Zach Duncan, Times Record News
It took Texas’ Graham Harrell only one play to show why he was the best quarterback in the state Saturday night at Memorial Stadium.
It took Oklahoma’s defense an entire night trying to figure a way to stop the future Texas Tech quarterback.
Behind Harrell’s arm and a monstrous 30-point first quarter, Texas throttled Oklahoma in the 67th Oil Bowl, cruising to a 40-10 victory over its border rival in front of an estimated crowd of 8,200.
“We just didn’t get it rolling, and when you look up and you’re 30-0 behind, it’s hard to stay with your offense,” Oklahoma coach Charles Lynch said. “I would have thought earlier in the week we could have played them a little closer, but sometimes things roll and you don’t have much control over them.”
Harrell, who threw for 54 touchdowns his senior year at Ennis, earned the game’s offensive most valuable player award by throwing for 260 yards and a pair of touchdowns, completing 17 of 29 passes.
After Forney defensive back Baylen Laury intercepted Oklahoma’s first pass of the game, Harrell connected with fellow Ennis teammate Jarvis Woodson for a 61-yard bomb on Texas’ initial play from scrimmage, setting the tone for the blowout.
“We caught them on their heels,” Texas offensive coordinator Bill Green said. “They probably weren’t prepared for our speed or size, and it snowballed.”
Chris Smith’s safety gave Texas the ball back near midfield, and former Hirschi tailback Chris Barry sprinted off tackle for a 48-yard touchdown run, giving the Lone Star State a 16-0 lead only two minutes into the game. Barry, who signed with Midwestern State, led all rushers with 108 yards on nine carries.
McKinney North’s Shannon Woods, who will join Harrell at Texas Tech next fall, added a 1-yard touchdown plunge, and Wichita Falls High School’s Tommy Henderson added a 5-yard score on an option keeper, putting Texas ahead 30-0 at the end of the first.
Oklahoma tried to make a game of it, scoring its lone touchdown on Zach Snider’s 2-yard dive in the second quarter and holding Texas without a touchdown for almost the next two quarters.
“Our kids played hard, and it was a great experience,” Lynch said. “We dropped a couple of passes and missed assignments, but that happens in all-star games.”
But Harrell connected with Gainesville’s Darcel McBath for a 28-yard touchdown catch at the end of the third, putting the final touches on the victory. McBath, who will also be a Red Raider in the fall, was the game’s leading receiver, finishing with seven catches for 136 yards.
While the offense looked sharp most of the evening, the Texas defense was equally impressive. Both Smith and Lake Highlands’ Franklin Okam, who was one of the top linemen in the nation, tallied two sacks apiece, and the entire front put enormous pressure on Oklahoma quarterbacks Robby Treadwell and Jake Spavital. Okam was named the game’s defensive MVP.
The group allowed only 32 rushing yards on 25 carries and created three turnovers. Spavital did complete 10-of-20 passes for 176 yards.
“We had a feeling that we would have a pretty good chance to stop them,” Green said. “They only had one really good drive, and we had an outstanding defensive effort.”
Harrell was the star of the night, though, taking all but 11 of Texas’ snaps. He showed mobility and a strong arm in picking apart Oklahoma’s secondary.
“He played just the way he practiced,” Green said. “He was real calm, and he made things happen.”
Henderson also caught two passes for 19 yards, Colin Bado had five for 35 yards and Woodson finished with two for 67 yards. Woods finished with 59 yards on 15 carries, while Oklahoma’s leading rusher was Chris Jones (17 rushes for 47 yards).
Staff sports writer Zach Duncan can be reached weekdays after 4 p.m. by calling 720-3470 or 1-800-627-1646. Or e-mail him at duncanz(at)timesrecordnews.com.
Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Even though his high school coach was picked to coach in the 1979 Oil Bowl, Bill Green didn’t get an invitation to the game.
“I wasn’t good enough,” Green said, reflecting back on his high school days as a two-way tackle in Duncan, Okla. Continue reading →
Trey Reed, Times Record News
The 2004 edition of the boy’s Oil Bowl Classic will pit the star power of Oklahoma’s A.J. Hawkins and Quincy Williams against Texas’ pure shooters and it has all the makings a high-scoring shootout.
