Billed as the best game in the state, top-ranked Carl Albert and sixth-ranked Guthrie squared off inside Jelsma Stadium in front of a packed house. Much like in every big game, the outcome usually comes down to several key plays. Unfortunately for the Bluejays, they were on the wrong side of them for the first time this season as Carl Albert shut out Guthrie 21-0.
On Carl Albert’s second drive of the game, quarterback Ben Harris floated a ball over the middle, Guthrie’s Tervae Williams jumped in front of the crossing route and nearly intercepted it. If Williams could’ve hauled it in, he likely would’ve walked into the end zone for Guthrie’s 10th defensive touchdown of the season. On the very next play, Harris found Anthony Davis for a 40-yard touchdown, putting Guthrie down 7-0 with 8:24 left in the first quarter.
On the Titan’s next offensive possession, facing a 4th and one, a snap over Carl Albert’s Dadrian Taylor forced him to retreat five yards into the backfield, before breaking several tackles for a first down, extending the drive. Three plays later, Harris found Davis again, this time from 20-yards out, giving the Titans a 14-0 lead with 2:02 left in the first.
Outside of those two plays, the Guthrie defense held the Titan offense in check, as they didn’t allow another score until the early stages of the fourth quarter after giving the Titans a short field to work with.
The Guthrie offense struggled to get anything going offensively against the talented front seven of the Titans. The Bluejays finished with 80 yards of total offense and two turnovers. After the game, Guthrie Head Coach Kelly Beeby said he was proud of his teams effort and that key plays are what hurt them in the end.
“I feel like we battled our tails off for 48 minutes,” Beeby said. “Carl Albert is a good ball club and I think there were a few plays in that ball game that kind of sealed our fate. They were a little bit better than us. They made the key plays and when you have a game like that, it comes down to a few plays and they made them and we didn’t. Our hats are off to them, but I can’t stress enough of how proud I was of the effort from our guys. They battled to the end, we just have to get better.”
The loss is Guthrie’s first of the year. They won’t have long to dwell on it, as they travel to Northwest Classen this Thursday for a very important district match up. With a win this week, Guthrie would lock up their 14th-consecutive playoff appearance, but most importantly, keep a shot at a home playoff game alive.
“If we win the next three games, we’re hosting a playoff game at Jelsma,” Beeby said. “Before the year we said we wanted to host a playoff game and that’s obviously still the goal. We have to go take care of business against Northwest Classen first. These next three weeks for us are do or die time.”
With a win Thursday, Guthrie will make their 14h straight post season appearance and their 18th out of the last 19 seasons. The last time Guthrie missed the postseason came in 2004.