Glen West of Brenham, Texas, and Jim Frazier of Cleveland, Okla., will be the head coaches in the 66th Oil Bowl football game on June 21 in Memorial Stadium.
Todd Dodge of Southlake Carroll will serve as offensive coordinator, and Mike Coker of Galena Park will be the defensive coordinator for West on the Texas staff. Ty Prestidge of Mustang will coordinate the offense and Jim Burton of Putnam City will coordinate the defense for Frazier’s Oklahoma staff.
Texas owns a 41-15-1 series edge in the Maskat Shrine Temple charity game, including a current three-game win streak. Texas won last year, 28-7.
The Oil Bowl just may have hit the daily double on Saturday.
By getting one of the top coaches in Texas in Todd Dodge, the game could also get a record-setting quarterback in Chase Wasson. The talents of those two guys were evident in Southlake Carroll’s 16-0 state championship season in 2002.
Wasson completed 66 percent of his passes (300 of 455) for a Texas record 4,822 yards his senior year and tied the state record with 54 touchdowns. He also ran for 1,062 yards and 14 touchdowns.
In the Class 5A Division II state championship game in which the Dragons dominated Smithson Valley 45-14, Wasson threw for a championship game record 490 yards with five passing touchdowns and one running TD.
But you might expect such from a Todd Dodge-coached team.
Dodge was a stud passing quarterback at Port Arthur Jefferson High School 22 years ago and later started for the University of Texas. After playing in a high school offense that threw the ball 30 to 35 times a game, Dodge may have been a bit ahead of his time at the college level. Back then, it seemed few college teams were really flinging it.
“You could count on one hand the teams who were lighting it up back then,” Dodge said, and then named two, BYU and Louisiana Tech. “I threw for more than 1,700 yards in 1984, and nobody at that time had thrown for that many yards at Texas.”
Dodge said he had even thought about transferring to Louisiana Tech but in hindsight, is glad he didn’t. His 2,791 passing yards still rank No. 8 in Longhorns’ history but are almost 6,000 shy of Texas career leader Major Applewhite, whom Dodge calls the “best ever to play at UT.”
Knowing Todd Dodge’s background, it should come as no surprise that as a head coach he has now turned out back-to-back marquee quarterbacks in first Ricky Lay and then Chase Wasson.
“Coaching quarterbacks is my real passion in football,” said Dodge, who will serve as offensive coordinator for Texas in the June 21 Oil Bowl.
When Wasson showed up at Southlake Carroll in the spring of his sophomore year, Dodge already had Lay penciled in as his starting quarterback in 2001.
“Although he had been a quarterback his whole life, we played him at wide receiver that first year, but we taught him the offense through the eyes of a quarterback,” Dodge explained.
When playoff time rolled around, Wasson was moved to running back. In a 35-21 bi-district win over Wichita Falls, he carried the ball 12 times for 127 yards and scored on a 33-yard touchdown run.
As a senior, he was all quarterback.
With the numbers and the wins that Wasson put up, you would think that every big-time coach in America would be sleeping on his doorstep. But as of right now, only Sam Houston State and Southwest Texas State have shown a real interest in giving him a scholarship.
The Division I recruiters obviously think the 5-11, 180-pounder is too small.
But Dodge, who played for Texas when he was exactly the same size, just can’t understand.
“Put in a video and you’ll see him make all the throws that anybody could want. He can stand on the right hash and throw to his left and put it on a dime. He’s got unbelievable accuracy, and he is also an elusive runner,” the Southlake Carroll coach said.
Dodge said recruiting has become nothing but a “beauty contest.”
“You see all kinds of 6-2 and 6-3 guys filling the sidelines for some of these teams. They can’t play, but they look great,” he said.
Heck, even in the NFL, evaluating quarterbacks is hit and miss. Does the name Ryan Leaf ring a bell?
Just look at three of the four quarterbacks who will start today’s playoff games.
