99-yard fumble return in final minute ends state champs’ run

Cameron Smith

Of all the upsets in the early rounds of high school football playoffs, few could have been as shocking as Woodward (Okla.) High's 20-19 win over defending state champion Douglass (Okla.) High. While the shock from the final scoreline had a good deal to do with Douglass' status as defending champ, it had even more to do with how the game was going in its closing minutes; Douglass led 19-14 with less than a minute to play, and it had the ball on the Woodward 1-yard line.

As you can see above, all Douglass had to do to advance in the playoffs was run out the clock. Instead, it went for a touchdown ... and summarily coughed up the ball inside the 1-yard line. That's where Garrett Roach scooped it up and raced down the right sideline, rolling to one of the most stunning game-winning touchdowns you'll see, earning a win which proved to be Woodward's first playoff victory in 17 years.

"[The win was] one of those games they write movies about," Woodward coach Darris Servis told the Oklahoman of his team's stunning upset.

The Woodward victory overshadowed absolute offensive dominance by Douglass throughout the game. Woodward rushed for just 12 yards on 29 carries and threw for 90 yards. More tellingly, the eventual winners lost the ball three times on fumbles and gained only four first downs all night.

Compare that to Douglass' 358 total yards, and there's little question which team should have won on paper. Yet that's not what happened, thanks to a shocking decision to try and punch in an unnecessary touchdown with seconds remaining by a defending state champion … and 37 final seconds in which Woodward had to keep Douglass from getting on the scoreboard a final time.

"That was the longest 37 seconds of my life," Servis told the Oklahoman. "I don't think Douglass expected us to hit them in the mouth like we did. We're undersized compared to them, but we played physical with them."

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