander), leaving the score at 16-6 at the intermission.
Ada is at home against Harrah in Week 7. The Panthers improved to 5-2 overal and 4-0 in district play with a 50-0 win over Tecumseh Thursday night.