Abercrombie FG sinks Marlow in triple-overtime classic
Assistant football coach Derek Patterson owed Clayton Abercrombie three Dr. Peppers late last Friday night.
And he gladly paid up.
Patterson bet the team’s senior kicker that he couldn’t nail a field goal during a practice earlier this season.
Abercrombie proved him wrong.
Patterson went double-or-nothing the next week. Abercrombie won again.
Patterson made one more offer last Friday in Marlow.
Abercrombie was about to line up for a 23-yard field goal attempt in the third overtime of Kingfisher’s Class 3A fi rst-round playoff game at Marlow.
A win would send the Yellowjackets to the second round.
“I was so nervous, but I knew the team was relying on me to make it,” said Abercrombie on lining up for the attempt that was set up on the far right hash mark.
“Also, coach Patterson said he’d get me a Dr. Pepper if I made it.”
Abercrombie split the uprights to send the Kingfisher sideline and stands into a frenzy, ending a roller coaster of a game that KHS finally won 45-42 in the third extra period.
“That was two teams who left it all out there,” said KHS head coach Jeff Myers, whose team advanced to the second round of the playoffs for the 15th time in his 16 seasons.
“Fortunately, we were able to make the plays at the end that put us on top.”
The Jackets trailed by seven points entering the second quarter, led by 14 at halftime and maintained a two-touchdown lead going into the fourth quarter.
However, Marlow controlled the final 12 minutes of regulation.
The Outlaws pulled within seven points on the first snap of the fourth on a 3-yard run by quarterback Jace Gilbert, one of four rushing TDs for the sophomore.
He tied the game with 3:22 to play on a 1-yard run after previously converting a 4th-and-6 with a 10-yard run to the 1.
The Jackets got as deep as the Marlow 22 and faced a 4th-and-4 with 54 seconds to play.
That’s when Stephenson made one of his few errant throws on the night when he was short on a pass to Jarret Birdwell that would have moved the chains.
Marlow opted for overtime, which gives each team the ball at the 10-yard line and the opportunity to score.
KHS won the coin toss and chose to be on offense second.
Marlow needed just two plays to score as Gilbert finished up the brief drive with another 1-yard plunge, then kicked the extra-point.
On Kingfisher’s possession, Stephenson answered with a 2-yard score on third down. Abercrombie tied the game with a pressurized extra-point.
The Jackets got the ball first in the second overtime and Stephenson scored his sixth touchdown of the night on a 7-yard scamper.
KHS led 42-35 after Abercrombie’s extra-point.
The defense forced Marlow into a fourth-down play from the 9, but Gilbert was able to find Jayce Martin in the end zone to knot the game once again.
The teams switched to the north end of the field for the third extra frame, which saw the Outlaws once again get fi rst possession.
It didn’t end well.
On first down, Gilbert ran an option play to the left, but backup running back Julian Marroquin couldn’t handle his pitch.
Kingfisher’s T.J. Parker pounced on the ball to complete the turnover, meaning KHS could settle for any kind of score to win.
It eventually came down to Abercrombie’s foot.
Prior to that kick, Abercrombie was 1 for 2 on fi eld goal tries.
With his twin brother Keaton holding, Clayton sized up the kick knowing he could end the game.
As soon as he kicked it, Abercrombie turned south and started running with his hands in the air.
“It felt good off the foot,” Abercrombie said.
The kick saved Kingfisher’s season and helped put an exclamation point on Stephenson’s own monster game.
The junior accounted for 414 total yards and all six of Kingfisher’s touchdowns.
“There are a couple of throws we wish we could have back, but he made a lot of great ones,” said KHS offensive coordinator Micah Nall.
Two of those throws were on back-to-back plays to Clayton Abercrombie.
With the game tied 7-7 in the second quarter, Kingfisher was backed up deep in its own territory and facing a 3rd-and-long.
Stephenson dropped back, rolled and let loose a bomb as he was being hit. The pass fell right into the running arms of Abercrombie for a 42-yard gain.