Rich Gannon was a fourth-round draft pick, Brad Johnson a ninth-rounder and Jeff Garcia had to play five seasons in the Canadian Football League before finally catching on with the 49ers.
The big-time colleges could be missing on Chase Wasson.
It looks like the Oil Bowl won’t.
And if the game is really lucky, Dodge may bring a couple of wide receivers — like Scott Chandler and Andrew Hansen.
The 6-7 Chandler, who has committed to Iowa, caught 61 passes for 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns during the championship season. Hansen, who is nine inches shorter, caught 81 passes for 1,433 yards and 23 TDs.
“Why not just bring the whole Southlake Carroll team?” Marty McBride joked with Dodge at a luncheon Saturday.
Hey, as good as these guys were, the more the merrier.
Sports Editor Nick Gholson can be reached before 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3447 or 1-800-627-1646 (extension 447). Or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Six players from the Wichita Falls area have been selected to play in the 66th Oil Bowl football game.
Hirschi tight end Mark Crowe, Wichita Falls High running back Kip McCarthy and Rider offensive lineman Kevin Compton will be on the Texas all-star roster for the annual Maskat Shrine Temple charity game on June 21 in Memorial Stadium.
Also representing the area on the Texas team will be City View defensive back Gus Barnes, Petrolia running back Ross Harrison and Holliday kicker Lee Price.
Todd Dodge, the offensive coordinator for Texas, will bring two players off his Class 5A Division II state championship team – quarterback Chase Wasson and 6-7 wide receiver Scott Chandler.
Wasson, who has signed with Southwest Texas State, threw for 4,822 yards and 54 touchdowns and ran for 1,062 yards and 14 TDs his senior season.
Chandler, who signed with Iowa, caught 67 passes for 1,200 yards and 19 touchdowns.
James Battle, the talented quarterback who led Denton Ryan to back-to-back Class 4A state titles, will also be on the roster, as will his favorite receiver, Phillip Jones.
Battle, a TCU signee, threw for 2,989 yards and 31 touchdowns and ran for 872 yards and 19 touchdowns his senior season.
Jones caught 73 passes for 1,485 yards and 21 TDs.
The Oklahoma all-stars also have an impressive lineup, which includes quarterback Donovan Woods of Oklahoma City.
Woods is the younger brother of Oklahoma State’s All-American wide receiver Rashaun Woods.
The young quarterback is also headed to OSU this fall, giving the Cowboys three Woods brothers on the roster. D’Juan Woods will be a sophomore wide receiver.
Thirty-eight colleges will be represented in this year’s Oil Bowl. Oklahoma has the most players with six, followed by Oklahoma State with four, Texas A&M with three and Air Force with three.
This year’s game will be dedicated to Skip Hicks, a former Burkburnett star running back who played in the 1991 Oil Bowl. Hicks set school records and was an All-American at UCLA and has played for Washington, Tennessee and Carolina in the NFL.
Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker D.D. Lewis will be the speaker for the Oil Bowl banquet on June 20.
The 67th Annual Oil Bowl Football Game will be played on Saturday, June 19thst at 7:30 p.m. in Wichita Falls, Texas. This game annually pits the graduating premier high school football players from both Texas and Oklahoma facing off in one of the nation’s oldest and best-known all-star games. Many former Oil Bowl players are currently playing in both major college and the NFL. This year’s honorees Jay Wilkerson and Billy Bookout.. The Oil Bowl game, which averages around 9,000 fans, is sponsored by the Maskat Shrine Temple of Wichita Falls with all proceeds going to charity.
The Oil Bowl is currently marketing sponsorships of all types to individuals or businesses that would be interested in providing financial or material support. As an example, it costs $6,500 to feed all athletes during the Oil Bowl week. Other costs include housing, paying certain support personnel, game and practice equipment for all athletes and basically providing a first-class environment and experience for all these athletes/coaches and fans. Individual or business name recognition of each sponsorship is permissible. The Oil Bowl is also currently negotiating with Fox Sports Net-SW to televise this year’s game.
