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| Ben Johnson
The high school football coaching carousel was in full motion Monday night. School board meetings were held at McAlester, Harrah and Okmulgee -- with all three locations listing “head football coach” as a position that would be filled.
Speer to Harrah
Kenny Speer was named the new head coach at Harrah, taking over for Phil Webb who had led Harrah since 2013.
In 2018, Speer wrapped up his sixth season as head coach at Antlers. Speer guided the Bearcats to a 43-26 record, including a 9-3 showing in 2018 and a trip to the second round of the playoffs.
Mazey to McAlester
When Forrest Mazey took over at Poteau, he continued the success that Greg Werner had established. But in 2019, Mazey will be coaching at McAlester, after the school board approved the move.
From 2015 to 2017, Mazey went 25-10 and then in 2018 he guided a Pirates team that was ranked No. 1 in 4A throughout most the season. The Pirates finished with the 2018 campaign 12-1 with a semifinal loss to Tuttle, the eventual state champion.
Attempts to reach Mazey for confirmation have been unsuccessful.
Mazey takes over for James Singleton, who resigned in early December. Singleton went 26-18 in four seasons at the helm for the Buffaloes.
Scott in line for Okmulgee top job
After Brent Scott’s tumultuous ending as Tahlequah Sequoyah’s head coach, he was unable to coach for a short period of time. But when the Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association reinstated him, it was Okmulgee where Scott got his coaching feet underneath him again.
From there, he went to Kellyville and helped the Ponies return to the playoffs after a brief two-year tenure, including the 2018 season where they went 8-4 and advanced to the second round of the 2A playoffs.
Now Scott is primed to return to Okmulgee as the head coach, according to a source that indicated Scott was meeting with school officials prior to Monday night’s board meeting.
Scott went 12-10 in his two years at Kellvyville.
Bruce Munden led Okmulgee in 2018, when the Bulldogs went 1-9. Munden had taken over after former Okmulgee coach Carl Lee died in 2018, due to complications from kidney cancer.
| Ben Johnson
Putting together an All-State team sounds like fun and games, but when you start narrowing down the field, you hate yourself for leaving off a player here or a player there. Trust me when I say it was not pleasant leaving off guys like Lincoln Christian’s Chase Ricke, Metro Christian’s Asher Link or Fairview’s Kade Dillard on the small school All-State list.
For the small school team, it consists of players in Class 3A through Class C. Each class also had a designated Player of the Year, Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP.
The teams were chosen by those who covered high school football for Skordle all year long: Michael Swisher, Whitt Carter and myself (Ben Johnson).
And ps, there’s some hope in doing a podcast here before too long to discuss the thought process and how we ended up picking the teams. As for now, check out this year’s small school selections…
Player of the Year: CONNER CAREY (Heritage Hall) - A receiver by trade throughout most of his varsity career, Carey was called upon to switch to running back for his senior season. And he passed the test with flying colors. At 5 feet, 11 inches and 195 pounds, Carey rushed for 1,844 yards and 32 touchdowns on 204 carries. While leading the Chargers to another championship, Carey accounted for 163 yards on the ground and five touchdowns (four rushing, one receiving). On offense, Carey finished with 2,002 yards rushing and 1,315 yards receiving and 48 combined touchdowns. Carey was also a key contributor on defense during his senior season with 57 tackles, two sacks and two interceptions.
Heritage Hall coach Brett Bogert: “Conner had one of the best individual all-around seasons by a Charger since I’ve been coaching here. He broke (Wes) Welker’s single-season touchdown record! It was awesome to watch him grow as a player and leader while excelling on the big stage this season. We will miss him.”
Offensive MVP: JETT STERNBERGER (Kingfisher) - Despite missing two games, the Yellowjackets quarterback propelled Kingfisher all the way to the 3A semifinals. Sternberger, little brother of Texas A&M star Jace Sternberger, crushed opponents on the ground and through the air during his senior campaign. He completed 180 of 270 passes for 2,411 yards and 33 touchdowns and only five interceptions. He also ran for 481 yards and 13 touchdowns on 127 carries.
Kingfisher coach Jeff Myers: “Jett has been a tremendous asset to us the last two years. His ability to run our offense has been a big reason for our success. Add in the injuries and changes we’ve endured at running back and offensive line, and his performances are even more impressive. We will certainly miss his presence as a player and a leader next year.”
Defensive MVP: TREY KISER (Sulphur) - One of the state’s best two-way players in 2018, Kiser was a standout at 6 feet, 200 pounds. On defense, Kiser racked up 131 tackles and eight sacks for a Sulphur defense that yielded only 16.9 points per game. Kiser was also one of the state’s best ball carriers with 2,572 yards and 39 touchdowns on 293 carries. He even set a new Sulphur record with 403 yards on just 15 carries in the Bulldogs’ win over rival Davis on Sept. 7.
Sulphur coach Jim Dixon: “He’s the best player I’ve ever coached. He’s truly as good as anyone I’ve ever coached. I’m really proud of the way he worked every year and his effort each day. And he was very, very blessed with a lot of ability. He’s a great kid and was a heck of a player.”
Player of the Year: BEAU TEEL (Sperry) - A two-year standout for the Pirates, Teel guided Sperry to its first-ever OSSAA championship without a blowout victory over Beggs. Along the way, the senior quarterback passed for 2,305 yards and 23 touchdowns while completing 133 of 233 passes. At 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, Teel accounted for 31 tackles, two sacks and an interception at linebacker. He polished off his career with 10,046 total yards through the air (7,635) and on the ground (2,411).
