The Norman Transcript

November 29, 2013

It seems nothing can jinx Trojans’ title shot

By Clay Horning
The Norman Transcript

YUKON — Three years ago, when Jenks football coach Allen Trimble was reinstated in the job he still holds after being caught cheating red-handed by the OSSAA, yet suffering only slaps on the wrist as a result, he sounded a conciliatory tone.

“The events of the past year have been difficult for me, my family and for Jenks, but I’ve learned a great deal from this experience, which I believe will make me a better person, a better teacher and a better coach,” Trimble said, reading from a prepared statement on June 1, 2010.

Nonetheless, that kind of humility wasn’t on display so much with 3 minutes remaining in the first half at Miller Stadium, at which time Trimble, though his team led by 25 points, was crying for phantom calls moments after Westmoore had recovered an onside kick and was threatening, in vain as it turned out, to cut its deficit inside three touchdowns.

Really, there’s still very little to like about Jenks, even after the Trojans took care of the Jaguars 46-14 Friday night.

It was just more of the same. 

More of the same all of us have seen since 1996 when the Trojans won the first of six straight state titles and the first of 17 straight Class 6A crowns between themselves and Union, a streak that will become 18 Thursday night when the two programs meet at Boone Pickens Stadium two days before the Sooners and Cowboys do the same.

In fairness, it’s still worth pointing out Jenks is not that much bigger than the West-side schools that can only nip at its heels. 

The most recent OSSAA average daily membership figures estimate 3,123.6 students walking Jenks’ halls each day, almost 600 more than Edmond North, the West-side’s largest school, yet still more than 1,200 short of Union and more than 1,500 short of Broken Arrow.

The problem is that it remains impossible to know what you’re seeing on the field is what you’re supposed to be getting when the Trojans are involved. 

The cheating uncovered prior to Trimble’s reinstatement was so pervasive it will always be reasonable to question all that’s occurred under his tenure.

Prior to his reinstatement, Jenks had not even established a fall-back plan had he not been allowed to return to his job. Instead, the Trojans got their coach back and simultaneously a legacy of doubt was set in stone

Most galling about Class 6A’s state of affairs is the fact the talent discrepancy between a team like the Trojans and Norman North, last season, or Westmoore Friday night, is so vast, Jenks need not do anything special in the scouting and game-planning sessions that can make all the difference for every other program in the state.

To wit, midway through the third quarter, Trojan running back Darwin Thompson went 60 yards up the middle and two plays later went 2 more to make it 46-7.

The thing about Thompson’s bolt, though he’s plenty fast, is that he barely had to be. The run had little to do with him and everything to do with Jenks’ dominance at the line of scrimmage. 

It was the same in last season’s title game against North. Trey’Vonne Barr’e was awarded the yardage, but his offensive line saw to it that he need only elude the secondary to take it to the house.

It’s talent where it matters most, and the Trojans have it, maybe Union, too, and nobody else does.

Sure, the West-side is envious of the Trojans’ success, yet not of the means that has set them up for so much of it.

Still, to be fair, there may be something redeeming about the program that’s one half of the two-horse race that’s yet again Class 6A football in Oklahoma.

Trojan Nation.

It travels really well. It pilloried a certain sports editor on Twitter after he wrote negative columns about the program it supports leading up to and in the aftermath of last season’s championship game. And Friday night in Yukon, it might have brought more than 3,000 strong to the bleachers.

Good thing.

The team it roots for is impossible for anybody else to support.

Clay Horning

Follow me @clayhorning


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