The Oil Bowl Football Game culminates a weeklong schedule of activities and events that support the game, such as a parade, banquet, visits to the children’s center and other various social activities for the players to attend. The Oil Bowl Basketball games are played Thursday night and also feature Texas vs. Oklahoma in both Men and Women’s Basketball. Midwestern State University is the host for a major portion of the Oil Bowl as the basketball games; football practices and dining hall are in full use during the week.
If you or your business is interested in promoting and supporting this great charity all-star event, please contact Ronnie Awtry – Oil Bowl Chairman (940)692-9390
Nick Gholson, Times Record News
May 4, 2003
The bowls on Larry Coker’s college coaching resume’ include: one Rose, Sugar, Bluebonnet, Sun, Citrus, Miocron PC and Carquest; two Holidays and four Gators.
But despite a distinguished career that finally led him to Miami and an undefeated national championship season two years ago, Coker still fondly remembers the week he spent here in Wichita Falls 25 years ago.
In 1978, 30-year-old Larry Coker – then the head coach in Claremore, Okla. – was one of the three Oklahoma coaches selected for the Oil Bowl.
“The Oil Bowl back then was THE all-star game. It was the best in the country,” Coker told me in a recent telephone conversation.
“Other than winning a state championship, that was the biggest thing that had happened to me in coaching at that time, to go to Wichita Falls and that terrific stadium you had with Astroturf and everything. It was a great privilege for me. The only thing that wasn’t great was we lost the game.”
Coker and Oklahoma were on the losing end of a 27-5 final score against Texas in the 41st Oil Bowl.
“I remember we had the top two quarterbacks in Oklahoma tell us they were coming, but at the last minute both opted not to play in the game,” he recalled.
Growing up in Okemah, Okla., Coker said he had always known about and followed the Oil Bowl. He played quarterback and defensive back for Class B Okemah in 1964 and 1965 but admits, “basically I wasn’t good enough to be chosen to play in the game.”
“I played college football only after I walked on at Northeastern State (in Tahlequah, Okla.),” he said.
Coker was chosen to coach in the Oil Bowl after taking Fairfax, Okla., to two state championships and posting a 72-12-3 record in his first eight seasons as a head coach.
But what would happen to him in the next 25 years was beyond anyone’s imagination.
“I never dreamed anything could happen like this,” he said.
I was happy coaching high school football, but in Oklahoma there wasn’t much more that I could do as a high school coach, so I always had the ambition to move to the next level,” he said. “I call it the peak-to-peak principle. If you’re a successful junior high coach, you wonder what kind of success you can have at the high school level. If you’re a successful high school coach, you want to go and try being a college coach.”
Coker got his first break as a college coach when he caught the eye of John Cooper, then the Tulsa head coach. After four seasons – three as offensive coordinator – at Tulsa, Coker was lured to Oklahoma State by Jimmy Johnson.
“Jimmy gave me a chance to coach in the Big 8 Conference, and I learned a lot from him,” Coker said of Johnson, whom he worked with at OSU for just one year before Johnson moved on to Miami and then the Dallas Cowboys. “He lives here now and I still talk to him. He’s the biggest name I ever coached for, but I also learned a lot from Butch (Davis).
“Jimmy wasn’t a guy who would come and show you the 25 plays you were going to run and how to block each one of them. He was a great personnel guy and an outstanding recruiter.”
Coker was also an assistant at Oklahoma under Gary Gibbs and at Ohio State under Cooper before going to Miami as offensive coordinator in 1995. When Butch Davis left the Hurricanes to coach the Cleveland Browns, Coker was promoted to head coach at Miami.
He was 52 when he finally got his first college head coaching job.
“I have often been asked if it would have been a downer if I had not been hired to be a college head coach, but I really would have been happy because even as an assistant coach, I had been fortunate to have been around so many great players, great programs, great coaches, great stadiums. Had I never been a head coach, I still don’t think I would have been unhappy,” he said.
