STILLWATER — Even though his team had dominated throughout, Wagoner football coach Dale Condict couldn't shake the thought that Clinton could stage a comeback.
But when Kerwin Thomas pulled down a backbreaking interception with just more than three minutes left, Condict finally relaxed.
The Bulldogs added a final touchdown to cap a 23-0 win over Clinton to win the Class 4A state title at Boone Pickens Stadium on Friday.
“It's an unbelievable feeling,” Condict said. “I grew up in the house with a dad that coached, and to accomplish this is pretty special.”
Tom Condict, now the superintendent at McAlester, coached Broken Bow to the 1985 championship.
“It was exhilarating,” the elder Condict said of watching his son win his first title — and the first ever for Wagoner. “Dale's going to blow all of my accomplishments away.”
For now, Dale Condict will celebrate the first one.
His Bulldogs (13-1) set the tone from the start, punishing Clinton on defense and using their speed to grind down the Red Tornadoes.
But it took awhile for that domination to show on the scoreboard. Wagoner settled for a field goal on its first drive, then threw an interception deep in Clinton territory on its second.
But Kevin Peterson showed up in a big way late in the first half.
The senior broke around the edge and went 86 yards for a touchdown to put the Bulldogs up 9-0 and give them a bit of breathing room.
“We knew it was coming,” Peterson said. “We knew with the way our defense was playing that we were wearing them down, and it was just a matter of time before we broke one.”
Peterson added a 16-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter and finished with 244 yards rushing.
“They were good, fast, big and strong,” Clinton coach Mike Lee said. “We knew going into the game that we would have to find a way to keep them off the edge. We had no matchup advantage on the perimeter, and they took advantage of it.”
Wagoner's defense held Jalee Rainge to just 65 yards on 20 carries and forced four Clinton turnovers.
But as dominating as it was, it took the final interception for Condict and the Bulldogs to feel comfortable.
“With as good of a team as they are and as much tradition as they have, they weren't out of it,” Dale Condict said. “They're a great football team.”
The Condicts shared a hug as time wound down.
“My father is here and my mentor,” Dale Condict said. “And the things that make me good, I think, are the things that made him great.”