Sperry coach Robert Park: “State champion quarterback for the Sperry Pirates. Nobody else can say that.”
Offensive MVP: RYAN JOHNSON (Metro Christian) - Was the closest thing to a 1,000-yard rusher and 1,000-yard receiver in Oklahoma during the 2018 season, right alongside Heritage Hall’s Billy Ross Jr. Johnson was a nightmare for opposing defenses with 2,036 yards and 28 touchdowns on 184 carries. He also hauled in 47 passes from quarterback Asher Link for 609 yards and five touchdowns. And just for the heck of it, he completed 4 of 5 passes for 70 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson helped spark the Patriots to a 2A semifinal run, which ended with a loss to eventual runner-up Beggs.
Metro Christian coach Jared McCoy: “He’s a great player. His best games were against our best competition and he did whatever he had to do to help us win. He averaged over 100 yard rushing and 100 yards receiving in our four playoff games. His kind of stats are really difficult to attain while operating in a pass-first offense where our quarterback also led 11-man football in passing yards. Ryan also had two late interceptions against Broken Bow to help us win that game and a couple of key tackles on defense in the playoffs that helped us beat Jones and Washington. I’m most proud of the type of young man Ryan is. He’s a 4.0 student that’s loved by his teachers, coaches and fellow students. He’s extremely gifted, yet very grounded and humble for the way God has gifted him.”
Defensive MVP: RIVER SIMON (Vian) - Perhaps the hardest postseason superlative to hand out goes to a soon-to-be West Point cadet. The Army signee is another in a long line of Simon standouts at Vian. The 6-foot, 215-pound middle linebacker guided the Wolverines to the 2A quarterfinals, thanks to 128 tackles and eight sacks to cap off his senior season. “He was really, really good,” an opposing 2A coach said. “A great linebacker and one of the best tacklers I have seen.” On offense, he rushed for 466 yards and scored 11 touchdowns, and he even graded at 92 percent while blocking at tight end.
Vian coach Gary Willis: “Toughest- and hardest-working player that I’ve ever coached. He’s played through a lot of pain throughout his high school career.”
Player of the Year: ZACH HALE (Christian Heritage) - The Crusaders had themselves a solid regular season, and they capped it off with a win over Crescent to steal the No. 4 spot in District A-3. That’s when the real fun started for Christian Heritage. While captivating the state as postseason darlings, the Crusaders knocked off Ringling, Thomas, Stroud and Rejoice Christian on their way finishing as Class A runners-up to Tonkawa. And leading the charge was Hale, a two-way standout at quarterback and free safety. Hale finished the season with 2,638 yards and 33 touchdowns while completing 193 of 309 passes, and he also ran for 867 yards and 11 touchdowns. On defense, he amassed 202 tackles, including 73 in the playoffs. Hale also finished his senior season with one sack and eight interceptions.
Offensive MVP: JACOB BRUCE (Hulbert) - When you finish as the state’s leading rusher for a season, you’re probably due for some accolades. When you re-write the state’s record book for rushing yards, you’re guaranteed some postseason shine. And that’s what Bruce did in 2018, finishing his senior season with 3,268 yards and 41 touchdowns on 306 carries. He capped his career with 8,586 yards, which is 143 more than the previous record holder, Luther’s Larry Dupree (8,443). Bruce also scored on two kickoff returns this season while averaging 28.6 yards per return. For good measure, he added 57 tackles and five interceptions on defense.
Defensive MVP: SIMEON SHEPARD (Tonkawa) - In a district full of offensive stalwarts, Tonkawa used defense to win the District A-5 crown -- and eventually the Class A championship. The Buccaneers gave up more than 20 points only twice, and neither one of the occurrences surfaced in the postseason. And all the while, Shepard was leading the way as the Bucs’ leading tackler, alongside fellow defensive star Braydon Hampton. Shepard’s impressive senior season included 176 tackles, 27 sacks/tackles for loss, four interceptions, including to returns for touchdowns (69 and 48 yards).
Player of the Year: GATLIN GOODSON (Shattuck) - Leading the Indians to their second consecutive title -- and third in four years -- was Goodson, who did it all for Shattuck. The senior quarterback rushed for 1,760 yards and 31 touchdowns on 124 carries. He passed on occasion and finished with 441 yards and nine touchdowns while completing 21 of 37 attempts. At free safety, he recorded 72 tackles and three interceptions.
Offensive MVP: BRADEN GILBERT (Regent Prep) - Only two other passers in the history of Oklahoma high school football have had better seasons, yardage-wise, than what Gilbert put forth for the Rams. Gilbert passed for 4,065 yards and 63 touchdowns this season, and settled just behind Locust Grove’s Mason Fine (5,006 in 2014 and 4,227 in 2015) and Norman North’s Brandon Marquardt (4,609 in 2016). Gilbert’s 63 touchdowns were third-best in a single season, and he completed 195 of 328 passes along the way. The junior quarterback also rushed 105 times for 555 yards and 14 touchdowns while leading the Rams to the Class B title game.
Defensive MVP: JAXSON WALKER (Davenport) - The junior middle linebacker made sure life was miserable for opposing offenses throughout the 2018 season. The Bulldogs gave up only 11.5 points per game prior to losing to Shattuck in the Class B semifinals, and leading the way was Walker with 98 tackles, one sack and two interceptions.
