It started as an old-school, defensive slugfest. By the end of the game, the amount of penalties and miscues was shocking as Weatherford edged Douglass 14-7 in round one of Class 4A football playoffs.
Douglass moved the ball for much of the game, but the Trojans were their own worst enemy when it counted. Douglass committed six turnovers, five of them in Weatherford territory.
Perhaps the most devastating came when Douglass fumbled on the Eagles' 1-yard line in the third quarter.
The turnovers began to weigh on Douglass, which was not penalized through the first half but drew 13 flags for 135 yards in the final two quarters. The Trojans, done at 7-4, were flagged for seven 15-yard penalties, including multiple personal fouls for post-play hits. The lack of discipline also contributed to Douglass' unexpected early exit from the postseason.
“Well, I mean … I didn't know the penalty situation,” said Weatherford coach Mickey Seifried, whose 7-4 club will play at top-ranked Wagoner next week. “They're a good football team. We've got to give them a lot of credit, and we've got to give our guys a lot of credit. We did keep our cool, they stayed in it, they understood four quarters is what we got to go for and it took 31/2 there, but we finally got it going.”
Weatherford broke the stalemate with just 3:32 remaining in the game. Junior quarterback Garrett Gaunt sensed pressure, scampered right and fired to the wide open Quentin Reynolds, who walked easily into the end zone. The 42-yard strike and ensuing kick gave the Eagles a 7-0 lead.
Gaunt finished an efficient 12 of 23 for 139 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions.
The Trojans dominated the run game both offensively and defensively. Douglass' offense collected 219 yards rushing; its defense threw Weatherford rushers for minus-5 yards on 26 carries.
But it was Weatherford's stingy defense that created turnovers.
Senior linebacker Joe Leon picked off Douglass quarterback Patrick McKaufman in the fourth quarter and recovered two fumbles.
Although the overall numbers for Weatherford's run game were poor, the biggest run of the game belonged to the victor.
One play after Weatherford recovered its fifth fumble, Jason Nichols ran 17 yards for a touchdown.