BIXBY — Rejoice Christian’s Andrew Crow and Collinsville’s Jake Tuttle started their Oklahoma high school careers as teammates and ended it together as running backs on the same side Friday night after spending two years apart.
Crow and Tuttle scored the East’s touchdowns in a 58-17 loss to the West in the 82nd annual All-State Game at Spartan Stadium.
“Andrew’s my boy,” Tuttle said. “We’ve been rooming together all week and we’re good friends. It was fun to play with him again.”
Tuttle’s 2-yard TD run gave the East a 14-7 lead before the West answered with the next 35 points.
“It was a fun game, although as a competitor I wasn’t happy about losing, but it was a fun experience,” Tuttle said.
Tuttle moved from Rejoice Christian to Collinsville before his junior year. In 2018, he rushed for 1,337 yards and 22 TDs to help the Cardinals go 12-1 and reach the Class 5A semifinals. Before he launches his college career, he will spend the next year at Choate Rosemary Hall, a college preparatory school in Wallingford, Connecticut. Choate enters 2019 with a 49-game winning streak.
“I had seven D-I offers, but most of them happened pretty late and I didn’t want to rush into a decision,” Tuttle said. “It also will give me an extra year to get bigger, stronger and faster. Their coach reached out to me on Twitter. They are a football powerhouse. I’ve visited there a few times and fell in love with their culture there.”
Crow rushed for 2,625 yards last year and scored 46 TDs to help Rejoice post a 13-1 record and reach the Class A semifinals. He opened the scoring Friday with a 2-yard run.
“That was fun, I thought we had it rolling, scoring on our second offensive play, but it didn’t turn out that way,” Crow said. “The West had a good group.”
Crow will be a preferred walk-on at the University of Oklahoma, where he will join two Sooners, Victory Christian’s Jon-Michael Terry and Rejoice’s Bryan Mead, who played in high school for Rejoice coach Brent Marley.
“I grew up as a big OU fan, so once I had a chance to continue my career at such a prestigious university, I thought I’ve got to get all over this,” Crow said. “They (Terry and Mead) are players I can look up to. I’m excited to get there and compete and contribute any way I can.”
Perhaps Crow will play in the Bedlam Series against the East’s starting quarterback, Union’s Peyton Thompson, who is headed to Oklahoma State as a preferred walk-on.
Thompson remembers watching the state’s career passing leader, Mason Fine, playing in the 2016 All-State Game before launching his career at North Texas. Some wondered then why Fine would risk injury by playing in the game and some may have questioned why Thompson did it on Friday night with his college career starting in only a few weeks.
“It’s an honor,” Thompson said. “For a while I didn’t know if I was going to be playing in it or not, but I prayed about it. Football only lasts so long and you only get so many chances to play.
“I’ve met a lot of new guys and it’s been a lot of fun to be out here — guys I’ve never played with before but I’ve heard a lot about. Being with guys from different classes, the best in their class, to get to know them. It’s a celebration of your senior year and it’s been a lot of fun.”
In two years at Union, Thompson passed for 4,770 yards and 59 touchdowns as he led the Redskins to berths in the Class 6AI state final in 2017 and semifinals last year. Thompson is eager to get started at OSU. He is due to report in mid-August.
“I’m trying to get stronger and faster,” Thompson said. “I’m ready to go down to Stillwater and get ready to roll.
”I went to a lot of the spring practices trying to get to know the guys. I’ve been keeping in communication with them trying to learn as much as I can. I took a lot of college classes at Union and I’m just ready to go.”