MCLOUD – Colton Kinnamon rushed for 48 yards in eight attempts and the Redskins defense stopped a 2-point conversion by Harrah to win their season opener at home Friday 20-18 in overtime.
Kinnamon drove 10 yards on two runs for McLoud's overtime touchdown and kept his legs pumping for a 2-point conversion to go up 20-12 before Harrah got their shot.
“It felt amazing. I haven't run the ball since I was in seventh grade,” Kinnamon said. “So to come out here and get that. That was awesome for me. That felt great. That felt really good.”
After a falst start to begin their drive, Harrah put on two runs for the touchdown. Knowing they needed to get the stop to win, the McLoud defense stopped a conversion run three yards shy of the endzone, sending the crowd into a frenzy.
For Kinnamon, scoring the game-winning conversion against his rival team on the opening game of the season was an exciting way to start his senior year.
“This is the first time I've ever actually played and beat Harrah in my high school career, and I'm a senior this year. So that was awesome. It was a feeling I hadn't gotten to experience yet,” he said.
Coach Rusty Hall knew the team was in for a battle to start their season. Playing your rival always puts more on the line, but beating them adds something new entirely. He knew they could get the win and his boys proved him right.
“Any time you beat your rival, that's exciting. We knew it was going to be tough,” Hall said. “I told the guys, 'I honestly think we are the better team but you know what? It's a rivalry. Harrah will never quit, we'll never quit. I mean, it's going to be one of those games.' I knew it was going to be a battle, and it was to the end.”
The Redskins had a shot to close things out before going into overtime, but at fourth and one from the Harrah 28 they fumbled on a bad snap and Harrah recovered the ball with two seconds left on the game clock. With a timeout left and the ability to get within field goal distance, the outcome wasn't what Hall was looking for.
“We were going to get that first down real quick, call a timeout with about four second left, try to kick a field goal,” he said.
From the McLoud 41, the Panthers were called for a delay of game and rushed the ball to expire the time safely.
Trailing 12-6 with 3:37 left in the game, Kinnamon tied up with a 5-yard touchdown run. A bad snap on the PAT, McLoud's second in two attempts, kept the Redskins from getting ahead. The bad snaps throughout the game were the reason Hall decided to go for the conversion in overtime.
“We went for two just because our snaps have been so bad, so I said 'We're going for it, we're going for the win.' ”
Lead rusher Damien Dye set up McLoud for their first touchdown of the game in the second play of the second quarter. Dye ran 53 yards down the field to get the Redskins to the 2-yard-line and quarterback Trayce Abbott put a keeper in to tie Harrah at 6-6.
Harrah got out ahead first with a 7 minute, 44 second possession to start the game, capped off on a 6-yard touchdown pass.
Dye put on 151 yards in 15 attempts to win the running game including the 53-yarder to set up McLoud's first touchdown and a 41-yard run early in the second half. Kinnamon added 18 yards on one rush in the first half.
Abbott had a rough night from the pocket, going 3-for-10 for 24 yards and getting sacked twice. His longest reception of the game was an 11-yarder to Dye.
Hall's defense came up with big stops throughout the game. He knew they could do it again in overtime, reminding his guys that if they stop the conversion they would beat their rivals. They had put in the time in the weight room and it was time to show how strong they were, Hall said.
The Redskins (1-0) will play Oklahoma Centennial next week in a road stand as they attempt to move to 2-0 to start the season.