Tipoff is slated for 8 p.m. at Midwestern State University’s D.L. Ligon Coliseum.
Hawkins and Williams anchor a very athletic Oklahoma squad hoping to build on last year’s 89-74 Sooner win. Continue reading →
Nick Gholson, Times Record News
Graham Harrell, the most prolific passer in Texas high school football history, has accepted an invitation to play in the 67th annual Oil Bowl game.
The Ennis quarterback threw for 12,532 yards and 167 touchdowns in the three years he started for the Lions. In his senior year, Harrell passed for 4,825 yards and 67 touchdowns.
The two-time Class 4A offensive player of the year, 41-3 as Ennis’ starting quarterback, signed to play for Texas Tech.
But first, he will lead the Texas all-stars against their counterparts from Oklahoma in the Maskat Shrine Temple charity game June 19 in Memorial Stadium.
Harrell is one of four Tech signees on the Texas Oil Bowl roster. Joining him will be Sherman center Josh Aleman, Everman defensive tackle Brian Jones and Gainesville cornerback Darcel McBath.
The University of Texas also has four of its signees on that roster, including two top guns off the Lake Highlands’ defense – linebacker Jeremy Campbell and 6-5, 295-pound tackle Franklin Okam. Adam Ulatoski, a 6-6, 290-pound offensive tackle from Southlake Carroll, and Greg Dolan, a 6-7, 285-pound defensive tackle from Austin Westwood are the two other future Longhorns who have committed to the Oil Bowl.
Five Wichita Falls area players will be on the Texas roster – Tommy Henderson of Wichita Falls High School, Joe Mike Fouts of Holliday, Brandon Monroe of Electra, Chad Green of Windthorst and Matthew Manley of Childress.
Texas owns a 41-16-1 edge in the series, but Oklahoma won 24-21 last year and will be going for two straight with a roster that includes 14 players who have also been chosen for the state’s All-State game.
Oil Bowl notes: Sean McGrath, a senior at Rider High School, has been selected to be an all-star trainer in this year’s game.
? Ten of the teams in the Big 12 Conference will be represented in the game. The only two Big 12 teams without a player in the game are Kansas and Kansas State.
? Six Lone Star Conference teams will have players in the game — Midwestern State, West Texas A&M, Eastern New Mexico, Northeastern State, Central Oklahoma and Southwestern Oklahoma State.
? Tulsa Union is the most represented high school with four players from the 2003 Class 6A runner-up on the Oklahoma roster. One of those is Adam Blankenship — the third Blankenship brother to play in the Oil Bowl. Josh and Caleb Blankenship both played in previous games, and their dad, Bill Blakenship – the head coach at Union – has also coached in the game.
? Southlake Carroll is the next most represented school in the game with three players.
? Coaches at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M should really be interested in this game. The junior college in Miami, Okla., has 11 players on the Oklahoma roster.
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 e-mail him at gholsonn(at)timesrecordnews.com
Charles Lynch, a former assistant coach at Rider High School, will be head coach of the Oklahoma all-star team in the 67th Oil Bowl football game on June 19 at Memorial Stadium.
Lynch, now coaching in Comanche, Okla., will be on a staff with Rocky Carter, the head coach in El Reno, and Steve Spavital, an assistant coach at Tulsa Union.
The staff was announced Saturday, along with Texas coaches Bill Green of Windthorst, Mickey Finley of Cleburne and Gary Rushing of Azle. It was also announced that Scott Ponder of Rider will work with the Texas team.
It didn’t take long to see this was going to be a Texas-sized butt-kicking.
The 67th Oil Bowl was over by the end of the first quarter. It dragged on for more than three hours, but Oklahoma really never had a prayer.
The clock hadn’t struck 8, and writers in the press box were busy thumbing through the record book. The most lopsided games in Oil Bowl history were 37-0 Texas in 1946 and 1956. Continue reading →
Trey Reed, Times Record News
The sibling rivalry in the Blankenship house must have been fierce.
So fierce, that it drove youngest brother Adam Blankenship away from the offensive side of the ball and put him on the defensive from an early age.
Adam has made the break from the mold that saw older brothers Josh and Caleb have success at Oklahoma powerhouse Tulsa Union.
