It all comes down to this. Well, mostly this.
The Ada High football team will host No. 4 Tulsa Edison at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Norris Field. The Cougars must pull off the upset to have the opportunity to continue into the postseason. A loss would eliminate Ada from the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
“It’s the only way we can get it,” Ada head coach Chris Berus told The Ada News Wednesday morning. “Points are going to be involved. Other game outcomes are going to play a part. You have to win ... and get some help with some other ballgames. We’ll see where that lies about 9:30 or 10 o’clock on Friday.”
The Eagles enter the Week 10 matchup riding an eight-game winning streak after starting the season with a 21-13 loss to Class 6A foe Sapulpa.
Edison has been tested in its last two road games. Against Coweta in Week 6, the Eagles escaped with a narrow 22-21 victory. Two weeks ago at McAlester, Edison was milking a late 18-13 lead before defeating the Buffaloes 25-13.
Another advantage the Eagles have is, they have all-star running back Sevion Morrison to lean on. The talented senior, who has committed to play college football at the University of Nebraska, has rushed for 1,395 yards with 21 touchdowns this season.
Some Ada fans have wondered aloud if Tulsa Edison head coach Tony Daniels might rest Morrison or some of his other top players, since the Eagles have already wrapped up the District 5A-3 championship. However, Morrison (and it was unclear if there were others) didn’t play a snap in the Eagles’ 49-7 win over Durant in Week 9 at LaFortune Stadium in Tulsa.
Berus and company were certainly game planning this week like they would be defending against the best individual player the Cougars have played during the regular season.
“They have one of the best players in Oklahoma in Sevion Morrison at tailback. The young man is a Nebraska commit, and there’s not many of those around. He’s the real deal,” he said.
“He’s got all the tools. His ability to hit the perimeter is really good. He can also stick that foot in the ground and make a cut,” Berus continued. “His speed is phenomenal. He has great vision, and his ability to make sharp moves full speed is really what makes him most dangerous.”
The Cougars were introduced to Morrison last year. During a 37-27 win over the Cougars in Tulsa, Morrison had a monster night that included 382 yards and five touchdowns. Last season, Morrison wreaked havoc to the tune of 2,728 yards and 39 TDs.
It’s not ALL about Morrison when talking about the Eagles’ offense. In the win over Durant, Edison had Gerard Thompson rush for two touchdowns — for 23 and 20 yards. Thomas Ivy had two touchdown runs (20 and 2 yards), and he also hauled in a 28-yard TD pass from quarterback Louis Perona, who also found Brandon Mayfield with a 29-yard TD pass.
“The quarterback is very shifty and has a couple of weapons to get the ball to. (Ivy) is extremely explosive. He’ll get in the backfield at times with Sevion. They’re also good up front. There aren’t many holes in their offensive game,” Berus said.
Berus said the Eagles have also looked impressive on defense.
“Defensively, they’re going to put five, six, seven or eight guys in the box and play everybody tight to the line of scrimmage. They’re physical in the middle and have some big fellas that like to get after you a little bit,” he said. “And they can run. They’re very athletic and a team that has a lot of talent. They’re probably going to make a nice little run in the playoffs.”
Ada needs a victory Friday night to run into the Class 5A playoffs with the Eagles.
WWE-sized pep talk
As if the high-powered Edison squad needed any extra motivation heading into the playoffs.
Before their runaway victory over Durant last week, the Eagles got a pep talk from former WWE superstar Bill Goldberg, a Tulsa Edison graduate.
Edison promptly went out and secured its first district championship since 1992.
“Bill Goldberg was in town and came by to talk to our players and coaches,” Edison coach Tony Daniels told The Tulsa World. “It was a great night, and I am proud of these young men.”
The Cougars will honor 22 seniors as part of Senior Night at Norris Field before the kickoff of the Ada-Edison contest. That ceremony is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
“It’s our first class. They were sophomores in our first year,” Berus said. “They got to experience a lot of the success we had in our year one. Their growth as football players and young men has been fun to watch.”
Berus said he and the coaching staff have been proud to mentor these 2020 graduates.
“You hope that during your time with them, that things are shared that will allow some lifelong memories and that will plant some seeds ... that will prove positive in their lives. They’re all going to be husbands and fathers and community members,” he said.
“But that goes both ways. They’re always inspiring and motivating and challenging us as the adults. That’s what’s great about what we get to do. It’s a two-way street,” Berus added.