Coker got the promotion because the Miami players went to bat for him. As a group, they pushed to get him hired, and the administration gave them what they wanted.
“It was a huge compliment, but even if I hadn’t got this job, it would have still been a huge compliment,” he said.
When I referred to him as a “players’ coach,” he cringed, but just for a second or two.
“You want to be careful because they often fire players’ coaches,” he joked.
Nobody was going to fire Coker after the first two seasons he had as Miami’s head coach. The Hurricanes went 12-0 and won the national championship in 2001 and then stretched that winning streak to 24 in a row last season before losing the national championship game to Ohio State, 31-24, in two overtimes.
Coker has never wanted or accepted the credit for what has been accomplished the last two years. Instead, he just calls himself “lucky.”
“Sometimes an assistant isn’t successful as a head coach because the timing wasn’t right. You take over a program that’s bad, and that’s the reason they are hiring a new coach. I was lucky. Butch had a solid program here,” he said.
Larry Coker is one of the really nice guys in sports, so if he isn’t going to pat himself on the back for 24-1, let me do it for him.
Great job, coach.
But don’t get the big head. Remember you’re still 0-1 in Wichita Falls.
Sports Editor Nick Gholson can be reached before 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3447 or 1-800-627-1646 (ext. 447). Or you can email him at email@example.com.
Chase Wasson had a remarkable senior season, quarterbacking Southlake Carroll to a perfect 16-0 record and the Class 5A Division II state championship.
But in the eyes of the Division I college coaches, Wasson came up a bit short.
They didn’t see his 4,822 passing yards, although it was the most any Texas high school quarterback has ever thrown for. Instead, they saw 5-11.
They didn’t see that he completed 66 percent of his passes. They only saw 5-11.
They didn’t see his 54 passing touchdowns, another state record. They just saw 5-11.
They didn’t notice that he also ran for 1,062 yards and 14 touchdowns. They were too focused on 5-11.
So when recruiting time rolled around, all the big schools had to offer the 5-11, 180-pound Wasson was a chance to walk on and prove himself. But, if he hadn’t proved himself with a 16-0 record, 5,884 yards worth of offense and 68 touchdowns, what could he do?
Wear elevator shoes?
“College coaches are hung up on what a kid looks like. They look at size and height instead of kids who make plays,” Southlake Carroll coach Todd Dodge said. “It’s really ridiculous. If Chase were 6-1, he would have been recruited by a whole lot of Division I people. And I doubt those two inches would make him that much a better football player.”
Dodge, once himself an undersized quarterback at the University of Texas, calls the whole evaluation process of quarterbacks “an inexact science.” He points to NFL quarterbacks like Rich Gannon, Kurt Warner and Jay Fielder as just a few examples.
Wasson, the Class 5A player of the year in 2002, admitted the recruiting snub was “frustrating.”
“It’s a weird process,” he said. “Colleges look at the physical attributes. They don’t really look at what you do on the field or what you’re really like. They don’t look at heart and all that other stuff. It’s mainly if you look the part, you’re theirs.”
In the end, Wasson became Southwest Texas State’s. He now looks forward to proving himself again at this Division I-AA school.
Before that, he will put his skills on display in the 66th Oil Bowl football game Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. He will join with Dodge and three of his Southlake Carroll teammates to try to give the Texas all-stars a third straight win over Oklahoma.
Although his high school coach will be his offensive coordinator in the Oil Bowl, Wasson will most likely get only half the snaps. That’s because Texas has another talented quarterback in Denton Ryan’s James Battle, the Class 4A player of the year. Both Wasson and Battle are a perfect fit for Dodge’s no-huddle, shotgun offense.
“I’ll probably alternate them every two series,” Dodge said.
It won’t be the first time Wasson has been on a team with another talented quarterback. Although he had been a quarterback at Class 3A Liberty Hill as a sophomore, he had to switch positions to get playing time when he moved to Southlake. That’s because the Dragons were winning with Ricky Lay as their quarterback.
