Hilldale 43, Grove 42
Grove’s Kadian Forbis powered into the end zone with 66 seconds left in the game, and it appeared Grove was poised to upset Hilldale and advance to the Class 4A quarterfinals on Friday night.
But the Ridgerunners left Hilldale too much time, and it was a final minute full of suspense.
Fifth-ranked Hilldale finished off its final offensive drive on Johnnie Durossette’s 5-yard touchdown run just inside the right pylon in the end zone with 7.1 seconds left.
From there, the Hornets had a decision to make: kick the extra point or try for the two-point conversion?
Hilldale opted for the latter and Brayson Lawson ran in for a successful two-point conversion, resulting in an explosion on the Hornets’ sideline.
“After Grove’s touchdown, I just told everyone keep your heads up, and that we were going to score,” Hilldale coach David Blevins said. “Then when we went ahead, everyone erupted with joy.”
Grove’s last-ditch effort to return the kickoff for a touchdown included several laterals, but the Ridgerunners were stopped around midfield as Hilldale advanced to host Cushing in the quarterfinals.
In only the second matchup between the teams, Grove and Hilldale put on an offensive showcase that included eight second-half touchdowns.
It was Forbis who scored on Carson Trimble’s 41-yard pass that put Grove up 35-28 midway through the fourth quarter. The Hornets (11-1) responded on Jaden McWilliams’ 2-yard TD run to tie the game up with 1:25 left.
Durrossette finished with 221 yards and two TDs through the air, and Dylan Walker had five receptions for 166 yards and two TDs for the Hornets. Jace Walker and Lawson both also scored on interception returns.
— Ben Johnson, for the Tulsa World
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