TULSA – Heading into Friday night’s season finale against Tulsa Edison, Durant head coach Ray Richards predicted turnovers and big plays would decide the outcome.
Richards proved to be dead on target but both those went dramatically against the Lions in a 49-26 defeat.
Durant ends the year with a 2-8 record.
Early on it looked like it might go the other way as the Lions notched the first big play of the contest when Brandon Davis scored on a beautifully executed fumblerooski by racing 42 yards untouched.
That capped a seven-play, 71-yard drive on the opening possession and Daniel Long’s extra point made it a 7-0 advantage.
The momentum was short-lived however as Edison came right back in just 68 seconds to tie it on a 49-yard tackle-breaking gallop from Sevion Morrison.
Turnovers came into play on the next series as Durant drove the length of the field again but came away empty when the Eagles’ Tristan Wright picked off a Cade Buchanan pass at the Edison goalline to thwart the threat.
The hosts were unable to do anything with that Lion miscue but Durant wasn’t as lucky when they turned it over again on a fumble late in the first stanza.
Edison drove 61 yards on five plays and cashed in with a Brant Hager 25-yards touchdown pass to Ty Hinkle.
Three plays later a Buchanan pass deflected off Davis and Jerome Townsell intercepted for the Eagles and returned it 29 yards. Three plays and 21 yards later Edison punched in another score to make it a 21-7 edge.
The Eagles finally returned the turnover favor late in the first half when Parker Morgan forced a fumble that the Lions’ Austin Reinecker fell on at the Durant 31.
A 23-yard strike to Davis got things going and two nifty runs from freshman Isaiah Addis quickly netted 25 yards to move the visitors into scoring position.
It looked like the drive might end without points when the Lions cashed in on fourth down as Buchanan connected with Landon Tubbs down the middle of the field for a 26-yard score. Long’s PAT cut the margin to 21-14 with just over a minute left before halftime.
That was plenty of time for the Eagles however as they swiftly moved 74 yards in just six plays for a crushing touchdown pass from Hagar to Wyatt Ellis as time expired.
Up 28-14, Edison fumbled on its first possession of the second half but Durant immediately turned the ball over on downs. Townsell then ripped off three straight monster runs for 55 yards to extend the margin.
Durant finally got its running game going a bit with Gillis carrying five times on the next series as the Lions took it 65 yards in nine plays. A spectacular 23-yard fourth down grab by Davis kept it alive and Morgan notched his first touchdown of the season with a one-yard plunge to trim the deficit to 35-20.
An onside kick attempt failed and the Durant defense just couldn’t find an answer for an Edison ground attack that was firing on all cylinders.
The Eagles scored on two straight possessions before the Lions picked up their final points of the game with a 36-yard scoring toss from Buchanan to Davis capping a 63-yard march with only 3:03 remaining.
Davis had a big performance in his final game accounting for 212 total yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. He led the club with 78 yards rushing and also added 10 receptions for 134 yards.
Fellow senior Cade Ogden also chipped in four catches for 42 yards.
Buchanan had an up-and-down night throwing the ball for 208 yards as he completed 18 of 34 passes.
Tubbs notched a team-high 12 tackles unofficially.
The Lion offense tallied 400 yards overall on 70 plays while Edison finished with 485 total yards with a whopping 344 coming on 41 rushing attempts.