Bishop McGuinness raced to a 14-0 lead over Tulsa Bishop Kelley in its Class 5A quarterfinal battle Friday night, but the Irish fell behind 21-14 by halftime.
In the second half, Irish quarterback Jacob Lewis came to McGuinness' rescue.
“Jake, the second half, just really kind of took the game over,” McGuinness coach Justin Jones said. “He really just put the team on his back.”
Lewis had a 74-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, then a 6-yard clincher with one minute left in the game in the Irish' 28-24 win over Tulsa Kelley, sending McGuinness into the Class 5A semifinals this week against Carl Albert.
Lewis carried the ball 27 times for 275 yards and three touchdowns in the game to earn The Oklahoman's Player of the Week honors.
McGuinness trailed, 24-21, with a minute and half to play when Lewis directed the Irish on a 65-yard game-winning touchdown drive, hitting running back Danny Krenger on a 40-yard pass on a crucial third-and-8.
“It was now or never,” Lewis said about the game-winning drive.
Lewis has thrown for more than 2,000 yards and rushed for more than 1,000 this season running the Irish's spread attack in his first year as their quarterback. He played running back as a sophomore.
“He is a true dual threat,” Jones said. “Jake presents challenges for defenses. Are they going to keep an extra guy in the box and contain him, or move a guy out and cover a wide receiver?”
Friday night's game against Tulsa Kelley was Lewis' best on the ground this season, although he's had better games throwing the football, such as in the Irish's first matchup this season with Carl Albert.
On Sept. 28, Lewis threw for 385 yards on 11-of-18 passing with five touchdowns. He also rushed for 119 yards on 21 carries, including a 46-yard touchdown run as McGuinness defeated Carl Albert, 42-32.
Jones would take those numbers again in Friday night's rematch with the Titans in the Class 5A semifinals in Norman.
“Jake is certainly going to have to play well for us to have a chance to win this game,” Jones said.
Lewis' credits his big night against the Titans in the first meeting to senior wide receiver Cody Chancellor, who had 359 yards receiving and four touchdowns in the game.
Both Lewis and his head coach expect an even tougher game Friday night from the Titans than in September, as the loser of the first contest often has an edge in the rematch.
McGuinness had defeated Tulsa Kelley 34-10 in Week 2, but Friday night's rematch in the quarterfinals was much tighter.
“It creates some extra motivation for the opponent that you beat,” Jones said. “They can go in and look at the mistakes they made and correct them.
“It can give you a false sense of security. On the other hand, it gives you some confidence in what you are doing.”
Lewis said the Irish will not be overconfident based on the first outcome this season between the clubs.
“I have heard they have a completely new secondary,” Lewis said of Carl Albert. “They are going to be tough to beat.
“They are a great team, and it's tough to beat any team twice in one year. It's going to be a dogfight.”