Player of the Year: SEMAJ MCBRIDE (Tipton) - The Tigers’ dynamic ball carrier finished off his varsity career by guiding Tipton to its third consecutive championship. And to help secure the Tigers’ seventh title, McBride took over in the second half of the championship game with 154 rushing yards and two touchdowns while adding in 43 receiving yards and a TD catch. He logged 128 carries for 1,654 yards during his senior campaign, and he hauled in 18 catches for 611 yards. He scored 26 total touchdowns. On defense, he collected 46 tackles, four interceptions and three fumble recoveries.
Offensive MVP: BEN WEBB (Southwest Covenant) - Junior quarterback was instrumental in getting the Patriots to the Class C title game. Capped his year off by completing 109 of 177 passes for 2,130 yards and 40 touchdowns, and he also ran for 374 yards and nine touchdowns on 63 carries.
Defensive MVP: BRYCE WAUGH (Tipton) - Senior defensive end led the Tigers’ defense throughout the season, including five shutout victories throughout the regular season. Waugh was instrumental for the Tigers while coming up with 73 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions.
SMALL SCHOOL ALL-STATE TEAM
Coach of the Year: ROBERT PARK (Sperry) - He’s spent two decades at Sperry, and in his 20th season Park claimed his first championship with the Pirates. In fact, it was Sperry’s first OSSAA championship with a 35-14 victory over Beggs in the 2A title game. Not bad for a coach of a program who most figured to have no shot at winning the gold ball. That’s because Millwood was the clear frontrunner by most who follow 2A football, but that was all derailed by Vian in the second round. The Pirates may have lost the District 2A-3 crown to Beggs with a Week 10 loss, but the Pirates rebounded and outscored opponents 252 to 55 in the playoffs, including a 56-8 thrashing of Adair to reach the state finals.
QB: Braden Gilbert (Regent Prep) - Junior quarterback logged the fourth-best season in Oklahoma history, yardage-wise. Threw for 4,065 yards and 63 touchdowns, which is the third-best among single season TD records in the Sooner State.
RB: Andrew Crow (Rejoice Christian) - Senior tailback rushed for 2,554 yards and 43 touchdowns and even had 10 catches for 192 yards and a score.
RB: Jacob Bruce (Hulbert) - Became the state’s all-time leading rusher by churning out 3,268 yards and 44 touchdowns during his senior season. Finished his career with 8,586 yards on the ground.
RB/WR: Ryan Johnson (Metro Christian) - One of the state’s best rushing-receiving players with 2,036 yards and 28 touchdowns on the ground and 47 receptions for 609 yards and five touchdowns through the air during his senior season.
WR: Jack Wright (Regent Prep) - Led the state in receiving as Gilbert’s top target. Junior wideout hauled in 81 catches for 1,840 yards and 34 touchdowns.
WR: Sam Brueggeman (Lincoln Christian) - Was quarterback Chase Ricke’s favorite target in the passing game, and Brueggeman finished with 67 receptions, 1,487 yards and 17 touchdowns during his junior season.
OL: Melvin Swindle (Heritage Hall) - Sophomore offensive lineman paved the way for the Chargers offense, which averaged 39.5 points per game, including 69 and 50 in the 3A semifinals and finals, respectively.
OL: Baylor Christy (Beggs) - Senior Missouri State signee was the key cog on the Golden Demons’ offensive line, which spearheaded Beggs’ efforts in averaging 43.3 points per contest.
OL: Eli Russ (Plainview) - Senior Oklahoma State signee received a 95 percent overall grade for his efforts along the Indians’ offensive front.
OL: Perry Lewis (Millwood) - Junior guard was instrumental in the Falcons averaging 352.3 yards and 48.3 points per game.
OL: Brandon Collier (Cashion) - Junior tackle led the Wildcats’ high-octane offense that posted 375.5 yards and 40.5 points per game.
DL: Walker Niver (Sperry) - Junior defensive end finished with 80 tackles and 10 sacks for a Pirates defense that only allowed 174 points in 15 games.
DL: Kaavn Green (Crescent) - Senior tackle had 81 tackles, 18 tackles for loss and seven sacks for the Tigers.
DL/LB: Jaden McDaniel (Heritage Hall) - Senior defensive specialist had 100 tackles and 12 sacks.
LB: Zac Anderson (Eufaula) - Finished his career with the Ironheads with 159 tackles and 12 sacks during his senior season.
LB: Trey Kiser (Sulphur) - Senior standout had 131 tackles and eight sacks on defense while also serving as one of the better running backs in the state.
LB: Laike Wilhelm (Newkirk) - Senior collected 129 tackles and two sacks on defense and also turned produced 2,243 yards and 25 touchdowns rushing on offense.
LB: Simeon Sheperd (Tonkawa) - Set a new Tonkawa record with 176 tackles during his senior season. Also had 27 sacks, four interceptions and six fumble recoveries.
DB: Conner Carey (Heritage Hall) - Senior two-way player had 57 tackles, three sacks and two interceptions. Also led the Chargers with 1,844 rushing yards and 32 TDs.
DB: Zach Hale (Christian Heritage) - The Crusaders’ sparkplug through the playoffs who finished off his senior season with 202 tackles, one sack and eight interceptions. Also passed for 2,600-plus yards and 33 touchdowns.
