Jenks, Owasso collide in 6A-1 semifinal showdown
It will be No. 1 vs. No. 2 when Owasso and Jenks kickoff at 7 p.m. Friday at Tiger Memorial Stadium in the 6A-1 semifinals.
It will be a rematch of the 2019 6A-1 state championship game when the Rams knocked off the Trojans 14-6 to claim their second title in three years.
Jenks coach Keith Riggs said Owasso is similar this year, even with some of their personnel from last year’s bunch graduating.
“Offensively, they run a lot of the same concepts from last year, even though they have a new quarterback,” Riggs said. “Several of their receivers are back and several offensive linemen are back. Defensively, two of their inside linebackers are back and part of their secondary is back. They do have a new defensive coordinator, but they run a lot of the same defensive concepts as to what they did last year.”
The Rams come into the game 11-0 and ranked No. 1 in class 6A-1. The Trojans are 9-1 and ranked No. 2. Jenks’ lone loss of 2020 came against 6A-2 No. 1 Bixby 42-35 in its second game of the season.
Riggs said Owasso is a solid football team and they have good players at every position.
“There is not a weak link on either side of the football,” Riggs said. “We are healthy. We are playing our best football when we need to be. We played a good football game Friday night against a good football team. When you are playing well, you are confident in what you are doing. We have minimized our mistakes.”
The Rams, coached by former Union coach and University of Tulsa coach Bill Blankenship, has had one game this year canceled because of COVID-19, while the Trojans have had two.
Riggs said his team is not perfect but has been making fewer mistakes each week and that will need to continue against Owasso.
“A team like Owasso will make you pay when you make a mistake,” Riggs said. “We are right where we want to be, with an opportunity to get into the state championship game. Hopefully, we will be ready to go Friday night.”
Jenks has not played on Thanksgiving week since 2013. With the formation of 6A-1, the playoff format was designed with a bye-week to occur during the holiday, but with four rounds in 2020 instead of three, the Thanksgiving week semifinal matchups are back in business this year.
The other 6A-1 semifinal game is at 7 p.m. Saturday between Union and Edmond Santa Fe at Owasso.
The Trojans had a normal practice schedule this week other than Thursday on Thanksgiving Day. Jenks practiced at their normal time in the afternoon Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, but had an early morning practice Thursday to allow players to be with their families for the remainder of the holiday.
Riggs said his team is excited to be here and excited to be one step away from another state title game. He said his players are looking forward to the challenge Owasso brings.
“They are the No. 1 team in the state,” Riggs said. “You are going to have to beat them to win a state championship whether it is in the semifinals or finals. We have to find a way to beat them either way.”