TULSA, Okla. –
In a football game which has become nationally known for its wild finishes, spectacular plays and wild celebrations at the finish, Union's (Tulsa)
41-19 thrashing of Jenks (Okla.)
Friday night at Tulsa University's Chapman Stadium was rather pedestrian.
The Redskins, who scored 50 on Jenks by using the big play in last year's Class 6A state finals, found that formula successful again before a crowd of 17,374. They won for the second time in two games this season, while the Trojans fell to 1-1.
Union used monumental play - a 100-yard interception return by Kyle Crutchmer
- and three short rushing touchdowns from Kendall Holmes
to roll to the decisive victory.
"We expected to play well," Redskins coach Kirk Fridrich said. "We wanted to improve from game one to game two, and I think we did that."
Last week Union blanked Louisiana powerhouse Evangel Christian of
Shreveport, 21-0, scoring twice in the final minutes. Friday night, Union got off to a quicker start against Jenks, which had won this
Backyard Bowl the past two Septembers.
"We were more worried about what
the Union Redskins did than what the Jenks Trojans did," Fridrich
said. "We hadn't won this game the past couple of years, so I was
really happy for our seniors."
actually outgained Union on the ground, 225-104, but the Redskins held a 220-108 edge through the air.
Total plays Friday were nearly even (56-53 for Jenks), as was
time of possession (24:37-23:23, again for Jenks).
But the big plays
made the difference, especially the pick-six by Crutchmer.
with a dozen tackles, while linebacker Blace Walser
had a staggering 18. Jenks was without
junior cornerback Braden Calip, who missed the game with an ankle
injury. He's regarded one of the state's best. Cameron Tolbert topped
Jenks with 12 stops.
After Union used two workman-like drives to open up a 13-0 lead on their first two possessions, Jenks struck back in lightning fashion to forge a deadlock just 43 seconds into the second quarter.
The first came when heralded running back Alex Ross
found a hole up the middle and exploded past the defense for an 85-yard dash on the first play after a Union kickoff.
Then after Union coughed up the ball on the ensuing kickoff, and Trojan turnover specialist
fell on it at the Union 20. Trey'Vonne Barr'e
scooted to the two on second down, then tied the game with a run up the middle from the 1. The PAT was blocked, leaving it at 13-13.
A blocked punt set up Union for an easy 10-yard "drive" that ended with quarterback Hunter Atyia
squirming in from a yard out on fourth down at 5:52 from intermission, with Atyia adding the second of his five extra point kicks.
The Trojans had a golden opportunity for another tie just before intermission, driving from their own 28 to the Union 3 with just under two minutes left. But a Kyle Alexander
pass was picked off in the end zone and returned 100 yards by Crutchmer
for what proved to be the key play of the game.
Crutchmer, ranked No. 3 in the nation among 171-pound wrestlers, had a huge game on defense, time after time bringing down Ross and Barr'e for short gains or losses. Walser
at linebacker had another big night on defense.
At the half, Jenks actually held a 32-30 edge in plays, but penalties, dropped passes, the blocked kicks and mental miscues left the Trojans trailing, 27-13.
A fumbled punt return added to the Jenks woes early in the third, and Atyia followed his own 20-yard keeper with a 44-yard pitch to Taylor Foote
, who made a fine leaping catch, stepped over the last defender and walked into the end zone with 6:12 to play in the third.
It was 34-13 Union after the PAT by Atyia.
Minutes later, Union started from its 43 and Atyia (12 of 17 for 220 yards) laid a strike in the arms of tight end Matt Hermann
, who was all alone down the left side. He rambled to the 1 before being hauled down, and on the second play Holmes
went over the top for the final Redskin touchdown. Atyia's fifth PAT upped the lead to 41-13.
In a situation which called for the passing game, Jenks could not do the job. Last year it was Sawyer Kollmorgen who threw two second-half TD passes to send the Trojans on their way to a 33-7 win. Friday night the aerial game had a tough time getting off the ground.
Alexander, victimized by dropped passes all night, got a great diving catch from Jordan Smallwood
to set up the Trojans on the 5 with time running out, and found Trey Michalczewski
open over the middle on a slant on fourth-and-goal from the one with 7:17. But the kick failed and the score remained 41-19.
Ross, who has committed to the University of Oklahoma and rushed for 898 yards and 16 TDs in four playoff games last season, finished with 133 yards on 15 carries.
It was his first time in pads for the regular season after being injured on the second play (ankle) of a scrimmage two weeks ago. He did not play in a win over Bixby last week.
Barr'e, who filled in last week with 279 yards and four scores (one on a punt return), added 81 yards in 18 carries against the Redskins. Holmes scored the first two Union TDs from 9 and 2 yards out in the opening period, capping drives of 55 yards on 9 plays and 97 on 8.
He wound up with 50 yards on 16 tries, but had the three scores.
"We made too many mistakes to beat most teams, much less a team as good as Union," said Jenks coach Allan Trimble. "Our turnovers and penalties and coverage problems gave them too many easy points."Union 41, Jenks 19
Union 13 14 14 0 -- 41
Jenks 7 6 0 6 -- 19
U – Kendall Holmes 9 run (kick failed)
U – Kendall Holmes 2 run (Hunter Atyia kick)
J – Alex Ross 85 run (Kevin King kick)
J – Trey'Vonne Barr'e 1 run (kick blocked)
U – Hunter Atyia 1 run (Hunter Atyia kick)
U – Kyle Crutchmer 100 interception return (Atyia kick)
U – Taylor Foote 44 pass from Hunter Atyia (Atyia kick)
U – Kendall Holmes 1 run (Hunter Atyia kick)
J – Trey Michalczewski 1 pass from Kyle Alexander (kick failed)