Bethany defeats Weatherford in first round of Class 4A playoffs
BETHANY — Weatherford and Bethany keep meeting in what has become an unlikely recurring matchup in the Class 4A playoffs first round.
And unfortunately for Weatherford coach Reagan Roof, his former quarterback Friday kept him winless in the series.
Sam Brandt controlled both sides of the ball in the third consecutive playoff meeting between the two schools as Bethany defeated Weatherford 38-13 at Southern Nazarene University on Friday.
Brandt finished with five total touchdowns and, from his safety position, two second-half interceptions that killed any opportunity Weatherford had to regain momentum in what was a one-score game at halftime.
Friday potentially concludes a triad of playoff games between the two schools. Bethany won at Weatherford 35-21 in 2017, and Weatherford defeated Bethany 35-0 in 2016.
Roof coached Brandt and his senior teammates as Bethany’s coach in 2016 before he was hired as Weatherford’s coach in 2017, adding to the backdrop of the rivalry.
“It’s tough playing against him because I still love him, and I know he still cares for me,” Brandt said. “He’s a great guy all-around. It’s tough to play him, but also nice to get a W against him as well.”
Brandt opened scoring with a 2-yard run on Bethany’s second possession. Weatherford answered immediately with the highlight of the night. Ethan Downs, a converted defensive lineman into a wildcat-formation quarterback, rumbled 63 yards in Marshawn Lynch-esque style as he ran over four Bethany defenders and then broke the tackles of two more as he ran down the far sideline.
Momentum swung in Bethany’s favor immediately before halftime. Facing third-and-goal with less than 10 seconds remaining in the half, Brandt threw to an open Jordan Flinton for a 9-yard score. The touchdown, which gave Bethany a 13-7 lead, occurred a play after a Bethany receiver dropped a screen pass that would have been tackled in bounds and ended the half with the clock running.
Brandt, who threw for 179 yards, made the game-defining pass early in the fourth quarter. Leading 19-13 and facing fourth-and-6 from the Weatherford 31, Brandt ran play action, bought time in the pocket and threw a soft lob pass over the middle to running back Jacob Kyle, who ran untouched for the touchdown.
“I was reading the safety and waiting to see what he would do,” Brandt said. “He tried to slow play me a bit, but I was able to drop it off to Jacob and make a play.”
Brandt, back on defense, then intercepted Weatherford quarterback Jaxon Ratterree on the next play from scrimmage.
The win was Bethany’s first home playoff win since 2010. It will play Wagoner in next Friday’s quarterfinal.
Bethany’s Sam Brandt leaps past Weatherford’s Carson Young to score a touchdown during Friday’s Class 4A football playoff game between Bethany and Weatherford in Bethany. Bethany won, 38-13. [PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OKLAHOMAN]