Nov. 21—CLINTON — In the playoffs, sometimes a team needs big plays to advance. Junior speedster Deante Lindsay gave the sixth-ranked Ada Cougars two such plays during a 21-9 Class 4A quarterfinal win over No. 9 Clinton Friday night at the Tornado Bowl.
Lindsay returned the opening kickoff for a score and the Cougars secured the win when he hauled in a long touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Boyles in the third quarter.
Coach Brad O'Steen's bunch improved to 11-1 on the year and will now square off against No. 2 Wagoner Friday night — the day after Thanksgiving — in a huge Class 4A semifinal showdown at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany.
The high-powered Bulldogs advanced with a 30-0 home 4A quarterfinal victory over No. 4 Tuttle. Wagoner booted Ada out of the 2022 playoffs via a 31-0 victory.
Lindsay hauled in a kick from Clinton's Carlos De La Fuente at the 14, took off to his left, made a defender miss and sped down the sidelines for a huge 86-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. Caden Mitchell's PAT kick put Ada ahead 7-0 just 12 seconds into the game.
On the first play of the second quarter, Clinton's Kyn'Tavion Hill slipped out of the backfield, got wide open along the left sideline and hauled in a 24-yard touchdown toss from quarterback Cooper Sulley. Austin Reynega's PAT kick tied the score at 7-7 at the 11:51 mark of the second period.
With 9:41 left in the quarter, Boyles — who doubles as Ada's punter — was kicking from the CHS 45 and pinned the Red Tornadoes at the 1-foot line with a beautiful 44-yard effort.
The Ada defense then forced Clinton's Garrison Rhoads to punt from his end zone. Lakievin Richardson caught the line-drive kick at the Clinton 44 and scurried down the left sideline 26 yards to the 18-yard line.
Two plays later, Kolton Carlock took a direct snap for Ada, ran around the left side and scored on a nice 12-yard TD run. He dragged a couple of Clinton defenders into the end zone on the play. Mitchell's second PAT kick of the game put the Cougars on top 14-7 at the 6:28 mark of the second quarter.
Ada would carry the seven-point advantage into halftime. The Cougars limited Clinton to 75 yards of total offense through the first two quarters.
One of the biggest plays of the game came with about nine and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
Clinton was putting together one of its best drives of the game and faced a 4-and-1 situation from the Ada 41. Cully kept the ball on a keeper and it looked like he gained just enough for the first down. In fact, one game official signaled to move the chains.
But after the ball was spotted, the Ada football camp wanted a measurement and that showed the Red Tornadoes to be just inches short of the marker, much to the chagrin of the Clinton coaches and fans.
The Cougars took over on downs and on the very next play, Boyles lofted a perfect pass to Lindsay who had his man beat down the right sideline for a 60-yard touchdown. Another Mitchell kick — the PAT was from 25 yards out due to a penalty — made it 21-7 at the 9:04 mark of the third quarter.
Clinton blocked an Ada punt early in the fourth quarter but the Ada defense again stood tall and kept the Red Tornadoes out of the end zone.
However, Clinton's Race Elliott tackled Carlock in the end zone for a safety to cut the Ada advantage to 21-9 with 10:28 to play.
Still, neither team would score again.
The Ada offense struggled in the second half, gaining just 75 yards — including the big TD catch by Lindsay. However, Clinton managed just 64 yards throughout the final two frames.
Carlock paced Ada on the ground, rushing for 59 yards on 15 carries. Boyles completed an efficient 5-of-7 passes or 108 yards. Lindsay ended up with two grabs for 83 yards.
Zaedon Collins led the Clinton offense with 69 yards on 12 carries. Sulley struggled in the CHS passing game, completing just 3-of-18 passes for 45 yards. He was intercepted by Ada's Chase Bailey on Clinton's last offensive play of the game.
Fisher Marr turned in an incredible defensive effort for the Cougars, finishing with 18 tackles. Kelton Stipe was next with 12 tackles and a QB sack.