GUTHRIE — When Guthrie needed a big play from a wide receiver at the end of the game, the Bluejays called on their starting defensive end.
With 13 seconds remaining and Guthrie trailing by three points to Carl Albert, Guthrie inserted 6-foot-2 sophomore L'Liott Curry at wide receiver for the fade route. It is same play the Bluejays had used with Curry earlier in the season for a touchdown against Ponca City.
“He is more of an asset on defense, but when we need something, we can go to him anytime, Guthrie quarterback Bryan Dutton said.
Curry made a diving catch in the back corner of the end zone with eight seconds remaining to rally No. 1-ranked Guthrie past Carl Albert, 21-17, and keep the Bluejays unbeaten.
When the ball left Dutton's hand, it appeared he had overthrown Curry, who has lined up for only three offensive plays all season.
“He kind of did,” Curry said of the 12-yard game-winner. “But I am long enough to get that ball.”
Curry's magnificent grab completed a six play, 68-yard game winning touchdown drive in just 1:25.
Dutton, who had a rough first half by fumbling and throwing an interception that both were returned for Carl Albert touchdowns, atoned for those turnovers by going 4 of 6 on the game-winning drive.
The Bluejays' senior signal caller completed two passes to Cody Reihs for 17 and 13 yards, then hit Donovan Jordan on a 26-yard pass that set up the Bluejays on the Titans' 12 with just 24 seconds remaining.
With no timeouts left, Dutton tossed an incompletion on a fade route before Guthrie (6-0 overall, 3-0 District 5A-2) called on Curry to try the same play on the other side.
“Coach told me I couldn't take a sack,” Dutton said. “I just threw it up the best I could, and he (Curry) went up and made a heck of a play. A hundred percent of that goes to him.”
Titans' quarterback Steven Thompson, who rushed for 62 yards, said Carl Albert (1-5, 0-3) is beginning to feel snakebit.
“It feels horrible getting it taken from you like that,” a dejected Thompson said after the game.”
Guthrie dominated the game statistically, but it appeared four turnovers — two fumbles and two interceptions — might doom the Bluejays.
Carl Albert scored two defensive touchdowns in less than a minute apart in the second quarter on a 33-yard fumble return by defensive end Chantz Woodberry and a 46-yard interception return by safety Caleb Toney.
The Bluejays, though, were tied 14-14 at halftime with the Titans as Dutton connected on two first half scoring strikes with Jordan.
Carl Albert only ran three plays in the third quarter but took a 17-14 lead on Blake Walker's 28-yard field goal with 6:10 remaining in the game.
Dutton, who had only thrown one interception all season entering the game, said he needed to make up for his poor first half on the final drive.
“If it would have ended and we had not scored, it would have looked so bad on my part,” he said. “This would have been a horrible loss, but we pulled through.”