Defensive back Quinton Hand had two interceptions for the Red Tornadoes, including returning a pick 12 yards for Clinton's first touchdown of the game.
“Huge plays by Quinton,” Clinton coach Mike Lee said. “He has come a million miles and has had a great year for us.”
Leading 33-22, Clinton linebacker/quarterback Garrison Mendoza had the Red Tornadoes' third interception of the game midway through the fourth quarter. It came at a critical time when Ada was seemingly driving for a third straight touchdown would have cut the margin to one score.
“It took momentum back,” Lee said of Mendoza's leaping interception at the Clinton 25.
Mendoza landed on his back after the acrobatic interception and was momentarily dazed.
“He's a guy that makes plays,” Lee said of his senior quarterback. “I haven't played him a lot at linebacker this year, even though he is as good as we've had in awhile, because I can't afford to get him hurt. But this time of year, you got to go.”
Clinton (11-2) meets Anadarko (13-0) in the Class 4A state championship at 12:30 p.m. Saturday in Stillwater.
MUSTANG ALREADY EXCEEDING EXPECTATIONS
Mustang swim coach Bruce Clifton thought this season was going to be a building year.
But in two meets, he could be wrong.
The Broncos won their first meet and then the girls team finished second in the Jaguar Invitational.
“All of the kids coming back from last year have stepped it up and we've really started about right where we left off last year,” Clifton said. “So the expectations are kind of high right now, and that's coming from the kids.”
Mustang's program started just five years ago and this season had 80 kids to start the year.
And an athlete like senior Katie Wycoff has been crucial. She also runs cross country and came into the Jaguar Invitational with just two days of practice. She and her relay teammates qualified for state.
“I guess I was already kind of in shape from cross country,” said Wycoff, who also swims in the 50 and 100 freestyle races.