DB: Gatlin Goodson (Shattuck) - Senior free safety had 72 tackles and three interceptions. Also served as quarterback and ran for 17,60 yards during his senior season.
DB: Dawson James (Berryhill) - Sophomore snagged 12 interceptions while also recording 30 tackles for the Chiefs.
K: Alex Felkins (Holland Hall) - Columbia signee was the state’s leader with 15 field goals. Senior kicker’s longest in 2018 was 41 yards.
P: Zach Ramay (Fairview) - Senior averaged 39.7 yards per punt for the Yellowjackets in 2018.
KR/PR: DeMariyon Houston (Millwood) - Finished the season with three kickoff returns for 184 yards and one touchdown, and also had four punt returns for 145 yards and a touchdown. Senior wideout also caught 35 passes for 772 yards and 11 TDs.
ATH: Beau Teel (Sperry) - Passed for 2,305 yards and 23 touchdowns and rushed for 14 touchdowns. Senior linebacker also had 31 tackles, two sacks and one interception.
ATH: Jett Sternberger (Kingfisher) - Senior quarterback completed 180 of 270 passes for 2,411 yards and 33 touchdowns. Also ran for 481 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground.
And let us know what you think. Tweet at Skordle or email Ben Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Photo credit: Russell Stitt
| Ben Johnson
Rashaun Woods is in line to become Enid’s next head football coach, according to multiple sources on Thursday afternoon. The Oklahoman first reported Woods to Enid.
Attempts to reach Woods for confirmation have been unsuccessful.
One source indicated that Woods was touring the Enid football facilities on Wednesday. Another source said Woods interviewed for the job on Tuesday.
The move would not become official until Enid’s next board of education meeting, which is slated for Monday at 6 p.m.
A move to Enid would bring Woods’ tenure to a close at John Marshall, where he went 54-18 over a six-year span. He took over a Bears program that had gone 0-10 in 2012 prior to his arrival.
John Marshall went to the playoffs in Woods’ final five seasons as head coach, including two straight semifinal trips in Class 3A in 2016 and 2017 and a state title in ’17. The Bears also won district championships in consecutive years from 2015 to 2017.
In 2018, John Marshall went 8-3 and was eliminated from the playoffs in a first-round loss to Plainview.
Enid is looking to fill the void left by Steve Hayes’ resignation. Hayes resigned a day after the Plainsmen’s season ended in 2018.
In four seasons, Hayes went 10-30 at Enid.
The last Enid head coach with a winning tenure was Tom Cobble, who went 29-25 from 2003 to 2007.
| Ben Johnson
The high school football season can’t come to a close until awards are handed out. Over the next week, Skordle will issue its first All-State football teams for large and small schools.
The large schools consist of teams in Classes 6AI through 4A. Small schools included every team from Class 3A through Class C. There are also Player of the Year, Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP named for each individual class.
The teams were chosen by those who covered high school football for Skordle all year long: Michael Swisher, Whitt Carter and Ben Johnson.
So let’s get to it. Here is your large school All-State team and class superlatives…
Player of the Year: NOAH CORTES (Broken Arrow) - Running behind the Tigers’ massive offensive line, Cortes rushed straight into the Broken Arrow record books during his senior season. The 6-foot, 205-pound tailback compiled 1,958 yards on 261 carries, and he also set a new school record with 35 touchdowns. He finished his career with 4,453 yards and is now Broken Arrow’s all-time leading rusher. Also led the Tigers to their first state championship, thanks to a 120-yard effort on 30 carries in the Class 6AI championship game against Jenks.
Broken Arrow coach David Alexander: “Noah was the heartbeat of our team. He led us in the weight room, locker room and at practice. And his hard work showed up big time on game nights.”
Offensive MVP: IAN CORWIN (Jenks) - The Trojans’ 6-foot, 185-pound quarterback engineered a high-powered offense to 464 points in only 13 games this season. The senior signal caller completed 176 of 290 passes for 2,905 yards and 25 touchdowns. Finishes his Trojans’ career as the program’s top passer with 8,988 yards and 548 completions. He’s also second with 80 passing touchdowns. In a championship game loss to Broken Arrow, Corwin passed for 319 yards and three touchdowns while completing 17 of 28 passes.
Jenks coach Keith Riggs: “Jenks has had a number of great quarterbacks over the years, and yet Ian was able to re-write the Jenks record book for passing statistics. He was a great leader and role model in the offensive huddle, on the practice field and in the film room. As good as he was on the field, he is an even better person; he’s humble, involved in a number of school groups and activities and always willing to help others.”
Defensive MVP: GAVIN POTTER (Broken Arrow) - It was 1A and 1B in middle of Broken Arrow’s defense this season with Potter and Zach Marcheselli. The nod goes to Potter ever so slightly after the Tigers’ defense mauled seemingly every opponent it faced this season. Potter, a 6-1, 200-pound senior linebacker, finished with 102 tackles and 23 tackles for loss this season. He also added 11 quarterback pressures, five pass break-ups and two blocked kicks. Anchored Broken Arrow’s defense in the state championship game with 10 tackles against Jenks.
Broken Arrow coach David Alexander: “Gavin’s explosiveness and his unmatched effort on every play made him a tackling machine in every game we played.”
