JENKS — Colyn Wade’s kickoff was fumbled by a Jenks special-teamer and found the hands of a Tiger and for a second, the Trojans’ victory celebration wasn’t such a certainty.
But Norman High was already down four touchdowns and just eight minutes remained on the clock. Kaiden Vannoy intercepted Tias McClarty on the ensuing series, and that was that.
The Trojans routed the Tigers, 49-21, in a game that rarely felt even that close. But NHS coach Rocky Martin thought his team fought until the end, and if a few more things had gone right for the Tigers — and if Jenks wasn’t the No. 1 team in Oklahoma — the game’s final eight minutes might have been interesting for more than a couple plays.
“They played hard to the very end,” Martin said. “That’s what you ask for as a coach.”
Jenks (5-1, 3-0 District 6AI-1) was as good as advertised Friday night. The Trojans gained 426 yards on 31 plays from scrimmage in the first half and finished the game with 549, scoring not only on methodical drives but with big plays on the ground and through the air.
Jalyn Stanford, who finished with 124 rushing yards and three touchdowns, set the tone by taking a direct snap for 38 yards on the game’s first snap, and finished off the series with a two-yard run. On Jenks’ next series, he raced for 47 yards and a score.
The Trojans dominated even with their nominal second-stringer, Ike Owens, in at quarterback. Owens (8-11, 188 yards, three touchdowns) hit the speedy Ty Walls for touchdowns of 58 and 70 yards in the second quarter, the second of which made it 35-0.
“We did some good stuff and saw some stuff that’s gotta be better, especially against a team like that,” Martin said. “The fundamentals gotta be better, the tackling. But hats off to them.”
Martin praised the physical play of his offensive linemen and tight end Cooper Alexander, who paved the way for 196 yards on 41 rushes. NHS (2-4, 1-2) consistently picked up small chunks of yardage on the ground and rarely went three-and-out.
But Jenks’ defense stepped up when it mattered. The Trojans stopped the Tigers on 11 of 14 third downs, a stat which Martin chalked up to a talent disparity more than anything else.
“I don’t know how much of it went wrong (for us),” he said. “Obviously after we watch film we’re gonna see stuff that went wrong, but they’re a good defense. They’re gonna make their plays.”
McClarty, who came into the game averaging 154 yards on the ground, was held to 33 yards on 16 carries aside from a 53-yard touchdown bolt in the final minute of the first half. That made it 35-7, with NHS set to receive the second-half kickoff, and if the Tigers were going to get back into the game, this was the moment it would likely happen.
Instead, the Trojans forced a punt, and Jaiden Carroll (144 yards rushing) scored on an 18-yard run on their first series. Two NHS touchdowns, including a deep shot from McClarty to Edric Lambert on a 4th-and-long, did little but make the score a bit less lopsided.
Norman High will host Westmoore (1-5, 0-3) next Friday.