“No one thought coach Mick would call that,” said senior lineman Blake Belcher.
“But he said, ‘I'm going to the state finals; I'm not gonna leave it hanging on the field.'”
To get to Friday's title game, No. 1 Guthrie has faced its fair share of adversity.
The Bluejays were forced to forfeit eight of their wins after the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association ruled the team fielded an ineligible player.
But two days before first-round games were scheduled to be played, the OSSAA board of directors accepted Guthrie's appeal to reverse the ruling.
Watkins watched from the stands Saturday for the third game of his eight-game suspension that was part of the board's decision.
“It was worth all the fighting that we put into it,” Watkins said. “I'm just so happy for the kids. They've been through more than most people realize.”
Now, the Bluejays will play for their third state championship in Watkins' 11 years as Guthrie's coach.
“It's really incredible,” Davis said. “We've gotta come out and play our hardest.
“It's been a wild ride, but we're not finished yet.”