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December 4, 2008
by: BARRY LEWIS Tulsa World Sports Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
History shows that in the Jenks-Union football rivalry, it's difficult for a team to win twice in the same year.
When the teams who have combined for the last 12 state titles play in the Class 6A final on Friday at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, it will be their seventh playoff meeting in the last 11 years. Only once has the regular-season winner also prevailed in the playoffs.
Last year, Jenks avenged a regular-season overtime loss with a 42-24 win over Union in the final. The second-ranked Trojans (12-1) will try for a repeat this year after losing in overtime, 24-17, in Week 2.
"That game (Week 2) seems like a year ago," said Allan Trimble, who has won nine state titles since becoming Jenks' coach in 1996. "Union's offensive reputation will let you know that it's going to be high scoring. Nobody has really been able to slow them down. But who really knows if its going to be high scoring? One year (1999) we thought it would be and it was 14-7 (in the final)."
Union coach Kirk Fridrich said, "I think there will be a few more points this time. Early in the season, defenses usually have the advantage and then later on the edge goes to the offenses."
Top-ranked Union (12-1), looking for its fourth state title of the decade, is averaging 56 points per game in the playoffs while Jenks is scoring 34.7 per game.
Broken Arrow coach Ron Lancaster's team defeated Union 24-9 in the season opener.
"You've got to stop their tailback — Jeremy Smith is a tremendous player," Lancaster said on Tuesday. "We made sure Smith didn't beat us and our defense won that game. But a key for Union is getting the ball to Tracy Moore. He wasn't really a factor against us until they started throwing to him late in the game. No one in 6A has weapons like Union."
Moore has 956 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns with a Union season-record 67 catches. He was the most valuable player against Jenks in Week 2 with 11 catches for 150 yards. Smith was held to 80 yards on 24 carries, but scored the winning overtime TD. He has nine TDs in the last two games.
Broken Arrow held Jenks to its lowest point total over the last 10 games in a 21-7 loss in Week 6. According to Lancaster, a key for Union will be stopping Jenks receiver Tramaine Thompson, who caught two TD passes in Week 2.
"Tramaine is the whole deal, he's amazing," Lancaster said. "Whether it's on a reverse, or throwing a hitch to him or using him to run out of the Wildcat (formation), their offense has to get the ball to him.
"Jenks kids are playing for the gold ball for the umpteenth time and walk out on the field expecting to win. Union should win, but it would not be a surprise if Jenks beat Union."
Union-Jenks notes: Union safety Howard Scarborough had a season-high 16 tackles and an interception in the semifinal win over Midwest City.
"We're really excited about how he defended the run," Fridrich said.
Union linebacker Terrell Williams, who had a season-high 11 tackles last week, appreciates the chance to play for a gold ball after only experiencing four wins over the previous two football seasons at Edison.
"Its an awesome feeling," Williams said...
Jenks senior defensive end Chris Ray, who had two sacks in the semifinals against Mustang, will end his football playing career on Friday,
"I've been playing since third grade, it's been a decade of my life," Ray said. "I don't remember what it's like without it. It will be weird not playing."...
The Jenks-Union game and the Class 5A final on Saturday will be televised by Fox Sports Oklahoma (Cox cable 27.)