By Shane Bennett
The Wolf defense made a goal-line stand on fourth down at the one yard-line to preserve a 29-21 win over Frederick in double overtime on Nov. 6. The home win by Davis on the final game of the regular season earned a third place finish in the district and a home playoff game this Friday against Holdenville.
Frederick came in as the favorite with a 7-1 record and many counting Davis out. The Wolves took exception and immediately jumped out to a lead.
Frederick’s first drive ended on a turnover on downs at the Davis 36 yard-line. Gavin Moore and Tanner Claxton stacked up Frederick blockers and when the Bomber runner cut back, Lane Rawls met him at the line of scrimmage to make the stop for Davis.
The Wolves then mounted a 64-yard touchdown drive in eight plays to take control of the game. Drew Parks ran the ball five times in that opening drive including a 29-yarder down to the one, followed by the score on the next play. After the extra point was wide left, Davis led 6-0.
The visitors responded with another good drive, but again, came up with no points. On third-and-7 from the Davis 11, the Bombers fumbled a handoff and Lathan Dickenson was there to pounce on it for the turnover.
Frederick’s next drive was very similar as the Bombers marched 54 yards on nine plays against a Davis defense that would bend, but not break. On third-and-goal from the Davis 10, a quarterback keeper took the ball to the six before Ty Birkes knocked the ball loose and Claxton recovered for another turnover.
The last drive of the first half for Frederick finally produced points for the visitors as they went to the air. Taking over late in the first half, Frederick threw 11 passes on a 12-play drive, including the last eight in-a-row. On those eight passes, the Bombers completed just three, but those completions netted the final 44 yards and a touchdown.
Frederick converted a third-and-20 and two fourth-and-10s to keep the drive alive before putting it in the endzone. With just eight seconds left before half-time, the extra-point kick hit the crossbar and fell short to send the game to intermission tied at six.
In the second half, it was Frederick who came out fired up, but the Wolves wore them down. After forcing a quick punt by Davis, the Bombers went 45 yards on 13 plays, 11 of them runs, into Davis territory.
On fourth-down at the Davis 35, good coverage by the Wolf secondary forced the Bomber quarterback to scramble. He was fighting toward the first down marker when Levi Baxter caught him and splashed him to the ground three yards short for another turnover on downs.
After that, both teams traded fumbles, leaving the Wolves with possession at their own 20 yard-line with 1:41 to play in the third. Then came the big strike. A play-action pass on first down got Kolton McGaha behind the defense where quarterback Colin Dulaney found him with a beautiful lob pass. The home crowd erupted as McGaha hauled in the pass and ran down to the Frederick 22 for a 58-yard gain.
Three plays later Dulaney took a keeper off the left and followed Rawls up the field. He was hit at the four yard-line, but muscled his way across the goal-line for a 16-yard go-ahead touchdown run.
This time, Jeston Idleman’s kick was true and the Wolves led 13-6 just six seconds into the fourth quarter.
Then the Bombers responded. Frederick mounted a 55-yard touchdown drive on the shoulders of senior runningback Kyle Edwards. Edwards had seven carries for 46 yards and the touchdown on the drive. After intermission, Edwards rushed 21 times for 123 yards in a losing effort.
Just like Davis, Frederick made the extra point this time and with 5:20 left in the game, it was tied again, 13-13.
Davis picked up a first down near midfield, but then had to punt from its own 46. Frederick took over at its own 14 yard-line with 2:25 left in the game, looking to win it in regulation.
The Bombers got close. They covered 64 yards in 10 plays and nearly completed a touchdown pass with just eight seconds to go in the game.
From the 22 yard-line, Frederick used the height advantage of its 6-3 wide receiver, working against a much shorter corner for Davis in Cody Caraway. Caraway had his typical very tight coverage, but the Bomber receiver was able to elevate over him to catch the pass in the air. Then Dulaney, coming outside from his safety position, knocked the ball out on his way to ground to help save the game-winning touchdown.
With only three seconds left, Frederick sent out its field goal kicker with one last shot to win the game in regulation. Instead, Dickenson broke through the line and blocked the kick, to send the game to overtime.
With each team getting four downs to score from the opponent’s 10 yard-line, Davis won the coin toss and went on defense first.
The first play for Frederick went for eight yards down to the two yard-line. Then on third down, the visitors scored. Frederick then went for two on a play that produced plenty of controversy.
