Tyrone falls short in semifinals

Jonathan Corrales (15) dives into the end zone as Tanner Hurst (1) and Will Slater (18) look on, Friday night in Woodward. The touchdown was the first of the game and gave Tyrone an 8-0 lead. The Bobcats fell just short in the Class C state semifinals, 28-26. (Staff photo/Shawn Yorks)
Shawn Yorks
Staff Writer

The Tyrone Bobcats and Pond Creek-Hunter Panthers were like two prize fighters in in a heavyweight championship match. Each team matched the other blow-for-blow in a game that would come down to who would get the last stop.

The Panthers got the last stop, and held off Tyrone, 28-26 to advance to the Class C state championship next week. The Panthers (13-0) will take on Tipton (12-1) in a 1 vs. 2 battle.
The Bobcats laid it all out on the field.

“They’re special, they’re just special kids,” an emotional coach Josh Bell said after the game. “We’ve known that all year. I’d a gave anything to get them to that last game.”

And Friday night at Boomer Stadium, it was Tyrone (11-1) who would draw first blood.

Each team’s defense set the tone early, both getting stops on their first possessions. But the Bobcats punched it in the end zone on their second drive - which featured a 4th down conversion - scoring on a 2-yard dive by Jonathan Corrales. Tanner Hurst ran the conversion and Tyrone was up, 8-0 at the 4:18 mark of the first quarter.

But the Panthers answered quickly, with Zac Davis setting sail for a 41-yard touchdown run two minutes later. Derek Halcomb ran a keeper for the conversion and the game was tied at 8 heading into the second quarter.

The defenses again took over, each getting a stop before the Bobcats punched it in on a 2-yard run by Josh Bean. The conversion pass failed and the Bobcats led 14-8 with 8:01 in the half.
The Panthers answered with a 4-yard keeper for a touchdown by Halcomb. The Tyrone defense stopped the conversion run short, and the game was tied again at halftime.

Adrian Lopez ended the half with an interception near the goal line to keep it tied.

The defenses again kept both teams’ explosive offenses out of the end zone in the third quarter before the offenses went wild in the fourth quarter with a berth in the state championship game on the line.

The Bobcats edged ahead less than a minute into the fourth with a 26-yard run by Hurst, who was stopped on the conversion to put Tyrone ahead, 20-14.
Pond Creek answered less than three minutes later with a 1-yard keeper by Halcomb on fourth down. The Tyrone defense had several key stops on that drive before Halcomb used his size to bulldoze his way into the end zone. The conversion was stopped and the game was tied for the third time, 20-all.

Tyrone was forced to punt - twice - and the defense was containing Halcomb before the senior let loose with a 55-yard scoring strike to Davis. Halcomb passed for the conversion and the Bobcats trailed for the first time all season, 28-20.

And that conversion would be the difference in the game.

Tyrone got the ball with 2:48 left, and proceeded to drive it right down the Panthers’ throat despite several penalties. A couple fourth down conversions, including a 20-yard pass from Hurst to Slater on 4th and 17, set up the final touchdown.

Hurst ran it in from 8 yards out with 16 seconds left in regulation, and all that was left was a 2-point conversion to force overtime.

The conversion pass from Hurst to Slater fell incomplete, and Tyrone’s season came to an end.

“I felt like this was the state championship,” Bell said. “Playing Pond Creek here, it was just state championship mentality. Just one play here or there, it could be a different story.”

The teams were nearly even in total offense, with the Panthers edging the Bobcats 380-371. Tyrone ran 68 plays to Pond Creek’s 59, with Tyrone dominating the run game 286-143, and the Panthers leading in passing 237-85.

Hurst was 6-for-13 for 85 yards passing, Slater caught four for 56 yards and Corrales one for 28.

Hurst rushed 30 times for 175 yards and two touchdowns, Corrales 11 for 42 and a touchdown, Bean 10 carries for 40 yards and a score, and Antonio Pacheco four for 29 yards.
Halcomb was 14-for-28 for 237 yards and a touchdown, and was leading rusher with 23 carries for 79 yards.

Bean had 7.5 tackles, Corrales and Adam DeLeon 5.5 each, Hurst recovered a fumble and Adrian Lopez had an interception.