KEYS-PARK HILL - Keys converted on key fourth downs by using the pass as the Cougars handed the Wyandotte Bears their first defeat of the season, 40-33 here Thursday night.
The Cougars made good on four fourth-down attempts and scored touchdowns on three of those tries to outgun the Bears in the District 2A-8 matchup.
The Cougars move to 4-1 in district play and 5-3 overall, while the Bears fall to 4-1 in 2A-8 and 7-1 overall. Both have already qualified for the postseason, which begins in three weeks.
Wyandotte looked as if it would run its winning streak to 8-0 after a fast start.
Tyler Kauffman recovered a Cougar fumble on the third play of the game, setting the Bears up on the Keys 31. Frankie Lewis found the end zone from 4 yards out on the second play after quarterback Jeff Martin hit Kolton Lucas on a 27 yard gain.
The Bears ran their lead to 13-0 after Kauffman recovered his second fumble on the night this time at the WHS 45. Lewis capped the eight-play drive with a 5-yard burst on the first play of the second quarter.
After Keys scored on a fourth-and-5, 28-yard TD strike, the Bears looked as if they would move back into a two-touchdown lead just before the half. Wyandotte drove the ball from its on 34 and had a second-and-goal at the Keys 8 when a Martin pass was picked off and returned to near midfield.
The Cougars marched down the field and converted a pair of fourth down efforts the second ending in a 12-yard touchdown pass.
So what looked like a 20-7 WHS advantage turned into a 14-13 lead by the Cougars with 2:00 left in the first half.
Wyandotte still had time to get on the scoreboard after the Keys score and looked as if they had scored on a 40-yard pass play on the final play of the half. But a motion penalty nullified the play and the Bears were forced to end the half without scoring.
After the Cougars gained a 21-13 lead with a score at the 9:08 mark of the third, the Bears took advantage of a bad snap on a fourth down play by the Cougars on their following possession. Wyandotte took over the ball at the Keys' 12 yard line after the 25-yard loss.
Lewis bolted the distance on the next snap to pull the Bears to within two points with 4:29 to play in the third.
Keys answered with a six-play drive, covering 71 yards and scoring a TD on a 38-yard pass play.
Tyler Buckallew blocked the extra point try to keep the Bears within 27-19 with 2:53 showing on the third quarter clock.
The Bears marched to the Keys 32 where a fourth and three pass play fell incomplete at the beginning of the final period.
Keys took six plays ending with a 22 yard run for a 34-19 lead on its next possession with 8:49 to play in the game.
Wyandotte showed some character as Martin hit Brandon Raple with a 54-yard TD strike to pull the Bears to within 34-25 with 6:53 to go.
But, the Cougars once again had the answer traveling 45 yards in eight plays culminating in an 11-yard scoring run for a 40-25 lead with 2:44 to go in the game.
Wyandotte mustered one more scoring drive hoping for a miracle finish. The Bears drove the ball 51 yards in 10 plays with Lewis scoring his fourth touchdown on the night from 5 yards out with 27 seconds left. Martin hit Jerry Pettus with a two-point conversion pass to cut the Keys lead to 40-33 looking to get the ball back on a onside kick attempt.
But on the attempt, the Cougars recovered and ended the game with one snap to hand the Bears their first setback of the season.
Lewis carried the offensive load for the Bears rushing for 184 yards on 37 carries and the four touchdowns. Martin threw the football 23 times connecting on 12 for a season best 171 yards allowing the Bears to gain 374 yards of total offense on the night.
Although the Bears run defense did its job holding the Cougars to 78 yards rushing, Keys made up the difference throwing the football for 293 yards.
for a 371 total yardage effort.
Brant Clapp led the Bears on defense with 10 tackles, while Raple collected eight and Buckallew was credited with six.
Wyandotte hosts Tahlequah Sequoyah next Friday for its next gridiron action with a game time slated for 7:30 p.m. at Brewster Field.