Davis looked to have the stop as the runner’s knee went down short while stretching the ball toward the goal-line. On that stretch the ball came loose and a Bomber player recovered the fumble in the endzone. The officials converged for a conference and emerged with a ruling of a fumble recovery for two-points, much to the chagrin of the hometown players, coaches and crowd.
Whatever Davis did, Frederick could not lose in the first overtime. But it didn’t matter to the Wolves. They lined up and put the ball in the hands of their senior quarterback, who delivered. Dulaney rushed twice and plowed his way into the endzone, then followed with another for the two-point conversion to tie it. In the second overtime, Davis went on offense first and it was more of the same. The Wolf offensive line opened holes and Dulaney rushed two more times for the score and again for the two-pointer like there was nothing to it.
“In overtime it’s not as much about what plays you run as it is who runs them,” admitted Davis head coach Greg Parker. “Colin’s a great leader and a special player.”
“We didn’t do anything any different in overtime,” Dulaney said after the game. “It was just our game plan for the week and we just lined up and ran it down their throats.”
Davis flipped the script and put Frederick in an unwinnable situation in the second overtime and then its defense delivered. On fourth down from the one, Rawls came through and wrestled down Edwards short of the goal-line to seal the victory for Davis.
“I felt pretty confident going into overtime because their runningbacks and linebackers were getting up slow in the second half,” Parker said. “The biggest difference in the game was how physical we were. It was just an old, Davis, pounding-style of a game.”
Davis was able to win it without a key contributor in Parks, its starting fullback/linebacker. He limped off after the opening kickoff of the second half and never returned to action, instead turning into an extra coach and cheerleader on the sideline.
The game made for some interesting stat lines. Between fumbles and failed fourth downs, Davis caused six Bomber turnovers in Davis territory. The Wolves only ran 40 plays on the night to 75 by Frederick, which never punted in the game. The Wolves rose up in the big moments of all four quarters to make the necessary plays to secure victory.
“That’s the first time all year that our players have kept their focus and intensity up for four quarters like that,” Parker explained. “Our guys played extremely hard, but also really smart and if we play like that in the playoffs we can beat a lot of teams.”
After spending two weeks ranked below Lindsay and Frederick in the accumulative 2A-4 coaches’ poll, Davis couldn’t surpass Frederick, even with a win over them in week 10. The Wolves did however leap over Lindsay to a third-place finish, earning a home playoff game Friday against Holdenville.
“We were really happy with where we finished and we like where are on the bracket,” Parker said. “It’s awesome for us to get one more home game for our seniors, too.”
Holdenville finished sixth in 2A-3 with a record of just 2-4 with four games canceled due to the pandemic.
In 2020, teams can either be eliminated by an opponent, or by COVID-19 as any COVID cancellation will result in a forfeit by the canceling team.
Holdenville has played just one game in the last month, a 29-14 loss at Christian Heritage on Oct. 30. The Wolverines had games canceled on Oct. 16, 23 and Nov. 6.
The 6-3 Wolves will be looking for their seventh win of the season as the 64-team 2A playoffs get underway at Wolf Field Friday at 7:30 p.m.
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 – F
DHS 6 0 0 7 8 8 – 29
FHS 0 6 0 7 8 0 – 21
D – Drew Parks 1 run. (kick failed), 6-0
F – Jaquain Randle 5 pass from Adrian Gaytan. (kick failed), 6-6
D – Colin Dulaney 16 run. (Jeston Idleman kick), 13-6
F – Kyle Edwards 3 run. (Marco Clemente kick), 13-13
F – Edwards 1 run. (Fumble recovery in endzone), 13-21
D – Dulaney 4 run. (Dulaney run), 21-21
D – Dulaney 6 run. (Dulaney run), 29-21
8 First Downs 20
222 Total Offense 395
1/3/0 Comp./att./int. 15/25/0
37-164 Rushes-yds. 50-215
58 Passing Yards 180
3-1 Fumbles-lost 6-3
0-0 Penalties-yds. 4-30
4-35.3 Punts-avg. 0-0
Final District Standings
1. Marlow 9-0
2. Frederick 7-2
3. Davis 6-3
4. Lindsay 5-5
5. Comanche 3-6
6. Coalgate 2-6
7. Marietta 1-6
8. Tishomingo 0-8