Player of the Year: QWONTREL WALKER (Stillwater) - In a dynamic offense that also featured quarterback Gunnar Gundy and wide receiver Anthony Bland, Walker stole the spotlight with his running ability this season. The 5-foot-8, 185-pound running back finished with 2,310 yards and 35 touchdowns on 284 carries. Accounted for Stillwater’s only two scores in the 6AII title game, finishing with 150 yards on 31 carries against Bixby. He collected 234 yards and two touchdowns in Stillwater’s semifinal win over Booker T. Washington.
Stillwater coach Tucker Barnard: “Q is an incredible back. His combination of speed, quickness, power, balance and vision is unlike any running back I’ve coached.”
Offensive MVP: PRESTON COLBERT (Midwest City) - Senior quarterback guided the Bombers to the 6AII semifinals, thanks to 2,427 yards through the air on 147 completions. He completed 53.5 percent of his passes and also threw for 31 touchdowns. He also added 432 yards and eight touchdowns on 61 carries.
Defensive MVP: ETHAN HALL (Bixby) - The Spartans’ defense featured plenty of playmakers, but none more so than Hall in the middle of it all at linebacker. The 6-foot-3, 225-pound linebacker racked up 82 tackles with 26 1/2 of those for loss. During a six-game span from Sept. 14 to Oct. 18, Hall notched 17 tackles for loss, including four against Sand Springs. Hall also mixed in 12 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
Player of the Year: SEVION MORRISON (Edison) - A solid sophomore season in 2017 segued to a monster 2018 for Morrison, who turned in one spectacular performance after another. Against McAlester, Morrison logged 429 total yards and scored seven touchdowns, and he polished off the regular season with a 382-yard, 5-touchdown performance against Ada. That’s when the Division I offers started rolling in for the 6-foot, 190-pound junior running back. Morrison finished off his junior campaign with 2,728 yards and 36 touchdowns on 232 carries. He currently holds offers from Arkansas, Iowa State, Mississippi State, Missouri, Nebraska and Nevada heading into this senior season.
Edison coach Tony Daniels: “Sevion is a special player. His vision and how hard he runs the ball down hill, or in open space, is what makes him that way. Track has helped him out a lot this past year, and we cannon wait to see what he can do next season.”
Offensive MVP: DADRION TAYLOR (Carl Albert) - Missing a quarter of Carl Albert’s season didn’t keep “Rabbit” from turning in another monster season. While guiding the Titans to their third straight 5A championship, Taylor rushed for 1,365 yards and 24 touchdowns on 175 carries. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound Utah State commit wrapped up his career with 4,611 yards and 65 touchdowns for the Titans.
Defensive MVP: REISE COLLIER (Carl Albert) - Offenses found little success against Carl Albert this season, and in the middle of it all was Collier, a 6-3, 205-pound junior linebacker. Collier collected 175 tackles, five sacks and two interceptions while leading the charge in Carl Albert’s march to a third straight championship.
Player of the Year: SAM BRANDT (Bethany) - Mr. Do It All -- aka Sam Brandt -- is listed first most places as a defender -- a 5-10, 180-pound defensive back. He performed there admirably during his junior season, amassing 76 tackles and seven interceptions while leading Bethany to a runner-up finish in Class 4A. But he also seems to have a handle on his offensive abilities, becoming dual-threat quarterback who put up monster numbers. Brandt completed 175 of 269 passes for 2,615 yards and 27 touchdowns, while also adding 1,262 yards and 25 touchdowns on 191 carries. But please, continue to tout the USA Today’s All-State team, one that couldn’t even bother to include Brandt anywhere on its roster.
Offensive MVP: CARSON BERRYHILL (Tuttle) - His numbers might not have been as electric as Brandt’s, but Berryhill guided the Tigers all the way to the 4A title. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound senior quarterback completed 132 of 233 passes for 2,271 yards and 30 touchdowns. He also rushed for 440 yards and nine touchdowns on 93 carries.
Tuttle coach Brad Ballard: “Carson did everything that a quarterback could do to lead his team to a championship. He was a threat running and throwing the ball. His attitude and leadership was instrumental in our success.”
Defensive MVP: DYLAN COFFMAN (Tuttle) - Anchoring Tuttle’s stout defense was a 6-foot, 215-pound linebacker this season. Coffman logged 123 tackles, two sacks and one interception while the Tigers’ defense yielded only 150 points over the course of 14 games.
Tuttle coach Brad Ballard: “He was the leader of our defense. He started for us multiple year and was among our leading tacklers in each of those. He set the tone for our team every week. One of the most physical players I have ever coached.”
LARGE SCHOOL ALL-STATE TEAM
Coach of the Year: DAVID ALEXANDER (Broken Arrow) – In his fifth year at Broken Arrow, Alexander improved to 44-16 with a perfect 13-0 campaign in 2018. The Tigers capped a run to their first championship with a 28-20 victory over Jenks in the Class 6AI title game, one that featured a weather delay of more than two hours. The Tigers averaged 44.5 points per game this season while giving up only 7.9 points.
QB: Ian Corwin (Jenks) – Passed for 2,905 yards and 25 touchdowns while leading the Trojans to the 6AI championship game.
RB: Sevion Morrison (Edison) – Junior tailback rushed for 2,728 yards and 36 touchdowns on 232 carries for the Eagles.
RB: Noah Cortes (Broken Arrow) – Amassed 1,958 yards and 35 touchdowns on 261 carries for the Tigers during his senior season.
