By Jordan Beech
WEATHERFORD – Class B was the only division in Oklahoma prep football to have two undefeated teams featured in the season finale. Alex emerged victorious over Laverne, claiming its first-ever state championship with a 68-64 win in the championship at Fast Lane Field on the campus of Southwestern Oklahoma State in Weatherford Saturday night.
Featuring two of the most high-powered offenses in Class B, it was a contest to see who would blink first. No. 1-ranked Laverne came in with a 40-game winning streak dating back to November 25, 2011 and a chance to win a third straight title. The Tigers averaged 55.5 points per game coming into the game. On the other side of the ball, No. 3-ranked Alex was playing in its first title game in 57 years while putting up 55.9 points per game.
The shootout began with Alex jumping out to a 14-0 lead through the first 8:56 of the game thanks to long runs by quarterback Dalton Alcorn and running back Kyler Thornburg. Laverne would answer back in the final minute of the quarter on a two-yard dive by quarterback Tanner Allen to pull within six points at 14-8.
The second quarter featured three lead changes, as the Laverne offense got rolling for four touchdowns, including an 80-yard pick-six by Tiger defensive back Hunter Person with 8:57 left in the half. Thornburg continued his dominant performance, answering Laverne’s touchdown just 19 seconds later on a 60 yard burst from the line of scrimmage. The Longhorns took back the lead with 5:03 remaining in the game on an 83-yard connection between Alcorn and tight end Jacob Otey to go up 28-24. Laverne responded with a 49-yard strike of their own 40 seconds later to reclaim the lead 32-28 going into the half.
Alex again rose to the challenge, coming out of halftime on a one-yard rush by Thornburg. There would be four more lead changes in the quarter, going into the pivotal final frame with Laverne up 56-48. Thornburg ripped off the first two scores of the fourth with rushes of 46 and 64 yards respectively to go up 62-56. Laverne scored their only touchdown of the period on a five-yard Allen run to take a 64-56 lead with 3:56 remaining.
The Tigers looked to have sealed the victory when Person got onto the end of an errant Alcorn pass, but dropped a sure interception with 3:04 remaining in the game. The Longhorns responded by marching 67 yards over the next six plays. Alcorn scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:46 remaining on a 21-yard run. Laverne then fumbled on their second play after the touchdown, with the ensuing ball recovered by Alex to seal the 64-62 victory.
The Longhorns’ Thornburg was an unstoppable force all night. Of Alex’s 809 total offensive yards, he accounted for 504 yards. His 478 yards on the ground set an Oklahoma playoff record among all classes, per VYPE Sports. His six touchdowns also tied for the third most in a playoff game. Alcorn also excelled in the game, gaining 329 total yards, including 143 on the ground and 186 through the air on 8-13 passing to score 4 total touchdowns.
Laverne found most of its 663 yards of offense through the air. Allen threw for 337 yards, connecting on 72.2 percent of his passes. He was also the Tigers leading rusher, gaining 163 yards on the ground to finish with 500 total yards and 6 total touchdowns (3 rushing, 3 passing). Ihzan Castillo was the main beneficiary of Allen’s aerial performance, hauling in nine passes for 307 yards and three scores.
The two teams combined for a whopping 1472 total offensive yards. There were also 17 combined touchdowns for a total of 132 points. Both teams ended with over 11 yards per play.
The Longhorns complete their undefeated season at 14-0. The Tigers, on the other hand, were handed their first defeat in 1107 days. With the victory, the gold ball will head to Alex for the first time in program history.