Claremore Daily Progress

November 3, 2012

Oologah topples Catoosa, 44-34

Sports Writer

CATOOSA — Oologah and Catoosa entered the District 4A-3 showdown with identical regular season and conference records and, apparently, evenly matched teams.

The Mustangs and Indians exchanged seven leads before the visitors from north Rogers County took control of their counterparts from the south, securing a 44-34 victory and third place in the league. Oologah finished the regular season 6-4 and 5-2 in conference play while Catoosa fell to 5-5 and 4-3.

Junior running back Hagen Harrison delighted a Senior Night crowd at McNabb Field with 149 rushing yards before leaving with a leg injury midway in the third quarter.

Mustang quarterback Payton Craig ran for three touchdowns and passed for another, leading his team to 570 total yards. Teddy Keys ran for 218 yards on 28 carries while receiver Kent Shelton caught seven passes for 218.

Oologah scored four fourth-quarter touchdowns and finally stymied a furious Catoosa rally. The Mustangs took the lead for good at 30-27 when Keys plunged over from the one with 8:26 remaining. Oologah got the ball again following a short Indians punt to the 47. On the first play from there, Keys exploded through the line and completed a 53-yard scoring, giving the Mustangs a 37-27 lead.

Not to be ignored, Catoosa sophomore Nathan Varano received the ensuing kickoff and bolted 85 yards to the end zone with 8:14 to go. However, Oologah followed with a 61-yard, nine-play drive to put the game away. Craig kept the ball the final four yards with 1:37 left.

Catoosa managed to reach the Mustang 29 in the final minute, but quarterback Austin Potter’s pass into the end zone was intercepted by Tim Luce.

The Indians led 6-0 after Varano recovered a fumbled punt at the Oologah 14. Junior Darren Fowler snapped the middle on the next play for the TD. The Mustangs immediately retaliated, using nine plays to cover 69 yards, allowing Craig to squiggle through the line for a 26-yard touchdown.

Catoosa needed three plays to get back on the board following the kickoff. Hagen Harrison bolted the final 71 yards to make it 13-7.

Oologah regained the lead 14-13 on Craig’s 33-yard strike to Shelton just 1:24 into the second half. The Indians went on top 20-14 with a 10-play, 57 yard drive on Hunter Harrison’s 15-yard TD run. Kyle Clark booted the Mustangs within 20-17 on a 33-yard field goal. Craig darted for a four-yard score, giving his team a 24-20 lead on the first play of the final period.

Catoosa answered thanks to the impetus of Varano’s 56-yard kickoff return to the Oologah 24.

Five plays later, Potter fired 10 yards to junior Bailey Meyer to make it 27-24 with 9:18 left in the game.