The two connected again on the very next play on yet another perfectly-thrown deep ball, this one for a 46-yard touchdown.
That was Abercrombie’s first score through the air this year.
“It felt good to finally get one,” he said.
He wasn’t fi nished.
That score gave KHS a seven-point lead with 6:36 to play in the half.
The Jacket defense forced a turnover on downs and gave the offense possession at its own 28 with 2:51 left in the half.
A 36-yard screen pass to Mason Mecklenburg got KHS to the Marlow 5. Three plays later, Stephenson snuck it in from the 1 to give KHS a 21-7 lead as time expired in the half.
“You can’t do it any better than that,” Myers said. “We got the touchdown and didn’t leave them any time to answer.”
The Outlaws did answer on their initial possession of the second half as they drove 73 yards and pulled within 21-14 at the 7:18 mark.
However, Kingfi sher had its own rebuttal.
The Jackets marched 80 yards in just under five minutes.
They got their two-score lead back when Stephenson’s throw went through Keaton Abercrombie’s hands, but into the waiting arms of Clayton Abercrombie in the end zone for a 4-yard score.
That pushed Kingfi sher on top, 28-14, with 2:42 to go in the third.
Marlow began its comeback on the ensuing possession.
The Jackets had just two possessions in the fourth quarter as the Outlaws chewed away at its defi cit and the clock.
“They were able to get their run game going a little better and they stayed with it,” Myers said.
Gilbert had his own big game for the Outlaws.
He was 10 of 14 passing for 181 yards and two TDs. He added 71 yards and four scores on the ground.
Chase Knight added 114 rushing yards on 25 attempts, but left the game late in the fourth quarter with an apparent leg injury and didn’t return.
Marlow took the initial lead with a trick play late in the fi rst quarter.
Gilbert lined up at receiver and Will Bergner at quarterback in the shotgun. Bergner took the snap and handed off to Gilbert, who appeared to be running a reverse.
However,Gilbertstopped and threw back to Bergner, who scored from 59 yards out.
Bergner ended the game with 139 receiving yards on just five catches.
The Jackets tied it up on the next possession with an 80-yard drive. Stephenson helped set it up with runs of 17 and 16 yards. On the fi rst play of the second quarter, a play-action pass resulted in a 29-yard TD to Keaton Abercrombie.
By the time his night was done, Stephenson had gone 20 of 29 for 262 yards and three scores through the air.
He also ran for 152 yards and three touchdowns on 24 carries.
“He is such a great athlete that he seems to be making up for any mistakes in a big way,” Nall said.
Stephenson didn’t have a turnover in the game - nor did Kingfisher as a whole.
Nall also credited the offensive line: Wes Hine, Matthew Palmer, Grayson Bromlow, Case Wills and Tanner Thompson.
“They exceeded my expectations and were even betterthanIinitiallythought after watching film a third time,” Nall said. “Our run game did what it needed to do and only having to punt three times on the road in a playoff is pretty darn good.”
The run game produced 177 total yards and averaged 5.5 a carry.
The Jackets also produced 17 first downs.
Through the air, Keaton Abercrombie’s 10 catches produced 87 yards. Clayton’s three catches were for 92 yards. Reese Hart added three for 37 and Mecklenburg three more out of the backfield for 46.
Wills led the team with 10 tackles up front. Half of them were solo stops.
Alan Munoz added eight while Keaton Abercrombie got seven stops.
Parker’s fumble recovery was the only turnover in the game.
“We let them get back in it, then faced some adversity,” Myers said. “But we responded the way you’re supposed to. I think a lot of people felt Marlow had all the momentum going into overtime, but our guys never gave up.
“Then they were presented with an opportunity and made the most of it. I’m proud of them. They’ll remember this game forever. It’s certainly right up there in terms of dramatic wins for the program.”
Or, as Clayton Abercrombie put it: “That was, for sure, the most exciting game I’ve ever played in.”