Morris holds off Okmulgee’s fourth-quart e r r a l l y i n 20-19 win
The varsity football programs from Morris and Okmulgee met this past Friday night at Larry Bookout Field in Morris for the final game of the 2023 season.
The winner of the county battle was not decided until the final minute of regulation with the host Morris Eagles finishing the 2023 campaign on a winning note with a 20-19 victory over the visiting Okmulgee Bulldogs.
The Eagles finish the 2023 season with a 5-5 record and fifth in District 2A-7 with a 3-4 record, while the Bulldogs end 2023 winless at 0-10, 0-7 in district play The win over Okmulgee was the thirdstraight for the Morris squad in 2023 and second-straight over a county rival following a 16-2 win in Week 9 against Beggs.
The 5-win season was the first for the Eagles since 2018 when Morris finished 5-6 and earned a playoff spot.
In last Friday’s county battle in Morris, the first 23:24 of the first half went scoreless. The scoreless tie was broken with 36 seconds left in the second quarter when Morris’ Jaylen Zackery returned an interception 42 yards to paydirt to give the host Eagles a 6-0 lead at halftime.
The lone score of the third quarter came at the 2:59 mark when Morris QB Trey Daniels scored on a 31-yard scamper, doubling the Eagles’ margin to 12-0 with 12 minutes remaining in regulation.
The Bulldogs used a defensive play to break up the shutout with Jeremiah Harley returning an interception 30 yards for the first Okmulgee score of the contest. Alex Gilmour toed the PAT kick to make it a 12-7 contest with 11:50 left in regulation.
A 30-yard TD run and successful conversion run by Daniels with 7:54 remaining in the final frame pushed the Morris lead to 20-7.
The Bulldogs had a quick answer, as Javin Hutchinson returned the ensuing kickoff 80 yards for a special teams score. The extra-point kick was blocked by the Eagles to make it a 20-13 advantage for the Morris squad with 7:39 left in regulation.
A 59-yard aerial strike from Joseph Robertson to Matthias Wilson at the 2:41 mark of the fourth quarter cut the Morris lead to one, 20-19. The Bulldogs were kept out of the end zone on the conversion attempt to keep it a 1-point Morris advantage.
Okmulgee recovered an onside kick attempt at the Morris 45 and appeared on its way to snapping its current 17-game losing streak, but turned the ball over on downs at the Morris 44 with 1:02 left in regulation.
Morris went into its victory formation with a pair of kneel downs to run off the remaining 62 seconds of regulation to secure the narrow 20-19 decision.
— Morris 20, Okmulgee 19
Okmulgee: 0 – 0 – 0 – 19 (19) Morris: 0 – 6 – 6 – 8 (20) — First Quarter No Score — Second Quarter Morris – Jaylen Zackery, 42-yard interception return (Pass Failed); 0:36 — Third Quarter
Morris – Trey Daniels, 31-yard run (Run Failed); 2:59 — Fourth Quarter
Okmulgee – Jeremiah Harley, 30-yard interception return (Alex Gilmour kick); 11:50 Morris – Daniels, 30-yard run (Daniels run); 7:54 Okmulgee – Javin Hutchinson, 80-yard kickoff return (Kick Failed); 7:39 Okmulgee – Matthias Wilson, 59-yard pass from Joseph Robertson (Pass Failed); 2:41