Top-ranked Kingfisher was facing adversity in the fourth quarter for one of the few times this season against Seminole in Saturday night's Class 3A semifinal.
Kingfisher's two stars, quarterback Grant Newton and running Landon Nault, both had fumbled away critical scoring chances inside the 10 in the second half when the Yellowjackets were trailing.
But the pair redeemed themselves by scoring three fourth quarter touchdowns to rally Kingfisher past Seminole, 31-26, at Putnam City Stadium in a battle of unbeatens.
“They ended up making up for it,” Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers said.
Nault had scoring runs of 30 and 15 yards in the fourth period to bring Kingfisher back from a 19-10 deficit at the start of the quarter. Newton then sealed the victory with a 73-yard scoring run with less than five minutes remaining
Kingfisher (14-0) now meets Blanchard (12-1) for the Class 3A state title next week.
Nault finished the game 168 yards rushing on 23 carries. Newton had 19 carries for 181 yards, 154 coming in the second half.
He lost 15 yards on the stat sheet when Kingfisher was running out the clock at the end of the game.
“We couldn't stop the quarterback in the second half,” Seminole coach Mike Snyder said. “The quarterback is the wild card in their offense. He is such a good player. His speed got to us.”
Seminole wasted a brilliant performance from running back Trenton Newson, who rushed for 262 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
He scored on runs of 49 and 38 yards in the first half to give the Chieftains a 13-10 halftime lead.
His 85-yard run late in the third period after Nault's fumble at the Chieftains 8 set up a 4-yard touchdown by quarterback Doc Harvey. Seminole led 19-10 at the time and seemingly had the Yellowjackets on the ropes.
But Kingfisher answered in the fourth quarter with 62-yard scoring drive with Nault gaining 50 of those yards running and receiving. His 30-yard scoring run cut the lead to 19-17.
After a Seminole punt, Kingfisher drove inside the Chieftains' 5 when Newton fumbled at the 4. Seminole, however, gave the ball back when Newson's fumble was recovered at the 17 by Kingfisher's Triston Ransom.
Nault scored two plays later from the 15 to give Kingfisher a 24-19 lead, its first since leading 10-7 in the second period.
Seminole was forced to punt again and Newton raced 73 yards with the clinching touchdown on Kingfisher's first play from scrimmage.
Seminole added a late touchdown on a 3-yard run by Harvey but Kingfisher's Jake Blair recovered the Chieftains' onside kick. The Yellowjackets then were able to run out the clock.
“We had our chances,” Snyder said.