As a junior, Wasson played wide receiver for the first 10 games of the season. He moved to running back for the first playoff game against Wichita Falls and stayed there for the rest of the season.
“It was tough not being under center my junior year, but it worked out for the best because I became a lot better runner playing running back. And playing wide receiver helped me realize what those guys were going through as far as what the corners looked like, what the defensive backs were like,” he said.
Wasson’s first start at quarterback for Carroll came against Irving a year ago. The Dragons won 35-7.
No other team in the regular season would get that close. Things got tougher in the playoffs but Wasson and his team kept winning, finally dusting off Smithson Valley 45-14 in the state championship game.
But through it all, the big-college coaches could see only one thing – 5-11.
Sports Editor Nick Gholson can be reached before 4 p.m. weekdays by calling (940) 720-3447 or 1-800-626-1646 (ext. 447). Or you can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Zach Duncan, For the Times Record News
Tonight’s Oil Bowl boys basketball game between Texas and Oklahoma will be a homecoming of sorts for Midland Lee’s Drew Coffman.
The 6-2 guard, who will play next year for Bobby Knight at Texas Tech, has family in Munday and Holliday and his father graduated from Goree High School.
And if that’s not enough, his aunt even played basketball at Midwestern State University.
“The main reason I wanted to play in this game is because I wanted my family to be able to watch me,” said Coffman, who averaged more than 30 points a game last season. “Everyone is coming up here tomorrow, and they all seem excited about getting to see us play.”
But Coffman is only one of many young talents that will be on display tonight at D.L. Ligon Coliseum. Tip-off will take place after the girls basketball game, which begins at 6:30 p.m.
Another one of Texas’ big guns is Denton Ryan guard Brett McDade. The Tulsa signee and Class 4A First-Team All-State selection was a key member of the Raiders, averaging more than 26 points per game.
“He’s a special player and a special young man,” said Texas coach Richard Scofield, who coached McDade at Ryan for four years.
Michael Milton of Plano and South Oak Cliff’s David Fisher, who signed with New Mexico State, are two other All-State standouts that should have a close eye kept on them. Burkburnett’s Jay Whaley will also represent the Texas squad.
“We think we’ve assembled a very good group of basketball players and athletes,” Scofield said. “We like to think that we’ll get up and down the floor and play an exciting basketball game.”
While Oklahoma may not possess the star power Texas has, it brings something maybe a little more important to the court – size. No player on Texas’ roster is taller than 6-6. Oklahoma is stocked with three players 6-7 or taller, including 6-7 Ryan Woolsey and 6-10 Kingfisher center Charles Ramsdell.
Both big men were 2003 Oklahoma All-State selections and both earned scholarships to Div. I schools – Woolsey to Samford and Ramsdell to Tulsa.
“We’ve got some pretty good players,” Oklahoma coach Gene Davis of Valliant said. “Ramsdell has really impressed me, and Woolsey played well for me at Valliant.”
Davis also mentioned 6-foot guard Lionel Brown of Ardmore and Jacob Burtschi of Putnam City as two of his key players.
Lots of scoring and a lack of fundamental defense are prevalent in most All-Star games, and that trend should transpire, according to most.
“All-star games are just notorious for high-scoring games with a few turnovers,” Scofield said. “It’s like the NBA All-Star games. It’s supposed to be entertaining and I’m sure it will be.”
“We’re going to have to run it up and down the floor against Oklahoma because they have quite a few big guys, so it should be fun and high-scoring,” Coffman added.
Davis, though, thinks a shootout is not inevitable and the tempo of the game will hinge on guard play.
“If the guards are selfish, then it will be an up-and-down game like a Sunday afternoon at the boys club,” Davis said. “But if the guards play well, then it will be a good game.”
This is the second year the Oil Bowl basketball game has used the Texas-Oklahoma format, with Texas winning last year 79-70. The East-West format was used the previous six years.
