Guthrie holds off Cardinals to advance to state semifinals

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For the third time this season Guthrie face adversity on the football field, and for the third time, they quickly responded.

Kai Callins finds an open field. Photo By Jarrett George

Tulsa East Central scored on the first play from scrimmage in the third quarter to take their first lead of the game, but the BlueJays answered that with a score on the ensuing drive that turned out to be the game winning touchdown.

Guthrie (12-0) and East Central lived up to the hype of the top two preseason teams with the BlueJays winning the second round playoff game, 20-14, in the final home game of the 75th season of Jelsma Stadium.

With the win, Guthrie has now won their last 16 home games, and at the same time has improved their home playoff record to 10-1 since 2001.

The BlueJays will move on to the state semifinals for the third straight year and fourth in the past five seasons. Guthrie will play undefeated McAlester (12-0) for the right to play in the 5A state championship game. Ardmore (8-4) and Lawton MacArthur (12-0) will play in the other semifinal with a week four rematch, that saw MacArthur handle their 5A-2 counter part 45-14.

Game location has not been determined by the OSSAA and is expected to be announced on Sunday afternoon. GSP will publish the information as soon at it becomes available.

The top ranked BlueJays got a season high 26 carries from senior running back Luke Davis that resulted in 153-yards rushing and two rushing scores. Davis and the Jays offensive line had their work cut out with the front seven of the Cardinals defense. Guthrie head coach Rafe Watkins mentioned throughout the week that East Central would be the most physical looking team they have seen since 2002 (Booker T. Washington).

However, Davis and the offense were able to run between the tackles and Davis finished the game with runs of 24, 36, 23 and 11 en route to earning his second F&M Bank Player of the Game. In the last three games, Davis has rushed for 507 yards.

Guthrie took the opening drive for six-points when quarterback Bryan Dutton spotted receiver John Clark in the northeast corner of the end zone. However, the two-point conversion attempt failed to remain 6-0.

The Jays have now scored on their first offensive possession in 11 of the 12 games with the lone game coming last week to Durant.

The defense got to work quickly when sophomore Donavan Jordan perfectly read East Central quarterback John McDavid on a boot play and jump the receiver for the pick at the 24-yard line. Five plays later, Davis scored from 6-yards out and with 4:49 left in the opening quarter Guthrie had a 13-0 lead.

The Guthrie defense limited the Cards to just 202 yards of offense and was able to stand behind their reputation of stopping the run. Outside of a 75-yard run, East Central was held to just 65 yards rushing. The secondary was just as impressive as the Cardinals were just 5-of-17 passing for 68-yards and picking up two interceptions.

Much like Guthrie, East Central answered some adversity with a score of their own when McDavis hit a wide-open tight end Damian Gibson for a 14-yard pass and catch to cut the lead down 13-7.

Neither team was able to find points in the second quarter, but then East Central wasted no time in the third quarter when tailback Malachai Neal busted off a 75-yard score to give the Cardinals a 14-13 lead.

The deficit was just the third time Guthrie had trailed all season, but in return followed that up with a score of their own to quickly regain the lead back.

On this answer drive, Guthrie went on an 8-play, 66 yard drive to get the lead back when Davis scored from 11-yards out to conclude the scoring on the night with 7:45 to play in the third.

In the fourth quarter, East Central was forced to punt and nailed the Jays inside their 5-yard line with 6:15 left in the game. Guthrie went back to the running game, but this time went with Kai Callins, who responded with runs of 14 and 41 yards to get into East Central territory. Callins finished with 8-carries and 84 yards.

The Jays would stall on a missed field goal giving the ball back to the Cardinals with 2:49 left in the game, but the Cards gave it right back to the Jays when senior Landry Chappell jumped on a fumble with 1:11 remaining.

East Central took advantage of the two timeouts after run plays by the Jays, and forcing Guthrie to punt the ball away with 17 seconds. East Central was unable to move the ball on the drive.

Class 5A Second Round Games:

Guthrie 20, Tulsa East Central 14
McAlester 37, Duncan 21

Guthrie vs McAlester – TBD

Lawton Mac 31, Bishop Kelley 14
Ardmore 14, Pryor 7

Lawton Mac vs Ardmore – TBD


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