RB: Qwontrel Walker (Stillwater) – Set a new Stillwater single-season record with 2,130 yards. Added 35 touchdowns on 284 carries as a sophomore.
WR: Jeff Foreman (Del City) – Caught 64 passes for 1,247 yards and 16 touchdowns as a senior.
WR: Brennan Presley (Bixby) – Hauled in 67 catches for 1,081 yards and 16 touchdowns as a junior.
OL: Andrew Raym (Broken Arrow) – Paved the way for the Tigers’ high-powered offense as the most sought-after offensive lineman on the recruiting circuit. As a junior, Raym rotated all over Broken Arrow’s offensive line to give defenses different looks.
OL: Chester Baah (Edison) – University of Tulsa signee anchored the Eagles’ offensive line that saw Sevion Morrison re-write the Eagles’ record books.
OL: Ricky Stromberg (Union) – Arkansas signee created an array of running opportunities for tailback Darius Boone Jr., and kept the pocket intact for quarterback Peyton Thompson.
OL: Brady Latham (Jenks) – Arkansas signee was the key cog for the Trojans’ offensive line that allowed Jenks to score 464 points in 13 games.
OL: Trenzel Johnson (Ardmore) – Senior lineman graded out as the Tigers’ top offensive lineman for a unit that guided Ardmore to 368.1 rushing yards and 35.8 points per game.
DL: Montrell Cozart (Bishop Kelley) – Junior nose guard had seven sacks and 128 tackles to lead the Comets’ stingy defense.
DL: Trace Ford (Edmond Santa Fe) – Oklahoma State signee finished the season with 41 tackles, nine tackles for loss and three sacks.
DL: Alphonse Joseph (Carl Albert) – Junior lineman collected 98 tackles and 31 tackles for loss. Even had 16 sacks to pace the Titans’ defense en route to their third straight 5A championship.
LB: Ethan Hall (Bixby) – Senior linebacker notched 82 tackles and 12 sacks for the Spartans on their way to another 6AII championship.
LB: Gavin Potter (Broken Arrow) – Senior linebacker led the Tigers with 102 tackles and 23 tackles for loss.
LB: Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow) – TCU signee completed his senior season with 101 tackles and 12 tackles for loss.
LB: Dylan Coffman (Tuttle) – Senior linebacker recorded 123 tackles, two sacks and one interception for the 4A champions.
DB: Aaron Stokes (Broken Arrow) – Snagged five interceptions and had 52 tackles for the Tigers during his senior season.
DB: Dax Hill (Booker T. Washington) – Finished with 93 tackles and nine tackles for loss before signing with Michigan.
DB: Cade Cavender (Bixby) – Senior safety had 64 tackles and two interceptions. On offense, rushed for 222 yards and three touchdowns in the Spartans’ 34-13 win over Stillwater in the 6AII championship game.
DB: Sam Brandt (Bethany) – Recorded 76 tackles, seven interceptions and a fumble recovery for the Bronchos. Added 3,877 rushing and passing yards combined on offense with 52 touchdowns.
K: Noah Rauschenberg (Union) – Set a school record with a 54-yard field goal and finished the season 10 of 16 on field goal attempts.
P: Andrew Wisniewski (Bishop McGuinness) – Averaged 42.7 yards per punt on 34 attempts during his senior season.
KR/PR: Jamie Nance (Blanchard) – Nebraska signee had four touchdowns on 15 kickoff returns, and he averaged 45.2 yards per return. On punt returns, he averaged 25.8 yards per return and two touchdowns.
ATH: Dadrion Taylor (Carl Albert) – Senior tailback led the Titans’ offense with 1,365 yards and 24 touchdowns on 175 carries.
Let us know what you think. Leave a comment or send a tweet to Ben Johnson on Twitter. Small school All-State team will be published next week.
* Photo courtesy of Jimmy Gillispie/Stillwater NewsPress
| Ben Johnson
Some startling news on National Signing Day.
The University of Tulsa football staff was out-recruited by a singular defensive end out of Oklahoma City.
Facts are facts: Phillip Montgomery and Co. watched as Putnam City’s Collin Clay recruited circles around the crew at 11th and Harvard.
On the eve of Signing Day, Union lineman Ricky Stromberg flipped from Tulsa to Arkansas. A devastating blow to the Golden Hurricane, a solid get for the Razorbacks.
And in the end, a victory for Clay.
Mix in Jenks lineman Brady Latham and it was a solid day in Oklahoma for Arkansas.
“I talked to both of them when they were offered, and I told them let’s keep this Oklahoma-to-Arkansas pipeline going,” Clay told Skordle. “They already had prior visits, and they loved it so I told them there’s no point in waiting.”
Whether it was Clay -- a 6-foot-5, 261-pound defensive lineman -- or the lure of the Southeastern Conference, Latham and Stromberg saw something outside of the Sooner State that they liked. But Chad Morris and his staff in Fayetteville should give Clay a big slap on the back for playing de facto recruiter behind enemy lines.
“It’s been great communicating with our recruits on the team,” Clay said. “I usually know in and out who’s committing, and I always post my eye ball (emoji) to get the fans excited. From the commits to the flips, it’s been a fun experience.”
Fun for Arkansas, for sure. Not a tremendous development for Tulsa, who ought to be brimming with in-state talent.
Instead, the Golden Hurricane ended up with two local signees: Union defensive lineman Darrias Murdock and Edison offensive lineman Chester Baah. Great talents, sure, but they’re joined by a bunch of Texas signees, while the rest of the top-notch talent in Oklahoma went elsewhere.
