Oologah’s Cinderella season came to a heart breaking end Saturday afternoon.
An OKC Douglass touchdown in the final minute sealed the Mustangs fate in a 29-25 loss in the 4A quarterfinals. Douglass #3 advanced to the semi-finals and a match up with Poteau. Oologah finished the season ranked #6 with an 8-4 record.
“The kids played a solid football game and they played hard. It came down to the very end and you have to give Douglass a lot of credit. They’re a good football team,” Oologah head coach Brandon Craig said.
The Mustangs had a ten point lead to start the fourth quarter, but Douglass staged a comeback and knocked Oologah out of the hunt for a gold ball.
Trojan defensive end and running back Deondre Clark scored a touchdown and disrupted the Mustangs running attack. Oologah was held to just 105 yards rushing.
“We usually rush for over 200 yards so it’s shows how solid they are defensively. When they started packing the box we knew we were going to have to throw the ball,” coach Craig said.
Junior quarterback Payton Craig amped up the Mustangs passing game. Craig threw for 250 yards and he connected with four different receivers. Sophomore receiver Breyden DeSpain was a big target for Craig and they hooked up on two touchdown plays.
“Payton did an outstanding job. We hadn’t asked him to make that many throws before and he stepped up and did a nice job,” coach Craig said. “Breyden had some big plays. He’s an all around athlete and you expect big players to step up in games like that and he did.”
Coach Craig said it’s always disappointing when the season ends with less than a championship. He said it’s going to be difficult to say goodbye to this senior class.
“These seniors are a very special group to me. I’ve watched them grow into young men and become leaders. There’s a special bond I have with these seniors. I’m proud of them,” he said. “What stands out about this team is it was never about individuals. They always put the team first and did whatever we asked them to do.”
Coach Craig will have voids to fill next season, but he sees a lot of bright spots returning to the lineup.
“We’ve got a bunch of young skill players coming back and some good young outside linebackers. I feel really good about the defense, but we’ll need to develop some offensive linemen,” he said.