2019-11-20 wcat-wag vs FG07

Wagoner’s Braden Drake scored the tying and winning touchdowns late in the fourth quarter Friday.  JOHN FERGUSON/AMERICAN-TRIBUNE file

Wagoner 21, Bethany 14: Wagoner coach Dale Condict has won some big games in his 15 seasons as the Bulldogs’ head coach, most notably the four state championships in this decade. But Friday night’s upset of top-ranked Bethany on the road ranks right toward the top of Condict’s list.

“Outside of winning championships, this one ties as the No. 1 feel-good playoff win for us,” Condict said. “The 2014 (semifinal) win against Metro (Christian) was very special, too, and much the same.”

Early in the fourth quarter Friday night, Bethany led No. 4 Wagoner 14-7 after Sam Brandt’s 27-yard touchdown pass to Ben Lawson. That left visiting Wagoner with 10:49 remaining to create a comeback in the Class 4A quarterfinals.

It took a while, but Wagoner (10-2) tied the game on Braden Drake’s 29-yard touchdown run with 3:21 left. Then less than two minutes later, Drake — who rushed for 104 yards on 13 carries — put the Bulldogs in front with a 43-yard TD run with 1:25 remaining.

“When Braden broke that run, our fans erupted,” Condict said. “It’s a moment I’ll never forget, especially considering Braden lost his grandfather, John Drake, earlier in the week and was playing in his honor.”

Wagoner avenged Bethany’s 42-35 upset victory in last year’s quarterfinals. Bethany finished 11-1.

The win moves Wagoner into the 4A semifinals, where the Bulldogs will take on No. 3 Poteau on Friday night in Jenks.

“This is where Wagoner football belongs,” Condict said. “Not practicing on Thanksgiving the past two years has felt strange, so we’re ecstatic about this opportunity.”