Coweta edges Carl Albert
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Saturday, September 08, 2012
9/08/12 at 5:55 AM
MIDWEST CITY - Coweta's gauntlet of former state championship opponents continued Friday night with a second straight win to open 2012.
Hayden Holmes threw three touchdown passes, pacing the Tigers to a 21-19 win over Carl Albert, one of Class 5A's most successful programs. The Titans have won 10 state titles since 1989, with their last coming in 2009.
The Tigers needed no late comeback, as they did last week in turning back defending Class 4A champion Wagoner 36-34 on Holmes' 17-yard pass to Randall Smith with 2:21 left.
This time, they dominated the final three quarters, overcame penalties and botched scoring opportunities, and showed necessary patience when the threat of lightning took them off the field for a one hour, six-minute delay in the first quarter.
"I'm about as patient as a 2-year-old waiting for a cookie in situations like this, but the officials are just trying to keep us safe," head coach Bubba Burcham said. "Plus, I didn't have any rain gear, so I was glad we had to go inside."
When play resumed around 8:59 p.m., Coweta struck on the first play with Holmes throwing 32 yards over the middle to Smith. That tied the score 7-7 with 4:18 left in the first quarter.
The Tigers trailed one more time when Carl Albert punter Gavin LaValley rumbled 68 yards out of punt formation with a low snap from center, setting up the second of quarterback Steve Thompson's three rushing touchdowns, this one from 7 yards out.
Thompson's score made it 13-7 at 11:15 of the second quarter, but the Titans missed their extra point and Coweta went ahead to stay later in the quarter.
Holmes' 15-yard scoring strike to Hunter Rasberry and Caleb Thomas' PAT put the Tigers ahead 14-13 with 1:38 left in the first half.
The Tigers squandered a chance when Jakeem Johnson fumbled after making 11 yards, good for a first down at the Carl Albert 10 in the third quarter. But Johnson atoned by taking a short, third-down pass from Holmes and turning it into a 38-yard scoring play early in the fourth quarter, making it 21-13.
Teammates from a young age, Holmes and Johnson smelled a Carl Albert blitz coming and improvised the key play.
"We saw (Titan defenders) walking up on the blitz and knew the flats would be open," Holmes said. "We've been together since we were little. (Johnson) looked at me, I looked at him, we nodded at each other, and we knew what we were going to do."
Carl Albert narrowed the margin when Thompson's 54-yard run set up his 3-yard score with 7:01 left, but the Titans' conversion pass failed.
COWETA 21, CARL ALBERT 19
CA: Thompson 13 run (Walker kick)
COW: Smith 32 pass from Holmes (Thomas kick)
CA: Thompson 7 run (kick failed)
COW: Rasberry 15 pass from Holmes (Thomas kick)
COW: Johnson 38 pass from Holmes (Thomas kick)
CA: Thompson 3 run (pass failed)
Passing Yards||129|| 16|