MOORE — A year ago in the Class 2A playoffs, Davis trailed Millwood by 22 points, but rallied for a 42-28 victory.
So Thursday night, when Davis found itself down 19 points at halftime to the Falcons once again, it didn't seem so scary.
“That helped a lot. Us seniors, we were in the locker room at halftime telling everybody, ‘Hey, we did it last year. Why can't we do it this year?” senior running back Braden Ruth said.
Second-ranked Davis capped the rally with two touchdowns in the final 2:23 to earn the school's five state championship with a 36-32 win over No. 1 Millwood in the Class 2A title game at Moore Stadium.
It was the third comeback victory for the Wolves in the playoffs this season, capping an undefeated season.
“We're down by more than two scores to a really good team at half, and all they wanna know is, ‘OK, what do we need to do?'” Davis coach Jody Weber said. “And they believed. There weren't a lot of reasons to believe at times, for a lot of that game.
“I'm a talker and I'm at a loss for words. Both teams played their guts out. I'm glad we didn't have to play one more second. I'm just so proud of our kids.”
For Weber, it was his first state championship as the Wolves' head coach in his fifth try. His father, Joe, coached the Wolves to their previous two titles.
Millwood (14-1) took firm control of the game early with its high-powered offense that struck for several big plays. But Davis' clock-eating wishbone offense kept the Falcons off the field.
“It's my fault,” first-year Millwood coach Darwin Franklin said after guiding the Falcons to their first finals appearance since winning it all in 2006. “I guess we didn't cover everything to the extent we thought we had.
“We didn't get it done. There's no other way to say it.”
The Falcons lost Larry Lambeth, a four-year starter at linebacker, to injury in the final minutes, and Davis took advantage of his absence.
“We had to try to get other guys in there and compensate for that, but it's hard to substitute for Larry,” Franklin said. “He's a very strong part of our defense.”
Still, after a Millwood punt pinned the Wolves inside their own 1-yard line with 5:46 to play, trailing 32-21, it looked like Millwood had a hand on the gold ball.
Davis quarterback Blake Summers engineered a 99-yard drive in just over three minutes, and the Wolves recovered the ensuing onside kick. Davis needed just five plays to go 49 yards for the game-winning touchdown, Summers' third of the night.
Summers finished with 197 yards, while Ruth, a senior who had already experienced two championship game losses, added 167 yards and two touchdowns.
“We just could never give up. We've been that way all year,” said Summers, who felt the pain of last year's loss to Oklahoma Christian in the 2A finals. “We haven't quit fighting. Our offensive line did amazing.
“Last year was just awful. And this year, I'm on top of a mountain right now. It's awesome.”