by Derrick Smith

Edmond — The Carl Albert Titans outlasted the Bishop McGuinness Irish to clinch their fifth-straight Class 5A State Championship 33-21.

Carl Albert head coach Mike Corley said he is proud of his team and the way they showed who they were tonight. “You have to play to win it,” he said. “Our offensive showed their experience tonight. They stepped up to the challenge tonight and those big drives were huge.”

The Irish found then end zone first when Luke Tarman connected with Gavin Johnson for a 41-yard touchdown pass, taking a 7-0 lead with 9:10 left in the first quarter.

On their ensuing possession, the Titans marched 46-yards down the field in nine plays and capped off the drive with a six yard run by Kentrell Bizzell. With 6:04 remaining in the first quarter, the score was tied 7-7. 

After a couple of changes in possession, Cobe Crews caught a 31-yard pass from Ben for a Carl Albert score. The extra point was missed but the Titans still had a 13-7 lead. 

Bishop McGuinness struck again when Tarman hit his brother Paul Tarman for a 13-yard scoring pass. The Irish took a 14-13 lead with the extra point with 7:25 until intermission.

The last score of the first half came when Bizzell scampered in from the 3-yard line to give the Titans a 20-14 lead as the team went into half. 

Neither team was able to find the end zone in the third quarter, but the Titans hit pay dirt again on the first play of the final quarter. Bizzell powered in from two-yards out to increase the Carl Albert lead to 27-14 with 11:57 left on the clock.

But the Irish were not done yet. Michael Taffe ran back the ensuing kickoff 68-yards and on the first play of the possession, he ran in for the 9-yard score. Bishop McGuinness cut the lead to 27-21 with 11:38 left in the game. 

The Titans put the game away with a 17-yard scoring run from Harris with 3:44 remains. 

Regarding the five consecutive state championships, Corley says it is a mindset. “It is all about those players,” he stated. “They love to play football. They are willing to show up every day and put in the work.”

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