EDMOND — In the world of sports, every team enters a contest with a Plan A or a Plan B.
EDMOND — In the world of sports, every team enters a contest with a Plan A or a Plan B. The Ringling Blue Devils decided to go with their own Plan C on Saturday, as in Coty Scott. Ringling’s senior 6’6” tight end paid off in more ways than one as he caught a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Sam Vanbuskirk, giving the Blue Devils a 20-14 victory over the No. 1 Cashion Wildcats in the Class A state championship game which was held at Wantland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond. The title is the fifth in program history for the Blue Devils, and their first since 2012. It’s also redemption for second year head coach Phil Koons and his squad, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs last season following an undefeated regular season. “To know that I’m going to be remembered in Ringing, Oklahoma for something like this is incredible,” Scott said after the game. “It just hasn’t hit me right now. I think by Sunday morning it’ll start to sink in a little.” “I knew that at some point I was going to need to make a play for our team,” Scott said. “Sam just looked at me and I told him to throw it where I could reach it and I’d get it for him. This group is super special and I love all of these guys.” It was perhaps ironic that it was passes which won the game for the Blue Devils, considering all of the talk coming into the game was about how potent their rushing attack of Kash Lyle and Ethan Johnson was. The duo did make life hard on the Wildcats defense in the first half, as they pummeled them for a pair of long drives. Following a scoreless first quarter which took just 17 minutes to complete, the Blue Devils got on the board first, thanks to the Vanbuskirk and Scott connection. Facing a 3rd and long situation, Vanbuskirk rolled out of the pocket to his right and sent the ball downfield. Waiting in the end zone was Scott as he caught the ball just over his shoulder for the opening touchdown which came from 41 yards out. Ringling nearly caught a break on the point after attempt as Cashion was drawn offside. The Blue Devils tried to go for two, but were stuffed, leaving it at 6-0 just seven seconds into the second quarter. After a Cashion punt, the Blue Devils were stopped on a 4th down conversion, to which the Wildcats cashed in with their first points of the game. Brexton Green used some key blocking from his teammates to break free on a reverse and scamper 44 yards for the touchdown, giving the Wildcats a 7-6 lead at the 8:13 mark of the second quarter. But the Blue Devils had some tricks of their own on their next possession. Facing a fourth and goal from the six yard line, Vanbuskirk used some misdirection to fool the Wildcats defense, as Brayden Johnson caught the touchdown pass, giving the Blue Devils a 13-7 lead after the successful extra point from Logan Duhon. Cashion nearly got the final word in the first half as the Wildcats drove down to the Blue Devils five yard line. However, the Wildcats were stuffed four straight times, as the Blue Devils took a 13-7 lead into the halftime break. After a scoreless third quarter, the Vanbuskirk and Scott connection combined in the fourth quarter to give the Blue Devils a two-score lead. Facing a 3rd down from the Wildcats 32-yard line, Vanbuskirk let one fly for his senior tight end, to which he reached behind a Cashion defender and pulled the ball in for the touchdown, giving the Blue Devils a 20-7 lead after Duhon’s extra point with 5:28 left in regulation. “To put in all the work that goes into this, and seeing it pay off is a great feeling,” Vanbuskirk said. “I’m apart of an elite group of state championship quarterbacks from Ringling, and that’s a great honor. My teammates though deserve all the credit, they put in so much heart and effort into this game and made so many things happen.” “Coty (Scott) is just a great athlete,” Vanbuskirk added. “He trains hard everyday, puts in the work and is always going to make a play for us when we need it. We’re a very versatile team and we always stay focused on the task at hand. It’s always about pushing forward and keep things moving.” The Wildcats did manage to make things interesting near the end when they got a 16 yard touchdown pass from Green to Alex Nabavi, but the Blue Devils recovered the onside kick. “To reel off 13 straight wins after the Mangum loss is incredible,” Ringling coach Phil Koons said. “That game opened our eyes and got us back on track. We’ve got a 6’6” tight end and we’re not afraid to throw the ball to him. I’m so proud of the kids for all the heart, grit and determination they showed today and all throughout the year.” “Our running backs had a tremendous game blocking and running the ball,” Koons said. “Cashion made us work for every yard we got out there today. The good lord blessed me with the opportunity to be the head coach at Ringling, and I’m very thankful for this community and these kids. It’s an honor to bring a state title back to Ringling and to be apart of the tradition of this program.” Another Koons made his mark in the game as well as Julius Koons had the only turnover in the game, an interception which occurred in the third quarter. Vanbuskirk finished the game 6-of-7 passing for 115 yards and three touchdowns, while Ethan Johnson totaled 20 carries for 85 yards with 10 tackles and a pass breakup. Scott finished the game with three catches for 87 yards and two touchdowns. Ringling ends it state championship season at 13-1, while the Wildcats suffer their first loss and end their season also at 13-1.