Barry Lewis: Collinsville's win over Coweta emotional, confidence-building
BY BARRY LEWIS World Sports Writer
Sunday, October 14, 2012
10/14/12 at 6:51 AM
Go to Barry Lewis' BlogOriginal Print Headline: Emotional win for Collinsville
Collinsville's biggest victory in its three seasons as a Class 5A football team came at the end of its toughest week emotionally since Kevin Jones became head coach in 2010.
A 28-21 win at sixth-ranked Coweta on Friday gives Collinsville (6-1, 3-1) a shot at the District 5A-4 title.
"There's no question this was a program win," Jones said on Saturday. "This is huge for us and will help our confidence."
It also was a big emotional lift for the Cardinals, who were informed about assistant coach Brian Phillips' death after a win over Grove on Oct. 5. Phillips, 28, died from complications from Cystic Fibrosis. He was in his third year as an assistant and was the Cardinals' technological coordinator this season.
"He was a big part of our staff," Jones said. "This was a rough week for all of us."
Services for Phillips were held last Thursday at Owasso Life Church.
"During the week, we had one of our worst practices of the year and also one of our best practices of the year," Jones said.
The Cardinals remembered Phillips as they played at Coweta.
"They played with heavy hearts and played their hearts out," Jones said. "It was very emotional."
Collinsville led 21-14 at halftime and came up with two turnovers in the last two minutes to preserve the victory. Ryan Haymaker's fumble recovery at midfield stopped one possession, and Carter Rasmussen had an interception on the final play.
Rasmussen, a senior linebacker, had 11 tackles, including five sacks.
"He had an incredible game," Jones said. "I don't remember any of our players with five sacks in a game."
The Cardinals showed their potential as they had a quick start offensively, led by quarterback Zane McElroy, who had 307 total yards and accounted for three touchdowns.
"Zane is the heart of our offense," Jones said. "Our offense doesn't go without him.
"We talked to our team about the importance of playing four quarters. We haven't always done that. To beat a good team like Coweta you have to play four quarters."
Collinsville also received a big effort from receiver T.J. Johnson, who had six catches for 118 yards and two TDs.
"He made some phenomenal catches," Jones said.
Collinsville's win sets up a showdown Thursday for the 5A-4 lead as the Cardinals visit second-ranked East Central.
"Our kids are aware that East Central is a good football team, and playing East Central will keep our kids focused," Jones said. "We'll be ready."
The 5A-4 race is one of the state's most interesting. Part of that was due to a win that East Central forfeited to Central. With three games remaining, there is a three-way tie for first as Collinsville, Claremore and East Central are 3-1, followed by Coweta, Pryor and Central at 2-2. The top four teams qualify for the playoffs, and the top two host first-round games.
Photo Day nears: The World's Winter Sports Photo Day is scheduled for 4:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 23, at Union High School's UMAC Redskin Room. Coaches from basketball, wrestling, swimming and other winter sports are asked to bring five to six athletes.