Stephen C. Smith Sr., Times Record News
After allowing a seven-point fourth-quarter lead to evaporate with just one with 3:53 remaining, Oklahoma held Texas to just one point down the stretch to come away with a 66-59 win in the Maskat Shrine Oil Bowl Classic girls basketball game Thursday night at Midwestern State University’s D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
“This is all very special for all of us,” Oklahoma coach Carol Parker said after the game. “More than the win or anything, I’m just happy to help the Shriners and it was very special for the girls, too.”
Mara Kee of Beaver, Okla. finished with 16 points, including eight in the fourth quarter, to lead all scorers and was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
“She has had the flu and has been really sick for the past two weeks,” Parker said. “But she was able to push past all that and played great for us tonight.”
Kee and Dover’s Keshia Holmes (10 points) were a combined 7-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final minutes of the contest and scored 13 of Oklahoma’s 19 points in the fourth quarter.
“It was a big game for me because I’m an Oklahoman through and through,” Kee said. “The Oil Bowl has a great football tradition, so I felt privileged to play in the basketball game here.”
Euless Trinity’s 6-1 post, Carlynn Savant, scored three straight baskets to pull Texas within one at 59-58 with 3:53 left before Texas’ offensive well ran absolutely dry.
“I called a timeout and told them to keep a cool head,” Parker said. “We had the lead and I just told them to play like it because time was on our side – and they did.”
Savant led Texas with 14 points, while Mansfield Summit’s Kelsie Edwards had 13 and Boyd’s Erica Parker 11. Nikki Yeager of Oolagah, Okla. finished with 12 points.
“Our kids played real well, but they beat us from the free-throw line,” said Texas coach Deryll Friday, “They made the most of their opportunities. We had good looks at the basket, but we must have missed 10 shots in the last two minutes.
“We couldn’t score and once you can’t do that, you get a little frustrated.”
Texas’ Parker opened the fourth quarter with a long 3-pointer from the top of the arc to give Texas a 50-47 lead after Endurance Wali’s 3-point buzzer-beater tied the game at 47-47 to end the third quarter.
Unfortunately for Texas, offense became awfully hard to come by after that.
“I think their execution on offense hurt us,” Friday said. “They were able to make that extra pass that we didn’t have time to work on. And that third pass usually found the open player. We could make two passes, but just couldn’t get that third one.”
Oklahoma took an 18-13 first quarter lead on the strength of Samantha Stovall’s six-point effort in the post and 3-point shots from Kee and Brittany McBride. Stovall, a 6-0 post from Jenks, Okla., finished with a dozen points.
Texas managed only three field goals in the first, but stayed in the game early thanks to free throws. Edwards had seven points in the second quarter as Texas climbed out of a seven-point hole to take a 31-29 lead into the half, thanks to another last-second 3-pointer from Lyssa Dennard.
“They played hard and they really got after it out there tonight,” Friday said. “I’d like to coach them everyday.”
Oklahoma now leads the series 2-1 after the Texas-Oklahoma series format was adopted in 2001.
Staff sports writer Stephen C. Smith Sr. can be reached after 6 p.m. at 1-800-627-1646 or (940) 720-3470. Or you can e-mail him at email@example.com
A stroll down memory lane of past performances
Nick Gholson, Times Record News
* 50 years ago: The 1953 Oil Bowl was played for the first time in the new football stadium at Midwestern University. And for the first time, Oklahoma gave Texas a real battle.
It took a blocked extra point by Vernon’s Ramon Towry late in the game to preserve a 20-19 victory for the Texans and their ninth straight win over Oklahoma.
Towry, who would go on to be have a successful coaching career in Wichita Falls – most of it at Hirschi High School – had an outstanding game. Although he was the smallest player on the field, the little linebacker played the biggest role for Texas. Not only did he block the extra point to win the game, he scored the winning touchdown on a 25-yard return after blocking a punt.
