Union takes third straight 6A state football title over Jenks
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Saturday, December 04, 2010
5/29/12 at 8:14 AM
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Jenks’ offense gets lift from Ross TDs.
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STILLWATER - Friday night's Class 6A state championship football game had the feeling of a Backyard Bowl, but it was December and not September, and the stakes were much higher.
Union and Jenks have had many wild finishes when they have met in the regular season, but never had the lead been exchanged in the final minute of their eight state championship meetings until Friday.
The Redskins used a trick play to claim their school-record third straight state title victory, all over Jenks. Wide receiver Stephon Weaver's 28-yard touchdown pass to Christian Hood with 39 seconds left rallied the second-ranked Redskins past No. 1 Jenks 50-47 before an estimated 12,000 fans at Boone Pickens Stadium.
"Our kids found a way to come back against a great Jenks team," Union coach Kirk Fridrich said.
Weaver's pass was only his second of the season - his first was incomplete. Hood had seven catches for 199 yards and two TDs.
"There is no better way to leave high school football," said Hood, a senior who also is a starting safety. "It's kind of bittersweet that it's over, but there's no better way to leave."
Union quarterback Kale Pearson accounted for 401 total yards and five TDs. He completed 20-of-25 passes for 315 yards as Union overcame an early 21-3 deficit to win its sixth state title in nine years and seventh overall.
"We've been fighting back all year long," Pearson said. "We knew we had to come back, and we knew that we could do it. So we were ready and we knew what to do."
The Redskins (13-1) avenged their only loss of the season, 33-7, to Jenks in Week 2.
"We shocked a lot of people tonight, but we didn't shock ourselves," Pearson said. "We knew we could do this."
Alex Ross had four TDs, including two in the first two minutes, to lead the Trojans (13-1). Jenks quarterback Sawyer Kollmorgen passed for two TDs and ran for another.
Jenks and Union have combined to win the past 15 state titles and met in the championship game for the fourth consecutive year.
Union rallied from its early 18-point deficit to take a 30-27 lead on Pearson's 1-yard TD sneak with 7:01 left in the third quarter. Three minutes later, Pearson's 6-yard TD pass to Chris Hall made it 37-27. That was set up by kicker/backup QB Hunter Atyia's 10-yard pass to Hood on a fake field goal.
Ross scored on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter to cut the Trojans' deficit to 37-33.
The Redskins boosted their lead to 44-33 on Pearson's third 1-yard TD run, but Jenks answered with Kollmorgen's 2-yard TD scramble that ended with him being flipped - head over heels - into the end zone with five minutes left. The Trojans failed on the two-point conversion to leave the score at 44-39.
Union couldn't move on its next possession and a bad punt snap led to Jenks taking over at the Redskins 12. On the next play, Ross scored around left end. On the two-point conversion, Jenks lineman Alan Ridgway recovered Kollmorgen's fumble in the end zone to give the Trojans a 47-44 lead with 3:19 left.
The Redskins then drove 86 yards for the winning TD with key plays being Pearson sneaking for a first down on fourth-and-1 at the Union 42, followed by Pearson's 30-yard pass to Geb Osifeso.
On the final play, Jenks used Ross out of the Wildcat formation and he was stopped after a 4-yard gain at the Jenks 44, setting off a massive Union celebration.
Poor starts derailed Jenks' last two appearances in the state title game, but that wasn't a problem this time as Ross returned the opening kickoff 86 yards for a TD. Jenks, on its second offensive play, made it 14-0 as Ross raced 69 yards off left tackle for his second TD.
Union answered with Atyia's 36-yard field goal, but Jenks scored again on Kollmorgen's 19-yard TD pass to Jacob Bertelli.
"Our kids don't get flustered," Fridrich said. "They didn't panic. ... I wish I could say we made adjustments, but it's just our kids making plays."
The Redskins responded with Jalen Hearron's 3-yard TD run with 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Two minutes later, Hood caught a 57-yard TD bomb from Pearson to cut the Jenks lead to 21-16. On Jenks' ensuing possession, Kollmorgen tossed a 4-yard TD to Zack Langer after Bertelli's 16-yard reception.
Union then drove 71 yards in eight plays, capped by Pearson's 1-yard TD sneak with 1:10 left in the half. A key moment on the drive was Union calling a timeout at its 38 to rethink punting on fourth-and-1. The gamble paid off as Hearron gained 2 and then Pearson passed 34 yards to a diving Hood at the Jenks 26.
The Trojans were content to run out the half's final minute and take a 27-23 lead, but not the momentum, into intermission.
"I'm speechless right now," Pearson said moments after the game. "... We fought and nobody gave us credit all year. It was awesome to be able to do this."
Union 50, Jenks 47
Jenks 21 6 6 14 - 47
Union 9 14 14 13 - 50
J: Ross 86 kickoff return (King kick)
J: Ross 69 run (King kick)
U: FG Atyia 36
J: J.Bertelli 19 pass from Kollmorgen (King kick)
U: Hearron 3 run (kick failed)
U: Hood 57 pass from Pearson (Votruba kick)
J: Langer 4 pass from Kollmorgen (pass failed)
U: Pearson 1 run (Votruba kick)
U: Pearson 1 run (Votruba kick)
U: Hall 6 pass from Pearson (Votruba kick)
J: Ross 4 run (kick failed)
U: Pearson 1 run (Votruba kick)
J: Kollmorgen 2 run (run failed)
J: Ross 12 run (Ridgway fumble recovery in end zone)
U: Hood 28 pass from Weaver (kick blocked)
Rushing: Jenks - Ross 17-110, Kollmorgen 7-16, Langer 5-10, Union - Pearson 18-86, Hearron 17-70, Holmes 3-19, Votruba 1-minus 14.
Passing: Jenks - Kollmorgen 12-19-0, 153 yards; Union - Pearson 20-25-0, 315 yards; Weaver 1-1-0, 28 yards; Atyia 1-1-0, 10 yards.
Receiving: Jenks - J.Bertelli 5-67, Kitchens 3-53, Prince 2-26, Green 1-4, Langer 1-3. Union - Hood 6-199, Hearron 8-76, Hall 3-30, Osifeso 1-30, Carradini 1-22, Weaver 3-minus-4.
World sports writers Eric Bailey and Kelly Hines contributed to this story.
Union LB injured in second half
Union linebacker David Todd
was injured on a third-down
collision near the end of the third
quarter in Friday’s Class 6A state
championship game against
Todd lay on the field for
about 10 minutes as attendants
brought down a stretcher from
the bleachers. Some of his teammates
knelt on the turf in prayer.
Todd, a 5-foot-8, 175-pound
sophomore, left the field on
a stretcher with his neck in a
brace. He raised three fingers
in the air — hoping for Union’s
third consecutive state title — as
he exited the stadium. The specific
nature of Todd’s injury was
unknown late Friday night.
“So far, I’ve heard he’s moving
arms and legs and doing well,”
Union coach Kirk Fridrich said
after his team’s state-title win. “I
don’t know everything, but they
said everything looks positive
— BY MATT BAKER AND ERIC BAILEY, World Sports Writers
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Original Print Headline: Three in a row
Barry Lewis 581-8393
Union players lift the trophy after winning the Class 6A state championship over Jenks on Friday night in Stillwater. JOEY JOHNSON/For the Tulsa World