Following a first half full of plodding offenses, costly turnovers and all-around ugly football, Douglass broke out a big-play party.
In a four-minute span starting late in the third quarter, a 14-3 slugfest quickly turned into a 41-3 Douglass blowout of Oologah on Friday night at Moses F. Miller Stadium, sending the third-ranked Trojans to next week's Class 4A semifinals.
In those four minutes, the Trojans (10-2) returned a blocked field goal and interception for touchdowns to go with a pair of long TD runs, erasing memories of the four first-half turnovers that put pressure on Dougalss' stout defense.
Through nearly three quarters, it appeared the team that fought hardest for its yardage would survive and advance, until Douglass senior Marcus Caddell lit the fuse on the Trojan explosion.
Caddell came through untouched to block a 30-yard Oologah field goal try, then picked up the bouncing ball and ran 75 yards for a touchdown to put Douglass on top 21-7 with 2:58 left in the third quarter.
â€œI just figured if I blocked the kick, I could change the momentum,â€ Caddell said. â€œWe played a little dead in the first half and had to pick it up in the second half.â€
Oologah went right back down the field until Douglass defensive end Devante McKinney intercepted a fourth-and-7 screen pass at the Trojan 15 and picked up a couple of key blocks on his way to the end zone.
Running backs Aliston Cobb and Diontay Washington added TD runs on the next two possessions to slam the door on the Mustangs (10-2).
Cobb finished with 138 yards on 15 carries, scoring twice, and Washington rushed seven times for 50 yards, breaking multiple tackles on his 24-yard TD run. Quarterback Shon Bridges completed all five pass attempts for 57 yards, including a 36-yard TD toss to Donnell Ward.
Ultimately, it was the Douglass defense that carried the load.
â€œWhen the offense turns the ball over, we don't have a choice but to live on our defense,â€ coach Willis Alexander said of a unit that has allowed more than 18 points only once all season. â€œThe defense played well tonight. We've got to do a better job of holding onto the football if we plan on going any further.â€
Going further is definitely in the plans for a Trojan team that lost the 4A title to Star Spencer last season at Oklahoma State's Boone Pickens Stadium.
â€œAfter the first half, the coaches kept telling us we needed to turn it up, so that this wouldn't be our last game,â€ McKinney said. â€œWe want to get back to Stillwater. That's all that matters.â€
Douglass will face top-ranked Broken Bow (12-0) at an undetermined neutral site next week. The Savages beat Elgin 33-13.