GUTHRIE — Guthrie and Piedmont combined to play one of the most bizarre games that could ever be imagined Thursday night at Jelsma Stadium.
The Blue Jays returned five interceptions for touchdowns and ran back an onside kick for a score in a 50-21 victory over Piedmont.
Piedmont (3-5, 3-2) turned the ball over six times, negating its 417-163 advantage in total yards over the Jays (3-5, 2-3).
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” head coach Trent Worley said. “You’ve got to give credit to Guthrie, too. Their kids made plays and you don’t want to take anything away from them. Hats off to them, they did a good job.”
Trailing just 7-6 in the final minute of the first half, Piedmont unraveled. First, Garrett Morris’ screen pass was tipped near the line of scrimmage and gathered in by the Blue Jays and run back 54 yards for a touchdown.
On the Wildcats ensuing drive, Piedmont called timeout with 0:01 to play and the ball at midfield. After the timeout, Morris heaved a pass deep that was intercepted and returned 75 yards for a touchdown to send Guthrie into half with a 20-6 lead.
“Number one rule in life: don’t beat yourself,” Worley said of the sequence.
Guthrie cashed in three second-half interceptions for touchdowns to pull away after Piedmont trimmed the lead to 20-12 on a 1-yard touchdown run from Colby Matlock.
Guthrie gained 10 yards of offense in the fourth quarter, but put up 28 points.
“Never, nor do I ever want to be again,” Worley said when asked if he’d ever been part of a game with five interceptions returned for touchdowns.
Matlock was a bright spot for Piedmont on the night. The running back carried 23 times for 208 yards and three touchdowns. His 4-yard touchdown run gave Piedmont its only lead of the night, 6-0, with 8:41 in the first quarter.
Piedmont played shorthanded in the game. Starting outside linebacker and leading tackler Ryan Jones, starting running back Davontae Pickard and starting receiver Rylan McDaniel all missed the game with injuries.
Safety Bryson Ensminger helped fill in for Pickard by carrying the ball 12 times for 51 yards. Ensminger also intercepted a pass in the game.
Blue Jays quarterback Jackson Waddell was Guthrie’s top offensive threat. He ran 20 times for 76 yards and accounted for the Jays’ only offensive touchdown on a 16-yard scamper in the first quarter. He finished 1 of 6 passing for 17 yards.
Guthrie’s win complicates the race for the final playoff spot in District 5A-2. Piedmont now has a one-game lead on Guthrie and Woodward with two weeks to play. The Boomers and Blue Jays play next week while PHS hosts Carl Albert.
Piedmont closes its season by hosting the No. 1 Titans next week then travels to second-ranked Bishop McGuinness in the regular season finale. The Wildcats likely need at least one more win to have a chance to make the playoffs.