“It all stems from being younger and trying to be tougher than them,” Adam admits. “It had a lot to do with developing the defensive mentality.” Continue reading →
Trey Reed, Times Record News
Perhaps it’s a good thing for the rest of college football that Greg Dolan and Randy McAdams don’t see eye-to-eye on Austin.
“I grew up in Midland and I’m used to things being slow,” McAdams said. “I just don’t understand old ladies with walkers in one hand, while they give me the finger through the sun roof with the other. That definitely gives me a case of road rage.”
Dolan, who will be a teammate of his former and future rival this week in the 67th Oil Bowl, lives for the fast life of Sixth Street and looks forward to staying home.
“I like Texas because I grew up here and my parents will be able to go to my games,” he said.
McAdams will head North of the Red River to play for Oklahoma.
The two were charged to protect quarterbacks and pave the rushing games for two District 14-5A foes. McAdams played left tackle at Leander, while Dolan manned the right tackle position at Round Rock Westwood.
They have also established competitive bonds on the football field as well as competing directly in district discus and shot put competitions.
The pair of 6-7 linemen will anchor the right side of the Texas line Saturday night against Oklahoma.
Each are hoping they are taking the first steps toward an NFL career, but at the same time they are remolding the accepted build of today’s lineman.
Both have the athletic frame and ability that attracted many college coaches to their respective high school campuses.
And it took all of one brief moment to redirect each of the budding talents in the right direction.
Dolan, who tips the scales at 285 pounds, had visions of being the next Jim Kelly.
His first head coach, Mo Cotter of Canyon Vista Junior High, quickly erased any inkling not connected to playing on the line.
Dolan clearly remembers his first day of organized football as a seventh-grader.
“I’ve always dreamed of playing professional football since I was three years old,” he said. “And, being from New York, Jim Kelly was my boyhood hero.”
So when coach Cotter instructed the eager group of glary-eyed middle schoolers to break into try-out groups, Dolan naturally sauntered over towards the quarterback station.
“Hey, when I was 10 years old, I could throw a football 50 yards,” Dolan recalled.
Maybe Dolan came along a few years too late. Maybe the accomplishments of big quarterbacks such as Minnesota Vikings’ Daunte Culpepper (6-4, 260 pounds) and former Kentucky standout Jerad Lorenzen (6-3, 288 pounds, signed by the New York Giants) would have tempted the junior high coach to give him a shot as a signal caller.
But not on this day, Cotter quickly ran over and tapped the big kid’s shoulder pads.
“Dolan, get your big ass over there with the linemen,” the coach instructed Dolan.
With that, the big kid lowered his chin and trotted over to begin a mostly thankless career as a lineman.
“We don’t get a lot of the credit when things are going well,” he said. “But we get the blame when things are going bad.”
Perhaps the coach did know what he was doing after all.
“I don’t dislike being a lineman anymore,” Dolan said, perhaps realizing his best chance at realizing his boyhood dream just might be through the trenches.
McAdams (300 pounds) also harbored dreams of translating his physical prowess into backfield grandeur, constantly hounding the Leander coaching staff to give him a shot at fullback. They didn’t relent.
“Goon, shut up and go block,” one coach said.
That’s something that McAdams clearly understood, and blocking helped him develop a mentality that he has grown to relish.
“There’s nothing like getting in a three-point stance and running through people,” McAdams said.
McAdams fondly recollected the highlight of his senior season. He was cut at the ankles, fell off-balance onto his left hand before quickly bounding to his right to cut three oncoming defenders to the ground.
“My dad almost had a heart-attack when he saw the film,” he said. “Coaches asked me how I did it. I had no answer.”
Next fall, the Austin-area product will head north of the Red River to start his collegiate career as a Sooner, but he feels the hometown Longhorns missed out.
“I’ve lived in Texas all of my life,” McAdams said. “I don’t disrespect them, but I feel like they passed on an opportunity to get a good player.
“This is the last good I’m going to do for Texas. Whoever’s across the line in burnt orange, it’ll be on.”
But first, McAdams will team up with Dolan to show the Longhorns what they could have had.
