Arkansas team tops Owasso in Union Gridiron Classic
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Saturday, August 25, 2012
8/25/12 at 5:17 AM
Recent history gives reason to believe the Owasso Rams will be a better football team in the regular season than they were in Friday's Union Gridiron Classic.
Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber built a 10-point lead in the second quarter and held on to nip the Rams 24-21 in one of four 24-minute mini-games at Union Tuttle Stadium.
"Our goal is to get better in this scrimmage and get our starters healthy to the first game," head coach Bill Patterson said. "Unless there's (an injury) I don't know about, I think we accomplished our goal."
Historically, Patterson has used the game-like conditions to smooth out his team's rough edges, rather than follow a win-at-all-cost scenario.
As evidence that his blueprint is working, the Rams have followed losses in the Gridiron Classic by reaching the 6A semifinals each of the past two years.
Trailing by three points in the final minute Friday, Patterson opted to have the Rams punt the ball away on fourth down.
"I was pretty upset," starting quarterback Jaylen Lowe admitted. "I didn't want to come out because I'm a competitor and I never want to lose a game. But this is a scrimmage and we want to keep our players healthy because the only games that really count are the ones in the regular season."
The Rams open the regular season at home next Friday against powerful Broken Arrow, runner-up to Union for last year's Class 6A title.
Lowe, who takes over as the team's starting quarterback after backing up Kason Key last year, hooked up with Samory Collier on a 68-yard touchdown pass and made an athletic move to avoid a sack and scamper nine yards into the end zone for the final score of the scrimmage.
The Rams' defense showed big-play capability, highlighted by Tanner DiMarco intercepting a pass in the flat and racing 31 yards for a score.
Patterson got to look at an offensive line he calls "a work in progress" after all five starters graduated from last season.
"They did a good job, but we've gotta do a better job of holding up in our pass blocking until Jaylen delivers the ball," Patterson said.
Bentonville (Ark.) 17, Union 15
The story: Dillon Wade drilled a 39-yard field goal with one second left to lift the visitors. Union had taken a 15-14 lead with 1:02 left on Hunter Atyia's conversion pass to Jeffery Mead after his 3-yard touchdown pass to Mead.
Top performers: In Bentonville's winning drive, Reese Dollins had a 20-yard completion to Kaleb Haney and a 21-yarder to Jimmie Jackson. Union running back Justin Silmon had 87 rushing yards and one TD on 15 carries.
Southmoore 34. Bartlesville 14
The Story: Southmoore totaled 353 yards and scored touchdowns on five of six possessions. Jaelon Walker's twisting 30-yard run with 9:35 left in the second quarter put the SaberCats ahead to stay.
Top Performers: Walker had four carries for 55 yards, scored three TDs and had a conversion run. Southmoore quarterback Tre Edwards threw for 122 yards and one TD. Bartlesville's Stephen Cochran had a 13-yard TD pass to Garrett Hilger and finished with 110 passing yards. Calan Carter had 45 rushing yards on eight carries and one TD.
Norman North 17, Muskogee 3
Thee Story: Channing Meyer caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Peyton Gavras and scored on a 2-yard run to cap an 80-yard drive on the final play of the first quarter to lift the Timberwolves.
Top Performers: Gavras completed 7-of-14 passes for 185 yards and one TD. North's Justin Martin recovered a fumble at his own 20.
BENTONVILLE 17, UNION 15
U: Silmon 6 run (Butler kick)
B: Smith 6 run (Wade kick)
B: Smith 1 run (Wade kick)
U: Mead 3 pass from Atyia (Mead pass from Atyia)
B: FG, Wade 39
SOUTHMOORE 34, BARTLESVILLE 14
S: Walker 2 run (Clark kick)
B: Crowder 10 run (Jacobs kick)
S: Walker 1 run (kick failed)
B: Hilger 13 pass from Cochran (Jacobs kick)
S: Walker 30 run (pass failed)
S: Martin 53 pass from Edwards (Walker run)
S: Garza 2 fumble run (Clark kick)
NORMAN NORTH 17, MUSKOGEE 3
N: Meyer 53 pass from Gavras (Jones kick)
N: Meyer 2 run (Jones kick)
N: FG, Jones 27
M: FG, Soper 22
SPRINGDALE HAR-BER 24, OWASSO 21
H: FG, O'Brien 40
O: Collier 68 pass from Lowe (Sailing kick)
H: Byrne 5 pass from Phillips (O'Brien kick)
H: Matthew 24 run (O'Brien kick)
O: DiMarco 31 interception return (Sailing kick)
H: Lee 46 run (O'Brien kick)
O: Lowe 9 run (Sailing kick)
Original Print Headline: Owasso takes it easy in loss at Union Classic