JENKS — For as long as Mansfield (Texas) Legacy’s football phenom Jalen Catalon was healthy, the Jenks Trojans had a problem.
But when the four-star prospect was slowed by a knee injury late in the first quarter, the Trojans were able to start teeing off.
Ian Corwin threw touchdown passes to Julian Clarke, Braden Phipps and Dylan O’Keefe, and Dreyson Watters had two rushing TDs.
The Trojans broke a halftime tie by driving for three consecutive touchdowns in the third quarter and rolled past Legacy 35-14 in the first Border Brawl game Friday before about 5,000 spectators at Allan Trimble Stadium.
Corwin went 18-for-25 for 317 yards and one interception, much sharper by far over his opening-week performance in a 28-14 win at Bixby.
Clarke caught six passes for 145 yards, including a 56-yard stroke from Corwin when he galloped free behind the Legacy secondary, minus their superstar, Catalon, and went the distance that essentially put the game out of reach.
“Julian had a fantastic spring and summer and hadn’t really shown up like that in our scrimmage or last week,” first-year Jenks coach Keith Riggs said. “What he did tonight was what we saw all summer, and I’m real happy for him.”
Showing more of the toughness that was often missing last year, the fourth-ranked Trojans put together four strong quarters and made their new head coach 2-0.
It was the season opener for Legacy, which went 12-3 and reached the Texas 5A Division II semifinals last year.
Football teams often show marked improvement between their first two games.
“We won’t know for sure until we watch the film, but I thought we definitely played better than last week,” Riggs said. “We still have plenty to work on, but I love our kids’ toughness, especially in the second half when we needed to ground out some yards and eat up some clock.”
“We improved tonight, and we need to improve more next week,” he said.
The fourth-ranked Trojans have archrival Union for the annual Midfirst Bank Backyard Bowl next Friday in the University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Union defeated Mansfield Lake Ridge in one of four other Border Brawl games played Friday in the Tulsa area.
Catalon flashed the speed and elusiveness that make him one of the nation’s premier safety prospects and scored on a 13-yard run that gave Legacy a 14-7 lead in a wild first quarter in which both teams scored two touchdowns.
But he injured his left knee with 2:13 left in the first quarter on a long Trojans pass play and left the game after the first play of the second quarter, helped to the sideline by trainers.
Catalon returned briefly in the third quarter and completed a 26-yard pass to Ife Adeyi, but it was obvious he was moving gingerly. When Jenks raced quickly for the go-ahead score on the first of Watters’ two TD runs from 6 yards, he left the game and watched much of the remainder on crutches.
Catalon told a reporter afterward that he planned to have an MRI on Saturday.
“They’re hoping it’s a hyperextended knee or sprained knee, but I should be good,” he said. “I should be good. I should be back in no time, in the next couple of weeks.”