WAYNE — The battle of the top two teams in Class A lived up to the hype.
This time, it was Wynnewood that came out ahead.
The No. 1 Savages scored a defensive touchdown early in the fourth quarter and made it stick, beating No. 2 Wayne 35-34 on the road to solidify their place atop Class A.
“It's unbelievable,” Wynnewood quarterback Jace Brown said. “This sets up our playoff bracket nicely. But we've still got to take care of business next week.”
The win doesn't quite give Wynnewood the District A-5 title. The Savages will need to beat Wewoka next week at home to make that official.
But clearly this was the biggest stumbling block for either team during the regular season.
The game went back-and-forth with big offensive play after big offensive play for much of the first three quarters.
Each of the first seven touchdowns in the game came from at least 32 yards out with three coming from more than 50 yards.
At halftime, though, Wynnewood made a defensive adjustment that wound up going a long way toward giving the Savages the win.
“We didn't slow play their quarterback,” Wynnewood coach Brad O'Steen said. “We wanted to get to him and make him pitch it as quickly as possible.”
Early in the fourth quarter, Wayne got the ball at their own 10, leading by six.
But Wayne quarterback Sam Martin let go of the ball early on a pitch and the ball wound up in the end zone, where Tyler Keith was waiting to fall on it for a touchdown.
“I just saw Sam passed it behind Louden Johnson and I was ready for it,” Keith said. “We've worked hard all summer and all year for this game. We've been looking forward to it so much. This was a whole lot better than last year.”
A season ago, Wayne beat Wynnewood 47-42 at home and wound up going on to win the school's first football state championship.
Wynnewood is hoping for a similar fate.
The Savages sealed the game with less than two minutes remaining when Trey Knowles gained six on fourth and three from the Wayne 18 to end any chance for a Bulldogs comeback.
“We were going to give it to our biggest back and run behind our best lineman, there was no doubt about that,” O'Steen said.
The results of that play, Knowles said, showed the difference between this year's Savages and the team that fell to the Bulldogs last year.
“This team sticks together more,” Knowles said. “We knew we were going to have to overcome some adversity tonight and we did that. Every time it got tough, we fought through it.”
Knowles ran for 97 yards and a pair of touchdowns while Brown threw for two touchdowns, both more than 50 yards.