Owasso’s Will Kuehne is headed to North Texas. Del City’s Jeff Foreman will grace the Arkansas State roster with his presence. Putnam City North’s Will Taylor signed with Missouri State.
And it goes on and on.
Look, if a Union lineman (Isaiah McGuire) wants to go to Missouri and play in the SEC, fine. Same with Broken Arrow linebacker Zach Marcheselli going to TCU. It happens -- when a chance to play in the Big 12 or SEC comes calling, players will generally listen.
But Kuehne spurning his home state for a team in Conference USA? Or Foreman driving in Tulsa’s general direction on his way to Jonesboro, Arkansas? Or Mustang’s Justin Wardlaw passing through Tulsa on his way to Missouri State in Springfield, Missouri?
Makes no sense. Bad look for the Golden Hurricane.
Same goes for Oklahoma State. Edmond Santa Fe’s Trace Ford, Booker T. Washington’s Demarco Jones and Collinsville’s Grayson Boomer are headed to Stillwater, but then the Cowboys sat idly by while some of the state’s best players said “so long.”
How does Oklahoma State not land Blanchard’s Jamie Nance, or Marcheselli or the trio headed to Arkansas? Maybe Mike Holder was onto something…
Anyway, back to Clay. He’s found his new home in Fayetteville.
“Other schools, I felt like, didn’t have the close relationship like I did with Arkansas,” Clay said. “My chances of playing early are high and the fan base is amazing.”
Some hearty congratulations are well deserved for Clay. Not only did he sign his letter of intent to play Division I college football, but his recruiting staff of one (himself) might be the second best in the state.
Signing Day -- where they’re going
Jamie Nance (Blanchard) - Nebraska
Trace Ford (Edmond Santa Fe) - Oklahoma State
Kyler Baugh (Talihina) - Houston Baptist
Kamron Love (Edmond Santa Fe) - Navy
Justin Wardlaw (Mustang) - Missouri State
Jeff Foreman (Del City) - Arkansas State
Marcus Major Jr. (Millwood) - Oklahoma
Chester Baah (Edison) - Tulsa
Zach Marcheselli (Broken Arrow) - TCU
Will Kuehne (Owasso) - North Texas
Grayson Boomer (Collinsville) - Oklahoma State
Cole Mashburn (Norman North) - Memphis
Dax Hill (Booker T. Washington) - Michigan
Daxton Byers (Deer Creek) - North Texas
Will Taylor (PC North) - Missouri State
Collin Clay (Putnam City) - Arkansas
Baylor Christy (Beggs) - Missouri State
Darius Boone Jr. (Union) - Eastern Michigan
Alex Felkins (Holland Hall) - Columbia
Demarco Jones (Booker T. Washington) - Oklahoma State
Brady Latham (Jenks) - Arkansas
Darrius Murdock (Union) - Tulsa
Ricky Stromberg (Union) - Arkansas
Isaiah McGuire (Union) - Missouri
| Ben Johnson
Class 6AII: Bixby 34, Stillwater 13
Class 5A: Carl Albert 17, Ardmore 10
Class 4A: Tuttle 35, Bethany 28
Class 3A: Heritage Hall 50, Sulphur 14
Class 2A Sperry 35, Beggs 14
Class A: Tonkawa 21, Christian Heritage 6
Class B: Shattuck 42, Regent Prep 26
Class C: Tipton 50, Southwest Covenant 34
| Ben Johnson
OWASSO -- Friends and family members had premonitions about Kohlby Foster. They knew he was about to be a standout in Thursday’s Class 2A championship game at Owasso Stadium.
And sure enough, they were exactly right.
Foster hauled in two interceptions, including one that set the stage for Sperry’s final touchdown as the Class 2A No. 5 Pirates knocked off third-ranked Beggs, 35-14, for their first-ever state championship.
“Everybody told me I was going to do it,” Foster said. “But I didn’t see it.”
What he did see was two passes from Beggs’ Dalton Spring landing in his hands.
Foster’s first interception derailed Beggs’ attempt to get back in the game in the third quarter. The Golden Demons were trailing 28-7 and deep into Sperry territory, but Spring’s pass into coverage over the middle resulted in the ball being tipped before Foster snagged it out of the air.
“Man that guy is an athlete,” Sperry coach Robert Park said of Foster. “I know he hadn’t been sleeping, either. He had been watching film for hours. He’s such a good player, and he wasn’t healthy early in the season. But he made plays (Thursday).”
And Foster’s performance left him with a euphoric feeling that might not go away for a while.
“This is out of this world,” said the junior defensive back. “(Coach Park) always said this group was going to be the one to (win a championship), and we did it.”
Sperry was able to hoist its first gold ball, due in large part to a dominant second half.
The Pirates began the second half with a 10-play drive that chewed up 59 yards and was punctuated by Joe Whiteley’s 7-yard touchdown run just inside the end zone’s left pylon.
Once Sperry went up 21-7, it cracked down on defense, not allowing Beggs to score until there was only 2:16 left in the fourth quarter.
By that time, Bryce Carter had tacked on a 1-yard TD run in the third period, and Walker Niver had put the game away with his 1-yard touchdown run with 3:44 left in the game.
“We learned that we needed to play all four quarters,” said Carter, who rushed for 44 yards on 15 carries.
