With all the bad weather that December brought, it felt like the high school football season of 2013 was going to carry into the new year. Thankfully it all got wrapped up, just a week later than planned.
The Oklahoman released its All-State football team in Sunday's newspaper, and our Little and Big All-City teams will roll out over the next couple of days.
But for now, The Oklahoman high school sports staff takes a look at some of the best moments, performances and surprises of the 2013 football season.
Game of the Year
Scott Wright: I declared Norman North's frantic 45-42 win over Midwest City on Sept. 27 the Game of the Year moments after Jake Edzards had booted the winning field goal. And it took nearly three months for a game to top it. Davis' rally from 19 down at halftime — and 11 down with under six minutes with the ball at its 1-yard line — to win the Class 2A title was the year's best game.
Jacob Unruh: Davis' comeback to beat Millwood in the Class 2A championship game. I wasn't there, but this is easily the game of the year for me. Trailing by 19 at halftime and then scoring two touchdowns in the final 2:23 to win the title is remarkable.
Trent Shadid: Blanchard's 20-17 win over Plainview in the Class 3A semifinals goes down as the best game I saw this season. Trailing 17-14 with 2:33 remaining, Blanchard put together an 11-play, 71-yard drive capped by a game-winning touchdown run from star running back Braden Stringer with just over 30 seconds to play.
Best Moment of the Year
Scott Wright: The Kingfisher and Davis state championships. The seniors on those two teams had each been to two state finals before this season, and lost both. Their coaches had each been to multiple title games without a victory. And on the same Thursday night in December, they all went home with a gold ball.
Jacob Unruh: Guthrie star Kai Callins' final performance was one to remember. Just a year removed from suffering a torn ACL, the running back/defensive back rushed for 231 yards, four touchdowns and also intercepted a pass in the Bluejays' 51-21 win against McAlester in the Class 5A championship.
Trent Shadid: Hollis' run to winning the Class A state title. Ranked No. 6 in The Oklahoman's preseason poll, Hollis didn't exactly come out of nowhere to win the Class A title, but their dominance was impressive. The Tigers went 14-0 with no opponent coming within 17 points.
Season's Biggest Surprise
Scott Wright: The Meeker Bulldogs. After starting 17th in The Oklahoman's Class 2A preseason rankings, the Bulldogs finished third following the most successful season in school history. Just an incredible job by coach Mike Hedge, his staff and players.
Jacob Unruh: The year of the quarterback losing steam so quickly. Entering a season with top recruits like David Cornwell and Justice Hansen expected to dominate, injuries ruined their senior campaigns. Meanwhile, other star quarterbacks floundered at times, leaving the spotlight to other players at other positions.
Trent Shadid: The lack of a Division I scholarship offer for senior running backs Kai Callins (Guthrie), Landon Nault (Kingfisher), and Braden Stringer (Blanchard). Some say Stringer and Nault are too short, and Callins too skinny to play at the elite college level. I say the stats, highlights, and high character of all three suggest otherwise.
Best Performances We Saw
Scott Wright: This one comes with a Part 1 and Part 2. Part 1: Norman North's Jake Edzards kicks a game-winning 43-yard field goal to defeat Midwest City as time expires. Part 2: A week later in Yukon, Edzards comes through again with the game-winner, this time from 35 yards in the closing seconds. A ton of high school kickers never get the chance to try a game-winner in the final seconds. Edzards got two in two weeks, and came up clutch on both.
Jacob Unruh: Lawton running back Michael Warren was absolutely unstoppable in the Wolverines' 50-33 win against Edmond Santa Fe on Oct. 18, breaking his own school single-game rushing record with 358 yards while also scoring five touchdowns. It was easily the best performance of his impressive season.
Trent Shadid: Minco's Jacob Overton against Cashion in Week 4. Overton — who played running back, quarterback, receiver, and defensive back — showed off his incredible versatility in a 41-12 road victory against district A-3 rival Cashion. The senior accounted for 350 of the Bulldogs 427 yards, scoring three touchdowns on the ground and throwing for another. He also added a fourth-quarter interception, further proving his ability to do it all.
Best Performances We Didn't See
Scott Wright: Seminole star Papi White had a lot of performances that were worth watching, but his 466-yard night against Marlow to open the playoffs — a state single-game postseason record — must've been magical to watch. White rolled off two more 300-yard games the next two weeks.
Jacob Unruh: I would have loved to watch Central Marlow senior Kevin Harris in Week 2 when he scored nine touchdowns in a 74-34 win against Oklahoma Christian Academy. He scored six times on the ground, caught a TD pass and also returned both a punt and kickoff for TDs. Oh, and he finished with 360 yards rushing.
Trent Shadid: Washington's Brock Harmon against Hinton in Week 6. The senior defensive back returned three interceptions for touchdowns in one quarter, setting a national record during Washington's 57-14 win. The record, which was tied less than a month later, came on returns of 31, 42, and 32 yards during a span of just six minutes.
These days, if you see someone wearing a suit and tie on the field at a Friday night football game, it usually means the school principal worked late and didn't have time to change clothes.
But first-year head coach Rashaun Woods went old-school when he took the field for John Marshall, with a suit and tie — though the suit coat usually didn't last until kickoff on those warm September nights.
It was a nice touch from a well-respected member of the state's football community, from his days at Millwood, Oklahoma State and into the pros.