Note: Practices today for both squads will be held at the Midwestern State University practice fields and will begin at 8:45 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
Stephen C. Smith Sr., Times Record News
Meia Daniels is used to being the go-to player for Keller Fossil Ridge, but coming into Thursday night’s Oil Bowl Girls Basketball Classic inside D.L. Ligon Coliseum, she wasn’t expecting to have the ball in her hands with the game on the line.
“On my team, that’s usually my role,” Daniels said. “But playing with all these all-star players, I’ve never had that role before — but I’m glad I had it tonight.” Continue reading →
Stephen C. Smith Sr.,Times Record News
Three months ago, Archer City’s Brittni Burks and Muenster’s Brooke Endres were enemies battling for the Class A Division I State championship under the bright lights of the Erwin Center.
Tonight, the two Class A All-State selections will represent Texas in the 2004 Oil Bowl Basketball Classic inside D.L. Ligon Coliseum at 6:30 p.m. as teammates, but more importantly, as friends.
“It’s still kind of funny to look back on that,” Burks said. “We still of kind of pick on each other out here, too, but it’s good to be able to play with her instead of against her.”
Although Burks and the Ladycats beat Muenster 43-42 in Austin, Endres relishes one more chance to share the court before she heads to St. Edward’s in the fall while Burks begins at Southeast Oklahoma.
“Yeah, Brittni’s going to be an Okie after this and I’m going to Austin,” Endres said. “So, this is probably our last run together and we want to make it a good one.”
State bragging rights aside, the game is also a showcase for three players heading for the Big 12 and five for the Lone Star Conference to include Oklahoma’s Cassidy Pillow (Central Oklahoma) and Amber Hammock (Southwest Oklahoma) along with Texas’ Kendall Reddell and Missy Davis (Tarleton St.) along with Burks.
Still, in order for the Texas team to win tonight, they’ll have to overcome Oklahoma’s height advantage and probable control of the offensive and defensive boards.
“What we’re going to try to do is open things up,” Texas coach Arnold Parker said. “We put in a fast break offense today and that’s going to be our primary package. We’re going to try and score our points that way.”
One of Parker’s players, Vernon’s Shanika Conaway, is very familiar with that approach to the game.
“They do have a height advantage, but that may actually work in our favor,” Conaway said. “We’ll be fast-breaking and pushing the ball as much as possible because of their size. That’s what we did at Vernon, so I’m used to it.”
Conaway, a two-time All-Region I-3A and Red River 22 selectee, is headed to Hardin-Simmons while Fort Worth O.D. Wyatt teammates Trenisha Williams and Richelle Parks are bound for Oklahoma State and Texas-San Antonio, respectively.
“It’s really good to be together and have fun together one more time,” Williams said. “We didn’t finish our season the way we wanted to, but at least we get to be on the same court together one more time.”
Williams will face two of her future teammates, Oklahoma’s Taleesha Conder and Nataly Gray tonight, but doesn’t plan to show them any special favors.
“Taleesha is my roommate here and Natalie has been really cool — I love my teammates,” Williams said. “But, I’m not going to be their friend on the court tonight.”
Oklahoma, which leads the all-time series, 2-1, may not need any favors though.
All-State point guard Jaime Forsberg of Jenks will key the Oklahoma attack that will look to work the ball inside and allow players like All-State selections ReQuecia Stephens of Tulsa Union (5-10) and Hammock of Drumright (6-1) to use their size to match Texas’ speed.
“We do have a slight height advantage,” Fitts said. “But since they seem to have the quickness, we’ll just try to take what we can get. A lot of it will just be feeling each other out over the first quarter and seeing how the game goes.”
Naturally, the Oklahoma players are approaching the game with just as much fervor as their Texas counterparts.
“I think it’s more of a pride thing,” said Forsberg, who led Jenks to the Class 6A state title. “To be picked to represent the state is different from being picked within. I’m just excited and I want to represent Oklahoma well.”
Hammock was a bit more direct.
“It’s a chance to beat Texas, that’s how I look at it,” Hammock said. “Any chance to do that is a good one.”
Still, Endres and Burks are hoping that playing the game in their backyard will give the Texas team an extra boost.
“This game has more of hometown feel,” Endres said. “More people that we know will be here to watch it and it gives us a chance to perform for all of them one last time.”
Staff sports writer Stephen C. Smith Sr. can be reached after 6 p.m. at 1-800-627-1646. Or you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org