CANADIAN — After erasing a 34-point deficit, Canadian’s historic season came to an end with a running back pass on a two-point conversion in overtime.
Fourth-ranked Canadian used two interceptions and defensive stops to keep fifth-ranked Cherokee out of the end zone in the second half before falling in a 50-48 loss in the Class B state quarterfinals at home Friday.
“We didn’t lay down, we came back fighting and the ball just didn’t bounce our way,” Canadian football coach Wesley Jackson said. “I’m super proud of these seniors. I know they’re upset, we’re all upset, but that’s football.”
Cherokee (12-1) jumped out to an early lead before Canadian (12-1) came out in the second half to force a three-and-out and senior quarterback Carson Thompson converted on fourth-and-three for a 70-yard touchdown run.
Canadian’s Bobby Dobbs picked off a pass before Thompson completed a 25-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Crawford and later added a 65-yard run to tie it at 42-42 through the third quarter.
Both defenses held through regulation and Thompson started the extra period with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jake Brewster, but the two-point failed.
Cherokee followed with Lake Lyons pounding in a two-yard and Kade Chace found Lyons on a running back pass for the two-point conversion and the win.
The Cougars finished with 487 total yards to Cherokee’s 317 and had five more third-down conversions than their opponent — but failed on their last four two-point attempts in the loss.
Jackson said the loss was tough, but he was proud of the way his team fought in the second half.
“They obviously showed they wanted it in the second half,” Jackson said.
Canadian finished with the best record and the first district title in program history.
Jackson thanked everyone who support the Cougars throughout the season.
"We've got some true blood people that really come out and support — some administration, some guys that come from different jobs to come and help and they don't get enough credit," Jackson said.
Canadian struck first with Thompson juking his way to a 55-yard touchdown run and an eight-point lead in the opening minutes. Thompson finished 7-of-16 passing for 159 yards and four scores, paired with 35 carries for 306 yards and three touchdowns.
Cherokee responded with Damien Labato rumbling for a 26-yard touchdown and Lake Lyon following with a 56-yard scoring run on the way to a 14-8 lead through the first period.
Lyon added touchdown runs of six and 13 yards before Chace took a reverse 15 yards for a score and a 34-8 lead midway through the second.
Cherokee got a 46-yard touchdown run from Lyon before Canadian finished the half with two consecutive scores.
Riley Burns caught a tipped pass and took it the rest of the way for a 43-yard score and to pull Canadian within 42-16 with less than two minutes in the half.
Canadian forced a punt and put together a quick drive capped with Thompson connecting with Jake Brewster for a 26-yard touchdown just before halftime.
Cherokee advanced to the state semifinals against second-ranked Regent Prep (13-0), which took a 59-14 win against Alex (10-3).
Contact Adrian O’Hanlon III at email@example.com