LAWTON — Looking at the defense, Guthrie quarterback Bryan Dutton wasn't sure the play was going to work.
Facing third-and-10 at midfield with an eight-point lead and more than six minutes to play, Guthrie desperately needed a first down to avoid giving the ball back to Lawton MacArthur.
As designed, Dutton took the snap and rolled out to his right, while J.T. McFadden slipped out of the backfield to the left.
Fully prepared to run for the first down if needed, Dutton looked back and saw an open McFadden. He gave a pump-fake and fired a fastball across the field to McFadden, who slipped past a couple of defenders, then outran everyone else for a 52-yard touchdown that essentially clinched Guthrie's 31-13 win at Lawton MacArthur on Friday night at Cameron Stadium.
“The defense was loaded more to the side we were going to,” Dutton said. “Initially I thought, I'd take off running if it wasn't open. But they slow-played it. I gave a little pump and (the defender) froze. I threw it as hard as I could to J.T., and he turned nothing into something.”
McFadden only touched the ball eight times but scored three touchdowns, including a 22-yard run in the third quarter. Dutton threw for 111 yards and two scores, while rushing for 119 yards and a touchdown to guide Guthrie to its 23rd win in the last 24 games.
“J.T. McFadden had a special game, and Dutton is Dutton. He's just a gamer,” Guthrie coach Rafe Watkins said. “I challenged our offensive line tonight, because we haven't run the ball well the last five weeks. We told the guys if you want to win big ballgames and win state championships, you've got to be able to run the ball and stop the run. That's what we did tonight.”
Lawton MacArthur running back Darius Graham finished with 129 rushing yards on 21 carries, but Guthrie contained him to just 40 on 13 attempts after halftime. Guthrie's focus to stop him left the defensive backs in single-coverage in several downfield passing situations, and they came up big.
“Each week, we have some guys back there that come up and make plays,” Watkins said. “People have been trying to take big shots on us back there. We're not the shiniest bunch back there, but they play hard and they did a great job of covering tonight.”
Not only did the Bluejays repeat their victory over MacArthur from last year's state championship game, they handed the Highlanders their first home playoff defeat since 2002.
“This shows the tenacity of our team,” Dutton said. “If we lose, it's over. But we stuck together and pulled one out.”