The game featured a pair of Jacks.
Oklahoma running back Jack Witucki of Tulsa was named the game’s most outstanding back by a unanimous vote. He scored two touchdowns and gained 84 yards on 20 carries.
Texas fullback Jack Throckmorton of LaMarque rushed for 109 yards on 11 attempts.
Throckmorton and Don Maroney of Wichita Falls had the touchdown runs for Texas.
* 25 years ago: In desperate need of defensive help, Texas coached penciled in Ron Reeves to play linebacker in the 1978 Oil Bowl.
But as the game went on, they desperately needed an offensive spark.
So, they turned to Ron Reeves.
The versatile Texas Tech-bound star from Lubbock Monterey came on in relief and threw for one touchdown and ran for two more to spark Texas to a 27-5 win over Oklahoma.
The first time he touched the ball, Reeves led his team on a 99-yard scoring drive that ended with his 1-yard run. He later scored on a 6-yard run that ended a drive that featured his 52-yard bomb to Tony Shelton of Waco.
Reeves also threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to Robert Mitchell of Houston in the second quarter.
A runaway MVP, Reeves hit 6-of-10 passes for 139 yards.
Phil Weatherall of Greenville was the game’s top rusher with 93 yards on 11 carries.
Tackle Paul Kerestine of Denton led a Texas defense that limited Oklahoma to just 24 rushing yards and 36 passing yards in the game.
* 10 years ago: The 1993 game was the first Oil Bowl to ever be played in June.
Temple quarterback Adrian Woodson was the star of Texas’ 23-14 win. The game’s offensive MVP connected on 5-of-7 passes for 113 yards and ran eight times for 48 yards. He passed for one touchdown and set up another with a run.
Texas scored twice in the first five minutes of the game. Skip Hicks of Burkburnett caught an 18-yard pass from Woodson and had a 13-yard run in a touchdown drive that ended on Tremain Mack’s 4-yard TD run. Less than a minute later Woodson hit Darin Etter with a touchdown pass for a 14-0 lead.
An 11-yard touchdown pass from Norman’s Brian Self to Ardmore’s Taj Johnson cut the lead to 14-7,
Texas got a short TD run from Hicks and a 26-yard field goal from Phillip Dawson in the second half.
Barron Tanner of Athens was the defensive MVP. The big tackle led a Texas defense that forced six turnovers and limited Oklahoma to just 48 rushing yards. He had seven tackles, a fumble recovery and was in on two sacks.
State pride on the line in tonight’s 66th Oil Bowl game
Michael Wright, Times Record News
The state flag flies proudly in the bed of a pickup truck as Texas’ Oil Bowl players pile in following a blistery workout.
Texans are notorious for overt gestures of state pride.
Problem is, Oklahoma’s Oil Bowl players are fuming, having seen the blatant display.
It all comes to a head tonight at Memorial Stadium, as state pride takes precedence over anything football-related in the Maskat Temple’s 66th Annual Oil Bowl Classic set to kick off at 7:30.
“We’ve noticed the flag,” Oklahoma coach Jim Frazier said.
“The kids have a lot of state pride and we’re trying to get them to come together and play as a team from Oklahoma and not as individuals. There is a lot of prestige and pride to go south of the Red River or north of the Red River to play in something like this.”
Tonight’s contest should be interesting, given the type of offenses executed by both teams.
Traditionally, defense dominates all-star games because timing aspects of an offense are difficult to work out in just a few short days. But both teams come into tonight’s game running shotgun offenses with talented gunslingers under center.
Texas has a pair of the state’s top quarterbacks in Southlake Carroll’s Chase Wasson and Denton Ryan’s James Battle. Wasson passed for 4,822 yards while leading his team to a perfect 16-0 record and the Class 5A Division II state championship, as well as Class 5A player of the year honors.
Battle led Denton Ryan to a second straight Class 4A title, while earning Class 4A player of the year.
Both are accurate passers that are just as deadly on the run.
