OOLOGAH - The Oologah Mustangs dominated the second half in a 20-3 victory over the Fort Gibson Tigers in the first round of the Class 4A playoffs Friday night.
The Mustangs (10-1) will play at sixth-ranked Ada or Elgin in the quarterfinals next Friday. The Tigers finished 6-5.
This was the final game in Oologah for 19 seniors. They finish with 21 wins and just two losses on the field at home (one game was also forfeited in 2014).
"I have watched these kids grow up," said Oologah head coach Brandon Craig. "They are great kids and community members. They are also pretty good football players."
One of those seniors, quarterback Chance Deitz, set the tone on the first play from scrimmage in the second half with a 54-yard run that put the ball at the Fort Gibson 17 yard line.
"It was a designed run," said Deitz. "We have a couple of big tackles and not a whole lot of people like to get in front of them. Things parted like the Red Sea and opened up like a beggar's wallet."
Gunter Pearson cashed in three plays later from nine yards out and even though the extra point missed, Oologah had the lead for good just 83 seconds into the second half.
Cole Dunbar and Konner Davis then came up with interceptions with 8:37 and 5:28 left, respectively in the third period.
Deitz scored on a 5-yard keeper 30 seconds after the Davis interception and got the final
touchdown of the night on a 26-yard run at the 10:02 mark of the fourth quarter.
Deitz was also very appreciative of his fellow seniors as they picked up the victory on their final appearance at home.
"We all grew up together and the chemistry just kept building and building over the years," said Deitz. "We had a lot of wins here and there is no other place that I would rather play than on this field."
Fort Gibson got the only points of the first half when Jaden Snyder was successful on a 27-yard field goal try with 5:17 left in the second quarter.
On the ensuing drive, Oologah marched into Tiger territory, but eventually got stopped a yard short on a fourth down play at the 30 yard line with 2:37 remaining in the first half.
The second half, however, was a different story. Deitz got things started right off the bat and key defensive plays also aided the rally.
"There was absolutely no panic," said Craig. "We were down 3-0 to a talented team. We made some adjustments and took advantage. Having (Deitz) obviously makes a difference too. He is a warrior."