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November 30, 2009
by: Barry Lewis Tulsa World Sports Writer
(Reprinted with Permission. This is not an endorsement.)
Union quarterback Chase Boyce overcame more than Broken Arrow's defense as he rallied the second-ranked Redskins to a 24-13 victory in the Class 6A semifinals at Chapman Stadium's Skelly Field on Saturday night.
"It was like the Skelly curse," Boyce said. "I had two picks (interceptions) in my first game here this year and two tonight. But I knew I just had to put my head down and keep going forward."
Boyce did that with two touchdown runs late in the fourth quarter to lift the defending state champion Redskins (12-1) into the state title game against No. 1 Jenks (13-0).
"It was probably the most emotional that Chase Boyce has played in quite some time," Union coach Kirk Fridrich said. "He's usually pretty calm and poised, but you could tell he had the look in his eye that was going to get it done, and I thought he did an outstanding job."
It's a good thing for Boyce and the Redskins that he got rid of the Skelly curse during the fourth-quarter rally, because the state title game will be played at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Chapman Stadium. It will be a rematch of Jenks' 27-25 victory in Week 2 at Chapman Stadium and Union's 34-20 victory in last year's title game.
Third-ranked Broken Arrow (10-3), before a crowd of 8,350, led almost the entire game and was ahead 13-10 until Boyce sneaked across the goal line from the 1 behind lineman Alec Henry with 4:29 left. That capped a 73-yard, 11-play drive. Boyce connected with Thomas Roberson on three passes during the drive, including a 17-yarder to the 1. The pair also connected for the tiebreaking TD in last year's state final.
"We've been doing it for a long time," Boyce said about passing to Roberson. "All of our receivers really stepped up."
Union's go-ahead drive also included key third-down passes to Kale Pearson and Colton Dost.
The Tigers' next possession ended with pressure that forced Broken Arrow quarterback Archie Bradley to hurry a pass that was picked off by Jon Swanfeld and returned 20 yards to the Broken Arrow 32. A personal foul — for a late hit — was tacked on to the play. Boyce covered the final 17 yards on three carries, scoring from the 6 as he followed lineman Dakota Tomlinson's block with 1:35 left.
"Everyone blocked it perfectly and it was just like the Red Sea parting," Boyce said.
Boyce completed 14-of-20 passes for 139 yards. After a slow start, he completed his last eight passes. He also was the game's leading rusher, with 14 carries for 79 yards.
"I got us into a big hole early and I felt I had to at least do my part to get us out," Boyce said. "Everyone really stepped up and supported me."
Carl Salazar's 25-yard field goal with 6:23 left in the first half enabled Broken Arrow to take a 10-3 lead into intermission. The field goal was set up by Jon Bullock intercepting a Boyce pass at the Union 39, followed by Bradley's 24-yard completion to Ronnie Price.
"Our kids came to play," said Broken Arrow's Ron Lancaster after his final game as the Tigers' head coach. "But you have to give Union credit. They showed why they are state champions."
Union tied the game at 10 midway through the third quarter, when Jalen Hearron took a swing lateral from Boyce and raced 18 yards for a touchdown. Broken Arrow regained the lead at 13-10 when Salazar kicked a 37-yard field goal with 2:04 left in the third quarter.
Bradley began the scoring with a TD on a third-down sneak from the 1 to cap a 16-play, 80-yard drive that opened the game. A big play on the drive was Bradley's 45-yard bomb to Ronnie Price. The drive was kept alive by a third-down pass interference call against Union that gave Broken Arrow a first down at the 3.
Union's first possession ended with Cole Way's 42-yard field goal that was set up by Boyce's 32-yard pass to Christian Hood.