EDMOND — For all the big plays the No. 4 Sulphur Bulldogs made on Friday night, the No. 6 Beggs Demons made just one more.

EDMOND — For all the big plays the No. 4 Sulphur Bulldogs made on Friday night, the No. 6 Beggs Demons made just one more.

In what turned into a classic encounter in the state semifinals, it was unfortunately the Demons who claimed a 37-28 victory, sending them to the finals, for the first time since 1977, at Wolves Stadium on the campus of Edmond Santa Fe High School. 

Both teams went back and forth throughout all four quarters, before BHS pulled away with 6:26 left in the fourth with a 53-yard touchdown pass from Dalton Spring to Anthony Johnson to take a 37-28 lead.

“Beggs has a lot of athletes,” Sulphur coach Jim Dixon said. 

“I thought our kids did exceptionally well. We just gave them (Beggs) too many home runs. You’ve got to make them earn everything they get, and we made them earn everything running the ball. It’s just as simple as we gave up too many long passes.”

Perhaps the turning point of the game for both teams came during a span of a couple of minutes in the third quarter.

With Sulphur leading 21-18, the Demons began driving from their own 14-yard line, and had a 2nd and 8 from their own 44-yard line.

A deep pass downfield to the right side from Spring found EJ Smoot for what many thought was another Demons touchdown. 

However, the play was called back due to a holding penalty.

Two plays later, the Beggs duo connected once again deep down the field for another touchdown, but once again the score was washed off the board due to a holding penalty.

When the Bulldogs got the ball back they drove down to the Demons’ 13-yard line and faced a 4th and 3. Sulphur quarterback Dawson Muck escaped the pocket and pressure from the Beggs defensive line and managed to find Houston Haines for a touchdown, which would have given Sulphur a nine point advantage at 27-18.

But this time it was SHS feeling the sting from the officials as the Bulldogs were flagged for an ineligible man downfield, negating the score.

“It would have been huge if we could have gotten up nine or 10 points late in the third quarter,” Dixon said about the negated touchdown. 

“That was one of the few times I felt like we didn’t take advantage of an opportunity offensively.” 

Two plays later, following the turnover on downs by the Bulldogs, and it was the Demons instead going back in front thanks to Spring connecting with Smoot for an 82-yard touchdown pass, which stood this time. 

Sulphur managed to stop the two-point conversion, keeping the score at 24-21 with 2:29 left in the third.

However, the Bulldogs had an immediate response.

Trey Kiser needed just two plays to march Sulphur 70 yards, as he put the red and white back in front with a 66-yard touchdown run, giving the Bulldogs a 28-24 advantage following the extra point from Bradley Vineyard with 1:27 left in the third.

Unfortunately, that would be the last time the Bulldogs found the end zone in the contest.

Just before the end of the third quarter, Beggs’ air raid offense jumped back in front thanks to a touchdown pass from Spring to Brandon Williams which went 53-yards making it a 30-28 game with five seconds left in the third.

The Demons initially took the lead in the first quarter when Spring found Smoot for a 28 yard touchdown pass to make it 6-0 Beggs with 2:55 left.

Tavius McDonald responded for Sulphur three plays later when he punched it in from seven yards out, putting the Bulldogs on top 7-6 at the 1:50 mark of the first.

Following a fumble recovery by the Bulldogs on the ensuing Demons drive, it was Vineyard scoring on a 3rd and goal from the 16-yard line to make it a 13-6 game with 10:19 left before halftime.

Less than a minute later, Beggs responded with Spring rushing in from one yard out, but Sulphur maintained the advantage at 13-12 following the failed two-point conversion with 9:49 left in the first half.

Spring would strike once more before the break with an eight yard touchdown run to put the Demons in front at 18-13 with 5:14 left in the second.

The first half madness continued however, as Kiser would break loose for Sulphur and run 68 yards for a touchdown, putting the Bulldogs on top going into halftime 21-18.

Kiser finished with 25 carries for 199 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with Vineyard rushing for 96 yards on seven carries with one touchdown.

Brant Miller ran the ball nine times for 29 yards, while Muck finished 2-of-9 passing for 40 yards.

The Bulldogs finish with an overall record of 12-2, which is the most wins in program history since 2004, and the first 10+ win season since 2008.

“These seniors the last three years have won 30 games for this program,” Dixon said. 

“I’ll take that any day. I’m very proud of these kids and these seniors.”