Austion Wagner showed nearly every way to run the ball as a quarterback.
Wagner darted 36 yards for the winning touchdown with 1:04 to play, giving Cookson Hills a 48-46 victory over Life Christian in the Oklahoma Christian School Activity Association Class 2A football championship Friday at Putnam City West.
A senior, Wagner rushed for 266 yards and three touchdowns on 41 carries. Wagner played his fifth game at quarterback for Cookson Hills (7-4).
“It was tough,” Wagner said. “It's a real adrenaline rush. He threw me in at the end of a game and asked me if I could run the ball. I said yes. I've done well since.”
Wagner has done well off the field as well. He has found sobriety from drugs at Teen Challenge, a boys home in Kansas, OK. Wagner has been clean for a year.
“It feels great,” Wagner said. “I'm a senior. I have a second chance at high school football. It's an honor to play and get to win.”
In the fourth quarter, Cookson Hills and Life Christian (4-7) traded the lead four times. Aaron Smith's 13-yard TD run and 2-yard TD run gave Life Christian a 40-36 edge with 7:48 left in the game.
Cookson Hills regained the lead 42-40 on Wagner's 4-yard scoring run with 5:14 remaining. Smith responded with a 37-yard TD run to put Life Christian up 46-42 at the 1:59 mark.
The Crusaders moved 55 yards in three plays for the winning score. Wagner found room running left, then reached the left corner of the end zone.
On Life Christian's chance with the ball, Smith drove his team to the Cookson Hills 32 before throwing incomplete on third down. A missed a 49-yard field-goal attempt by Yuta Saitoh allowed Cookson Hills to run out the clock.
Cookson Hills overcame a 22-8 second-quarter deficit.