Adair won a nail-biter against Okemah at home, 36-35, to advance to the third round of the 2A state playoffs.
The Warriors seized momentum from the start of the game.
An 11-play, 57-yard drive that ended with a five yard touchdown run from senior quarterback Brady Bradbury put the home team ahead with 7:25 to play in the first quarter.
After allowing the Panthers one possession (with one first down), the Warriors put together an assault by ground and air.
Sophomore Hunter Rosebrough capped off the 84-yard drive on a reception from 12 yards out.
with 27 seconds left to play in the first quarter, sophomore tight end James Eastin caught a two-point conversion pass from Bradbury.
Okemah relied heavily on a smashmouth, downhill running game all night.
However, a 55-yard pass from senior quarterback Dean Lee to senior wide receiver Cedric Carter in the second quarter put the Panthers on the board.
Adair senior running back Zak Woolman used his speed and agility to answer back from 30 yards out with 7:47 left to play.
The Adair defense picked its’ spots in the first half.
Eastin recovered one fumble and forced another in the second quarter, while junior defensive end Michal Boriack racked up two sacks.
Adair had a two-possession cushion, 21-6, heading into the second half.
Okemah senior running back Michael Davis (6.’2,” 197 lb) led a three-play, 58-yard touchdown drive before two minutes passed in the third.
A one-touchdown lead was by Adair was short-lived.
Bradbury found Woolman from 18 yards out less than a minute later.
Okemah sophomore running back Kyle Britt broke free for a 25-yard touchdown run before the quarter ended.
The score was 28-21 heading into the final quarter.
Halfway through the fourth, a Bradbury fumble allowed the Panthers to score and what was once a two possession game became separated by one point.
Bradbury responded with a “redemption” play shortly after coughing up the ball with what appeared as a turbo-charged 51-yard touchdown run.
However, the ensuing punt into the hands of Davis allowed for a punt return,which lit up the scoreboard 36-35.
Both teams traded defensive punches until Okemah had the ball on Adair’s 10-yard-line with 13 seconds to play.
Eastin and Boriack combined for a sack on Lee to put the Panthers in the rearview.
Head Coach Mark Lippe told his team they had yet to play their best football following the victory.
“All year long we have told our guys that the only play that matters is the next one,” Lippe said. “We just had to keep playing down after down...and that’s what our kids did. We had some adversity. And we have prepared for it. And it payed off tonight. They had better athletes than us, but we had better football players.”
The Adair Warriors take on Davis at home Friday.