BROKEN ARROW — When Broken Arrow absolutely had to have a score, there was no doubt that is was going to the player David Alexander calls “our dude.”
Isaiah Keller was the difference in an offensive slugfest between No. 5 Broken Arrow and Yukon, as he scored the final touchdown and two-point conversion to lead BA to a 43-42 victory Friday night in District 6AI-1 action.
Keller scored on a 10-yard run out of the shotgun snap to cut the Yukon lead to one with 52 seconds remaining. Then Alexander — forgoing the possibility of overtime — called on Keller again, and he went around the right side, diving by the pylon to make the score 43-42.
“Isaiah, he’s our dude, man,” Alexander said. “The decision to go for two had already been made a long time before we scored. It was the exact same play as the play before and our first play of the game. He’s our guy. We‘re going to go offensively just as far as Isaiah takes us.”
Said Keller: “We were running that play all game, and we were getting good yardage on it, so we decided to go to it again. I dove just to make sure I was there.”
Keller, a 5-foot-11, 195-pound senior receiver, wound up with three catches for 86 yards and two touchdowns, and had three carries for 85 yards and two TDs. He had scored on a 50-yard pass from quarterback Jake Raines early in the fourth quarter, and had followed with a two-point conversion to tie the score at 35-35.
But Yukon (2-6, 1-4) came right back and grinded out a long drive to take the lead on Camron Farmer’s 20-yard run with 3:43 remaining. After Broken Arrow took the lead on its final drive, the Tigers finally got a stop when Bryce Mattioda intercepted a long pass at the BA 31 with 33 seconds left.
The defenses were virtually non-existent in a scoring fest of a first half, and for much of the game. The offenses scored touchdowns on the first seven possessions of the game. Only the clock running out for halftime stopped the first-half scoring onslaught.
The two teams combined to score touchdowns on 12 of 16 possessions.
The cold, damp weather, combined with no band and a smallish BA crowd, made the atmosphere at the stadium much more sedate than normal.
Yukon’s Caden Hernandez had 154 yards on seven carries in the first half, including 116 yards on his first two carries. His 69-yard touchdown run that put the Millers up 14-7 in the first quarter typified BA’s futility on defense in stopping the Yukon run-oriented, option offense.
Touchdown passes of 32 and 17 yards from Raines to Keller and Tory Dillard, respectively, highlighted the first half for BA. That and Keller’s 69-yard TD run out of the shotgun on the first play of the game from scrimmage for the Tigers offense.
Although Broken Arrow (6-2. 4-1) was stopped by the clock at halftime, the Tigers kept up the scoring barrage in the second half when Sanchez Banks scampered 73 yards down the left sideline to narrow the margin to 28-27 after the first series of the second half. Banks had 18 rushes for 190 yards.
Alexander was frustrated all game with BA’s inability to stop the Yukon option offense.
“We gave them three different fronts to try and stop them, and they always had an answer,” Alexander said of the Millers’ running attack, which amassed 445 yards on 57 carries. “We are glad they didn’t have any timeouts left at the end.”