CATOOSA — The Oologah Mustangs rallied to beat the Catoosa Indians 28-20 in a district 4A-3 battle of undefeated teams Friday night at Frank McNabb Field.
Oologah (5-0, 2-0) hosts Grove while Catoosa (4-1, 1-1) is at Vinita next Friday. The Mustangs remained perfect thanks to some late heroics from Gunter Pearson and his offensive line.
Pearson only carried the ball 12 times, but he gained 198 yards and scored three touchdowns, including two late in the fourth quarter.
"It was hard fought all around," said Pearson. "We have 19 returning seniors and I think that really helps out, especially in these big games."
Pearson scored from 18 yards out right up the gut thanks to a huge hole from his offensive line. Mayson Powell then added the extra point to put Oologah up 21-20 with 3:13 remaining.
The Mustang defense then held at its own 36 yard line with 1:32 left and Pearson scored on the next play, once again through another big hole from his line.
"We have a very aggressive line," said Pearson. "They have a lot of experience and they do a great job."
The Indians still got one last chance. They moved the ball to the Oologah 27 yard line with two seconds to play, thanks to a couple of nice plays from quarterback Daniel Queen.
The ensuing Hail Mary attempt, however, was intercepted in the end zone. Queen finished with 163 rushing yards on 27 carries and scored two touchdowns.
"Catoosa is tough and showed that tonight," said Pearson. "I think we came together as a team in the fourth quarter and worked our hardest and that's what got us the win."
The Mustangs held a slim 14-13 lead at the half. The Indians, however, scored on the first possession of the second half. Tyler Burch did the honors on a 2-yard run at the 6:22 mark of the third period.
Oologah then lost a pair of fumbles on its next two drives, including one after they had moved to the Catoosa 1 yard line with 4:17 left in the third quarter.
The Mustangs were able to overcome that adversity though, thanks in large part to Pearson and his stalwart offensive line.
Pearson got his other touchdown just 35 seconds into the game from 12 yards out. That score came three plays after Jared Taylor returned the opening kickoff 36 yards to the Catoosa 44 yard line.
Catoosa tied things up on a 1-yard keeper from Queen finished with 49 seconds left in the first period.
Oologah quarterback Chance Deitz made it 14-7 with 2:06 remaining in the first half on a 6-yard touchdown run.
The Indians answered exactly one minute when Queen weaved his way down the field for a 70-yard touchdown run.
Oologah remained on top though after the extra point was no good. That set the stage for the remaining drama.