|11/13/19 - |
The epic battle between the Ada High football team and high-powered Tulsa Edison lasted 10 seconds too long.
Edison’s Thomas Ivy scored from the Wildcat offense with nine seconds left in the game to give the Eagles a dramatic 16-14 win over the Cougars in a Week 10 matchup Friday night at Norris Field.
Edison, ranked No. 3 in one state poll and No. 4 in another, extended its winning streak to nine games and heads to the Class 5A playoffs with a 9-1 record, while Ada is finished at 4-5. The last time the Cougars won just four games or fewer was in 1946, when Ada finished 3-4-3. It marks the first time Ada failed to make the playoffs since 2007.
“I love their effort, and I love their fight. It’s kind of what you expect out of them,” Ada head coach Chris Berus said following the game. “It’s painful right now, but that just lets you know the investment these kids have made. That’s why it hurts so bad. There’s a lot of sacrifices that are made to be a part of our program — the time, the work and so forth.”
Edison started a drive at its own 20-yard line with 8:28 to play in the game and trailed 14-9.
The Eagles got out of 2nd-and-14 and 2nd-and-19 holes during the long, time-consuming march and had to convert one 4th-and-short situation. Ivy fought into the end zone on a 3rd-and-goal play from the 2 on the 18th play of the drive. The drive featured a 21-yard run by Gerard Thompson and a 16-yard keeper by quarterback Thazjon Green.
Edison star running back Sevion Morrison, who has committed to the University of Nebraska, was virtually a non-factor. After rushing for 382 yards and five touchdowns a year ago against Ada and running wild all season this year, Morrison finished with nine carries for 31 yards Friday night.
After absorbing a big hit resulting in a fumble recovery by Ada’s Tyler Peters early in the second period, Morrison had three more carries on Edison’s next drive before heading to the sidelines for good. He didn’t play at all over the final two frames.
“We got after them well. That’s a very talented football team that we just played. You just look at their team speed and their size, and we got after them,” Berus said.
Neither team could muster much offense in the first half. In fact, Ada had just 22 yards of total offense at halftime.
Edison kicked a 22-yard field goal with 40 seconds left in the first quarter to grab an early 3-0 lead.
The Eagles got close again midway through the second period, thanks in part to a pair of Ada unsportsmanlike conduct penalties on the same play that advanced the ball 30 yards. On the very next play, Bo Odom picked off a pass by Green at the 9-yard line and made a spectacular 91-yard return for a touchdown. He raced up the right sideline until passing midfield and then cut back across the middle and beat two Tulsa Edison players to the near corner of the end zone.
A Phillip Jones PAT kick put Ada on top 7-3 at the 2:21 mark of the second quarter.
The Eagles used their quick-strike ability for a quick answer.
Thompson got free for a 34-yard gain on first down and after a time out, Ivy raced around the right side and sped 46 yards for the score. The PAT kick by Ryan West was no good, leaving Edison in front 9-7 at halftime.
Before those two big plays, Edison had just 49 yards of total offense in the first half.
Ada had some bad luck before the third period when senior starting quarterback Manny LaValley suffered some type of leg injury while warming up at halftime. The Cougars then turned to freshman Carter Freeland to take snaps in the second half.
Midway through the third quarter, Ada was pinned at its own 11-yard line but got out of it when Freeland heaved the ball toward receiver Jake Shannon on 2nd-and-10. Shannon outmaneuvered an Edison defender for the ball and a 66-yard catch and run. A diving tackle by Ivy prevented a touchdown.
However, it actually only delayed it. Peters scored on a 1-yard plunge into the end zone on fourth down, and a Jones PAT kick put Ada ahead 14-9 at the 2:20 mark of the third period.
The Cougars were putting together another promising drive to start the fourth quarter that included another great catch by Shannon of a Freeland pass that resulted in a 32-yard gain to the Edison 23-yard line. But Freeland tried to get the ball to Shannon in the end zone and this time, Ivy was able to step in front of the pass for an interception.
Edison then went on the long scoring drive to escape with the victory.
Both Ivy and Thompson finished with 100-yard rushing efforts. Ivy had 14 carries for 107 yards and two scores, and Thompson had 14 carries for 100 yards.
Green connected on 7-of-11 passes for just 16 yards.
Ada managed just 76 total rushing yards on 29 carries. Shannon had the two big receptions totaling 101 yards.
The Cougars were hurt by nine penalties for 126 yards, and most were personal foul or unsportsmanlike conduct infractions. Edison finished with 14 penalties for 121 yards in the chippy contest.
“When you play a close game like that, it’s usually the team that makes the fewest mistakes that wins, and we had our fair share,” Berus said. “But to be honest, there were some questionable things that occurred throughout the game, and that took the ball out of the hands of both teams. When that happens and that plays a part in the outcome, that’s a little frustrating as well. But that’s part of it. You never want to play close enough to leave it in the hands of somebody else.”
Berus and company said farewell to 22 seniors who were honored before the game during Senior Night ceremonies.
“I love these 22. I’m proud of these 22. And I’m thankful these 22 have been a part of my life,” he said.
Berus was already looking forward to the future of Cougar football.
“We have a great springboard into the offseason with the guys we have coming back, and hopefully, they’re all going to go play another sport,” he said. “We love our kids to go play year-round. We’ll get back together in May and begin the process again of putting together something very, very special.”