WEATHERFORD, OKLA.- The East Central University football team fell to Southwestern Oklahoma State in a high-scoring back-and-forth battle in Great American Conference action at Milam Stadium.
The Tigers (1-4, 1-4 GAC) saw a career performance from freshman Ontario Douglas. Douglas finished the game with 280 all-purpose yards, 206 rushing and 74 receiving, and four touchdowns.
Junior Noah Holle went 14-of-28 passing for 202 yards and four TDs, while also adding 21 yards rushing.
On the defensive side juniors Justin Hayden and Corey Williams led the team with 10 total tackles, while Hayden added 3.0 TFL for 10 yards and a sack for four yards.
While the Tigers earned a 217 to 164 advantage in rushing yards, the Bulldogs (2-3, 2-3 GAC) claimed a larger advantage in the air (314-202), for a 478 to 419 lead in total yards.
ECU started the scoring on their opening drive of the game, hitting a 24-yard field goal by junior Wyatt Austin. The field goal capped off a 12-play; 53-yard drive and took 6:31 to complete.
Before the end of the first quarter, the Tigers extended the lead to 10-0 when freshman Tony Garland returned a blocked punt 25-yards for a touchdown, with 2:04 remaining.
The Bulldogs wasted no time in responding, as they returned the ensuing kickoff 99-yards for a 10-7 lead for ECU, with 1:50 left in the first.
The second quarter saw the teams trade touchdowns to end the first half with a 17-14 Tiger lead. ECU struck first, when Douglas finished a 10-play; 47-yard drive by rushing in for a one-yard TD.
It took most of the remaining time in the first half for SWOSU to score, but with 1:02 left to play they used a 14-play; 83-yard drive to score and cut the lead to three (17-14).
Both teams had a failed drive attempt in the third quarter, but the Bulldogs converted on their second try to take the first lead of the game (21-17), with 6:32 left.
Less than a minute later, the Tigers regained the advantage (23-21) when Douglas rushed in 26-yards for his second TD of the game, with 5:50 left in the third quarter.
SWOSU regained the lead with 3:02 left in the quarter, finishing a quick drive with a touchdown.
But again ECU responded quickly, when Douglas nabbed his third touchdown of the game, with 2:05 left. This time it was an 83-yard rush, pushing his daily total over 200 yards for the day and giving the Tigers a 30-27 advantage.
Right after the fourth quarter started, the Bulldogs pushed the score back in their favor, with a 23-yard receiving touchdown (14:07), 34-30.
Douglas added his fourth TD of the game, with 6:54 left to play, on a 25-yard rush to give ECU the 37-34 lead.
However, just over a minute later the toggling scoreboard went in favor of SWOSU again, on another passing touchdown for the 41-37 lead. The Bulldogs added to their lead, with 1:43 left in the game, with another TD for the 48-37 final.
The next opportunity to see the Tigers in action will be at Koi Ishto Stadium Oct. 7 at 2 p.m. against Northwestern Oklahoma State for the annual Pink Out! The game is sponsored by Mercy Ada to promote breast cancer awareness and will be part of a Pint Out! Day, with volleyball playing at 10 a.m. at the Kerr Activities Center for a Pink Out! Against Harding.