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The ninth-ranked Ada High football team had the misfortune of playing against two opponents during the first round of the Class 4A playoffs Friday night at Norris Field.
Not only did the Cougars have to contend with a talented Woodward team that was No. 8 in the final Associated Press high school football rankings, but the home kids also battled Murphy’s Law throughout the contest. That combination proved far too difficult to overcame in a 49-7 loss.
For those not exactly familiar with the old epigram, Murphy’s Law simply states: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. And things kept going wrong for Ada, including four costly turnovers.
“I hate it for our seniors to go out like that. I hate it for those guys. I think we’re a lot better football team than we showed tonight,” said a disappointed Ada head coach Matt Weber. “Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.”
Things started to go awry early for the Cougars. After Woodward took its opening drive and marched down to the Ada 1-yard line, the Cougar defense threw Kyler Ferguson for a three-yard loss on fourth down for a nice goal line stand.
However, that ugly law struck quickly when Ada quarterback Cory Kilby’s arm was hit as he was about to unleash a pass, and Woodward’s Devon Comstock fell on it in the end zone for a Boomer touchdown that essentially wiped out the big goal line stand and gave the visitors a 7-0 lead at the 5:49 mark of the first quarter.
The Boomers went on to forge a 19-0 lead after Kade Marlatt's 7-yard touchdown reception and Micah Kee's 1-yard run that capped an 80-yard Woodward drive that ended at the 3:40 mark of the second quarter.
A mostly ineffective Ada offense finally found a groove and quickly marched down the field, thanks to Kilby passes of 11 yards to Osahwv Frazier, 13 yards to Gabriel Simons and 18 yards to Montrell Black on consecutive plays. After a nice option pitch from Kilby to tailback Jeremiah Larry gained 12 more yards, Shiloh Windsor ended the drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to get Ada within 19-7 at halftime.
After losing the field position battle the entire first half, it looked like maybe — just maybe — the pendulum had begun to swing Ada’s way when the Cougars got the ball near midfield on their first possession of the third quarter. But Ada couldn’t manage a first down, and was forced to punt.
Kilby, also Ada’s punter, took the snap, rolled to his right and tried to kick the ball down field, but Woodward’s Lane Reazin rushed in from the left and blocked the punt straight up in the air. After a bounce or two, Kee was able to scoop up the ball and race 36 yards the other way for a game-changing touchdown that put the Boomers on top 26-7.
“We had a little momentum at halftime after we scored, and then Murphy’s Law hit again,” Weber admitted.
That ugly law wasn’t done.
On the ensuing kickoff, the ball took a bad bounce, hit off an Ada player and was recovered by Woodward’s Jason Alexander at the Ada 13. After a pass interference penalty, QB Kale Hixon ran to his left and tossed the ball to receiver Lance Reazin for a 7-yard touchdown with 8:01 left in the third quarter. Woodward increased its lead to 33-7.
The Boomers scored those two touchdowns in just 21 seconds. And at the time, Woodward had just 10 yards of total offense in the period.
There was no coming back from the 26-point deficit against a Woodward defense that limited Ada to just 44 rushing yards and 151 total yards.
The Boomers tacked on a 7-yard TD run by Dakota Taylor, a 33-yard pass reception from Hixon to Jesus Fraire and ended the scoring with a 35-yard field goal from Alexander.
“I’m proud to be associated with these kids. They fought hard all year. I don’t really know what to say about that game,” Weber said. “If these kids will do in life how they fought for this program, they’re all going to be very successful.”
Hixon — who Weber dubbed a “mini Johnny Manziel” before the game (referring to Texas A&M’s Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback) — completed 14-of-17 passes for 243 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Boomers.
Ada, which ended the season on a three-game losing streak (McLoud, Douglass, Woodward), finishes at 7-4 on the season. The last time an AHS football team lost three straight was in 1985 with consecutive setbacks to Duncan, Shawnee and Clinton. The Cougars have earned a playoff berth for a state record 55 times and have fallen to 41-14 in first-round contests.
Woodward advances with an 8-3 mark and will travel to No. 2 and undefeated Wagoner for a Class 4A quarterfinal game this Friday.