“There’s so many of these guys that are so impressive,” Texas coach Glen West said. “But we’ve got the 5A and 4A player of the year, and both of those guys are awesome. They’re awesome. Besides that, they’re great, great kids.
“All of these guys are good things and that has been a refreshing thing.”
Texas also has an impressive group of receivers, headlined by Southlake Carroll’s Andrew Hansen and 6-foot-7 Scott Chandler. Hansen will play collegiately at the University of Oklahoma, while former Dragon Chandler heads to Iowa.
Wylie’s Derrick Jones (Baylor) should also see plenty of balls thrown his way along with Wichita Falls High’s Kip McCarthy (Air Force) and Hirschi’s Mark Crowe (Midwestern).
Garland’s Taurence Rawls (Texas Tech), Abilene Cooper’s Brandon Diles (Tulsa), Weatherford’s Joseph Hankins (undecided) and Petrolia’s Ross Harrison (Midwestern) will share the ball carrying duties.
Defensively, Texas is anchored by speedy group of linebackers in Forney’s Jordan Case (Texas Tech, Clear Creek’s Chase Ortiz (TCU), Galena Park North Shore’s Eddie Simpson (Northwestern) and A&M Consolidated’s David Nixon (BYU).
“Every one of those guys can just flat out fly,” West said. “They’re so good.”
Frazier said his Oklahoma team should benefit from plenty of beef on the offensive and defensive lines.
Four of the team’s offensive linemen weigh 270 pounds or more, and three of them have inked scholarships to the University of Oklahoma.
Sooner signees Bryan Zimpel of Broken Arrow, Brandon Keith of McAlester and Tahlequah’s William Combs average 305 pounds, with Combs being the shortest at 6-foot-4.
Tulsa Union’s Jeff Huntzinge (Illinois State) is another imposing offensive lineman that should be key in protecting quarterbacks Donavan Woods, Paul Smith.
Owassa’s Smith (Tulsa) was the state’s leading passer last season, while Millwood’s Woods (Oklahoma St.) is “a man among boys,” according to Frazier.
Oklahoma’s quarterbacks have a pair of deadly targets in Sooner signees Shane Richardson of Hugo and Aaron Ivey of Putnam City North. Guthrie’s DeMarko Jones (Pittsburg State) and Kennan Webb (NEO) along with Chickasha’s A.J. Burdex (Northwestern) and Edmond’s Roland Garrett (Tulsa) figure to be contributors in the team’s spread offense.
Brandon Whittaker (Baylor), Travis West (Oklahoma), Mick Majors (Missouri Southern) and Spencer McIllwain (New Mexico State) will lead the team’s ground attack. Majors of Broken Arrow should also see some time at quarterback.
“Typically in all-star games, defenses seem to be able to jump and get on top,” Frazier said. “But I do know our quarterbacks and receivers can make things happen.”
Defensively, like Texas, Oklahoma has a group of fast and aggressive linebackers that should provide plenty of pressure.
Frazier was especially pleased with this group led by Oklahoma signee Dan Townsend of Sulphur. Chickasha’s Kody Impson (Army), along with NEO signees Logan Brosky of Pryor and Michael Clark of Moore round out the linebacking corps for Oklahoma.
Both coaches expect tonight’s contest to be a wide-open affair with the potency of the shotgun offenses.
But state pride is still the bottom line. Texas is searching for its third straight victory over Oklahoma.
“This is a neat all-star game compared to others,” West said. “Usually there’s north against south and east against west. There’s not a lot of rivalry in those games.
“But here, you’re talking about your state versus another state, Texas versus Oklahoma. That makes for a natural rivalry. I think our kids are very proud of their state and I know Oklahoma’s very proud of their state.
“Put those two together and it makes for an intense ballgame, probably more so than any other all-star game.”
Staff sportswriter Michael Wright may be reached by calling (940) 763-7571 or (800) 627-1646, Ext. 571. His e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org