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Longhorns defense clinches overtime win at Purcell

Staff Reports
sports@ardmoreite.com

PURCELL – The Lone Grove High Longhorns are quite familiar with Purcell as the two squads were in the same district for the last several years. However, it was a different atmosphere Friday night with a non-district matchup after Purcell moved to Class 2A this season.

Last year, the Longhorns lost to the Dragons by a single point, knocking them out of playoff contention. It's safe to say Friday's matchup was a vengeance game for Lone Grove, and the Longhorns performed accordingly knocking off Purcell 41-40 in overtime.

The Longhorns took the first possession of overtime from the 20-yard line with four plays to score. Cale McLean caught a screen pass and pushed his way through multiple defenders to get into the end zone. Jaxon Lee converted the extra point to put the Longhorns up by seven.

The Dragons responded with a passing play to inch within one, 41-40.

Instead of kicking the extra point, Purcell opted to go for a two-point conversion to win the game. However, Lone Grove sophomore Caden Gilmore knocked the pass attempt to the ground to seal the victory.

Quarterback Jace Brandenburg helped seal the win in the senior’s first start for the Longhorns.

Brandenburg got off to a quick start, hitting junior wide receiver Blayde Wilkerson over the middle for a 56-yard completion, putting the team deep into Purcell territory. Lone Grove then brought its version of the Wildcat formation to the red zone with Wilkerson lining up under center. The junior capped off the drive with a rushing touchdown.

With the Longhorns trailing by two late in the second quarter, Wilkerson got the team going again with a 40-yard rush on a jet sweep.

Lone Grove senior Cody McClennahan took over at running back in the red zone and took the ball to the 2-yard line. Wilkerson capped off the drive with another rushing touchdown, but he went down with a right leg injury early in the third quarter. He did not return until the game went into overtime.

The Longhorns led 34-20 with two minutes remaining in the game, only to have inch within eight points. Lone Grove recovered the ensuing onside kick, but it was forced to punt the ball back to Purcell after going three and out.

However, the Longhorns couldn’t keep the Dragons out of the end zone as they scored and converted the two-point conversion to send the game to overtime. That’s when the Lone Grove defense stepped up and tallied the win.

The Longhorns (1-0) travel to Wynnewood Friday, Sept. 4, but kickoff was moved to 5 p.m. due to lighting issues.