Much different story than when Beggs controlled the entire second half in a 35-21 win on Nov. 2.
“We turned the table,” Park said. “We got some stops on defense, and we’re able to score twice. That third quarter was big in both games, and we just happened to win it (this time).”
The first half mirrored much of the first meeting between the two teams. In the final week of the regular season, Sperry led its District 2A-3 rival 14-0 at halftime, but the Demons rallied for 35 unanswered points for a 35-21 win.
This time around it was Beggs to strike first. The Golden Demons took advantage of a short field and went 36 yards in nine plays, and they capped it off with Spring’s 3-yard quarterback sneak.
Sperry answered right back, thanks to Kyle Jobe’s 64-yard kickoff return to Beggs’ 22-yard line. Four plays later, Beau Teel was in the end zone on a 2-yard TD run.
The Pirates would go ahead after Cooper Park picked off Spring with 1:48 left until intermission. A 17-yard screen pass to Carter put Sperry at the 1-yard line, and the Pirates followed with Teel’s 1-yard plunge for a score.
Sperry finished the game with four takeaways and a superb defensive effort that kept Beggs to 83 yards on the ground and 157 yards in the passing game.
But perhaps the highlight of the night was Beggs players and fans applauding Sperry and its fans prior to the game. The Beggs administration also presented a plaque to Sperry and its school leaders during the pregame festivities.
When news broke that Beggs’ Kayson Tolliver had been gunned down the day before the two were supposed to meet on Nov. 2, the Sperry community rose to the occasion and offered its full support by offering warmth, love and strength through conviction.
“They showed what it’s like to be a servant,” Beggs coach David Tenison said of the Sperry faithful that paid tribute to Tolliver by wearing T-shirts with his number (27) at the game in Beggs in early November. “We would have been amiss if we had shown up here and not thanked them for that.”
The two teams continue to share a special bond, and Beggs players and coaches offered warm congratulations after the game -- something you don’t often see following a game with a title on the line.
In the end, though, it was the small town in western Tulsa County that prevailed and added to its 16 other championships previously won in baseball and wrestling combined.
“I didn’t know it was going to feel this good, but it’s been a long time coming,” Park said. “Just look at (everyone from Sperry), they’ve been hungry for a title for a while. When you’ve been doing football for so long, and now we finally have something in that trophy case. We’re very proud and we’re very happy.”
No. 5 Sperry 35, No. 3 Beggs 14
Sperry 7 7 14 7 -- 35
Beggs 7 0 0 7 -- 14
BEGGS -- Dalton Spring 3 run (Dusty Pendergrass kick), 4:38
SPERRY -- Beau Teel 2 run (Jacob Sutherland kick), 3:40
SPERRY -- Teel 1 run (Sutherland kick), 0:11
SPERRY -- Joe Whiteley 7 run (Sutherland kick), 7:13
SPERRY - Bryce Carter 1 run (Sutherland kick), 2:32
SPERRY -- Walker Niver 1 run (Sutherland kick), 3:44
BEGGS -- Jaidan Grayson 21 pass from Spring (Pendergrass kick), 2:16
First downs: Sperry 17; Beggs 16
Rushing (carries-yards): Sperry 49-170; Beggs 32-83
Passing (C-A-I): Sperry 10-14-1; Beggs 17-25-3
Passing yards: Sperry 103; Beggs 157
Total yards: Sperry 273; Beggs 240
Penalties: Sperry 3-35; Beggs 10-63
Sperry -- Beau Teel 20-71
Beggs -- Jared Sutter 18-57
Sperry -- Teel 10-14-1 98
Beggs -- Spring 16-24-3 145
Sperry - Jacob Sutherland 4-37
Beggs -- Jaidan Grayson 10-122
| Ben Johnson
When Sperry and Beggs met the first time this season, it was an extremely emotion affair. News broke the day before the two met that Beggs running back Kayson Tolliver has been gunned down in his bed.
It was as tragic as it gets.
But Beggs opted to play and honor the life that Tolliver had lived. The scene on the field was highly irregular, as Sperry quarterback Beau Teel tells it.
“I can remember being in eighth grade, and Sperry had a player pass away and we had to play Claremore Sequoyah and emotions were so high,” Teel recalled. “That’s how that game was against Beggs.
“Players were crying on the field and everything. Makes you realize that football isn’t the most important thing in the world.”
Now the two teams will meet again -- and emotions will be high again. This time, it’ll be for the Class 2A championship at Owasso Stadium on Thursday.
“It means a lot, but not just to me, but our team and town have been waiting for an opportunity like this for a long time,” Sperry’s Bryce Carter said. “We want to make the most of it.”
Third-ranked Beggs beat Sperry 35-21 on Nov. 2. The Pirates led 14-0 at halftime, but the Golden Demons went on a torrid rally in the second half, including scoring 28 points in the third quarter.
“Our first time playing Beggs made us realize that you have to play your best football for all four quarters,” Teel said. “Beggs is a great second half team that plays with a lot of heart. They know what it takes to win big games. We can not let up any this time around.”
For No. 5 Sperry, it’s the Pirates first appearance in a championship game since 1968. That’s created a considerable amount of buzz around the small town on the western edge of Tulsa County.
“The town is so excited to be in this game,” Teel said. “It’s been over 50 years since this town has been in the championship game, and it’s just really awesome. People we’ve never seen before have started coming out just to watch us play. It’s great.”