Zac Duncan
Times Record News
Carrolton Creekview’s Jeremy Beal was recognized as the defensive most valuable player of Saturday night’s Oil Bowl all-star football game.

The Oklahoma signee wreaked havoc against the state he will soon call home, making seven tackles, one-and-a-half sacks, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

But the truth is, any one of three Texas defenders could have received the honor during Texas’ 17-0 whipping in front of an all-time low of 4,800 fans at Memorial Stadium.

Try Garland’s Tim Crosby, who picked off two passes. Or Plano’s Kinzey Joiner, whose 18-yard fumble return gave the home team a two-touchdown advantage.

In a game marred by nine personal fouls and 216 yards’ worth of penalties, Texas’ defense, headed by the ringleader Beal, was worth the price of admission.

“Defense feeds off of emotion, and that’s what we did,” said Beal, referring to the game’s venomous late hits and scuffles. “We kicked their (tail). Did they have over 100 yards? I don’t even think so.”

It was Texas’ 13th shutout against Oklahoma in the game’s 69-year history, with the last one coming 10 years ago. Texas leads the series 43-17.

Oklahoma’s offense was restricted to 89 yards. The team completed only three passes and was held to 1.8 yards per rush. The defensive unit recovered two of the five fumbles it forced, generated five sacks and had three different Oklahoma quarterbacks scrambling for their lives.

“That defense was impressive – they were fun to watch,” Texas coach Shawn Pratt said. “We knew our front seven would be pretty hard to block.”

Euless Trinity’s Dimitri Nance earned offensive MVP honors, rushing for 108 yards on 19 carries and adding another 22 yards on two receptions.

His 130 yards were 60 percent of Texas’ total offense (216 yards) and more than Oklahoma’s entire team. But the Lone Star State didn’t need any offense, not with the way its defense was playing.

With the score tied at 0-0, Crosby (SMU) intercepted Randy Palmer’s first pass of the second half at Oklahoma’s 34-yard line for his second pick-off.

Seven plays later, Flower Mound quarterback Nick Stephens (Tennessee) hooked up with Denton Ryan’s Justin Fenty for a 12-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter.

“When your defense plays like this, your offense just has to be smart and take care of the football,” Pratt said. “We took advantage of those opportunities.”

Texas didn’t even depend on its offense to score the game’s second touchdown four minutes later.

Oklahoma quarterback Tanner Robertson coughed up the football deep it its territory, and Joiner (Mary-Hardin Baylor) scooped up the loose ball, sprinting 18 yards for the touchdown and a 14-0 lead.

McKinney North kicker Blake Baublits added a 35-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, ending an eight-minute Texas drive.

“If you’re going to have turnovers, you’re going to probably lose the ballgame,” Oklahoma coach Pat McGrew said. “Turnovers were the key to the game.”

Coweta’s Mike Bryan (Tulsa) led Oklahoma with eight tackles, and Putnam City’s Leotist Gordon made a highlight-reel interception in a fine defensive effort overshadowed by Texas’ performance.

It looked like possibly only one score would lead to a victory after a scoreless first half.

Texas drove 80 yards on its opening possession, with Nance gaining 66 yards on the ground. The drive stalled at Oklahoma’s 10-yard line, and three unsportsmanlike penalties backed Texas up 45 yards.

Both teams struggled to move the ball, each failing to convert a 4-and-1 in the opposition’s territory. The teams totaled twice as many personal fouls (five) than completions (two) in the first two quarters.

The two will be inducted into the Oil Bowl Hall of Fame at a banquet on Friday, June 16.