Class 3A football: Ethan Roush’s late interception clinches Holland Hall’s second straight title

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EDMOND — Ethan Roush read the play perfectly.

Lincoln Christian quarterback Max Brown dropped back and threw a pass across the middle to a streaking receiver, but Roush, the Tulsa Holland Hall quarterback and defensive back, stepped in the passing lane. He intercepted the pass in the end zone and quickly took a knee.

"I kept looking at the clock after every single play, and I'm like, 'He's gotta lob one soon,'" Roush said. "I knew it was coming."

Tulsa Lincoln Christian nearly drove the length of the field trying to tie the game late, but Roush’s interception was enough to help Class 3A third-ranked Holland Hall top No. 1 Lincoln Christian 24-16 on Friday at UCO’s Chad Richison Stadium. Roush also had two passing touchdowns and one receiving score to help the Dutch clinch their second straight Class 3A state championship.

"This feels terrific," Holland Hall coach Tag Gross said. "It's a different journey than last year, but it feels great."

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Justice Thompson hoists the trophy as Holland Hall celebrates their win over Lincoln Christian in the Class 3A state title game Friday in Edmond.
Justice Thompson hoists the trophy as Holland Hall celebrates their win over Lincoln Christian in the Class 3A state title game Friday in Edmond.

Holland Hall (13-1 overall) took a 24-10 lead late in the third quarter after Roush found NuNu Campbell, a Tulsa commit at defensive back, on a 16-yard passing touchdown. In the second quarter, it was Campbell throwing a 2-yard passing touchdown to Roush, who was converted to quarterback in Week 9 when regular starter Kordell Gouldsby went out with an wrist injury.

Gross praised Roush before the game, saying his growth at the position has been tremendous. There was plenty of praise after his performance Friday, too.

"He just played terrific," Gross said. "He is a special competitor. He has made plays like that all year for us, especially on defense."

His two older brothers played quarterback at Holland Hall, though Roush jokes he's the best of the trio. He finished with 123 passing yards on 8 of 11 completions and also rushed for 86 yards on 13 carries. Defensively, he recorded 10 tackles.

In the second half, Holland Hall had to adjust when star running back and linebacker Zane Woodham went out with an injury. In the first half, he rushed for 131 yards on 16 carries with seven tackles defensively, but Gross praised Keaton Sterling on defense for stepping into the void.

In the fourth quarter, Lincoln Christian (13-1) went on a 93-yard drive to make it a one-score game after Easton Rogers scored a rushing touchdown from 3 yards out, but Holland Hall's Tre Carter blocked the extra-point attempt.

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The Bulldogs' defense was able to come up with a stop and took over at its 21 with a little more than 2 minutes left. Brown, a Central Michigan commit who finished 5 of 15 passing with 87 yards and 28 carries for 176 yards, drove Lincoln Christian down the field.

On a fourth down from Holland Hall's 45, he tossed an incomplete pass, but a defensive pass interference penalty extended the drive.

One play later, Roush came up with the game-clinching interception.

"These coaches put us in a position to win," Campbell said. "Everybody played their part, and I couldn't be happier."

Cameron Jourdan covers high school sports across the Oklahoma City metro and state. Have a story idea for Cameron? He can be reached at cjourdan@oklahoman.com or on Twitter at @Cam_Jourdan. Support Cameron’s work and that of other Oklahoman journalists by purchasing a digital subscription today at subscribe.oklahoman.com or by using the link at the top of this page.

This article originally appeared on Oklahoman: Oklahoma HS football: Holland Hall tops Lincoln Christian for 3A title

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