Midwest City to face Bixby on Saturday
By Jeff Harrison
Midwest City Beacon
Midwest City didn’t let a rocky start hold them back last Friday night against Tulsa Booker T. Washington in the Class 6A-II state football playoffs.
The Bombers fell behind early when sophomore quarterback DeAngelo Irvin Jr. threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the team’s third offensive snap of the game.
But that proved to be a minor blemish for the Bombers who dominated the rest of the way for a 26-7 win.
It was Midwest City’s first win over Washington since 1996. And it was the first for coach Darrell Hall who entered the game 0-4 against his former team. Hall coached the Hornets for two years including a state title run in 2012.
“It’s great to get a win and to get that monkey off my back,” Hall said. “We’re excited to be practicing on Thanksgiving Day and getting ready for the next one.”
The Bombers (8-2) will face two-time defending state champion Bixby (9-0) in the 6A-II state semifinals. The game is set for 7 p.m. at Jenks High School. The Spartans have eliminated Midwest City in the playoffs the past three seasons.
Irvin shook off the early mistake and turned in a brilliant performance. He threw for 230 yards and three touchdowns, while also running for 77 yards and one score in his third career playoff start.
Makale Smith had a big night with four receptions for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Artez Young grabbed one touchdown on a 79-yard catch and run.
Midwest City’s defense was just as impressive as they held the Hornets to 156 yards and delivered several key stops.
One of the biggest stops came early in the second quarter as the Hornets drove to the Midwest City 17. On third down, Brian Wilson Jr. intercepted a pass from Lathan Boone in the end zone to halt the threat. The play shifted momentum towards the Bombers who scored on their next three possessions.
“Coach told me it was coming, and I was ready for the moment,” Wilson said. “I heard someone yell ‘ball’ and I turned around and caught it. They [Washington] were going down field, so it really broke up their momentum.”
Irvin put Midwest City on the board when he hit Smith for a 41-yard score with 7:25 in the second. A blocked extra point made it a 7-6 score.
Midwest City forced a three-and-out and got great field position after a big punt return from Wilson. Four plays later, Irvin gashed through the middle of the defense for a 27-yard score. The Bombers failed on the two-point try making it a 12-7 score with 3:50 in the half.
Washington moved the ball across midfield on their next possession, but the drive stalled with a blindside sack by Dylan Sebock on third down.
The Bombers answered with a quick scoring drive. Irvin launched a deep ball to Young who raced to the end zone for a 79-yard score. Elijah Escobar added the extra point.
Midwest City led 19-7 at halftime.
The Bombers added to their lead with another score on the opening drive of the second half. Sebock had a 25-yard reception that moved the ball to the Washington 18. Irvin then lofted a high pass to Smith who outleaped a defender for his second score of the game, making it a 26-7 lead.
“I just went up for the ball and I knew I was going to come down with it,” Smith said.
The defense held Washington in check the rest of the way. They did not allow the Hornets to cross midfield in the second half until late in the fourth.
LeJaylin Long-Jackson led the team with 8 tackles including a big fourth-down stop in the third quarter. Smith and Kristawn Friday each had 6 tackles. Kasaan Birdsong had five tackles and a sack.