by Jeff Fisher
It’s not hard to figure-out the route to Oklahoma’s Class 6A-I state football championship in 2014. It’s the same route for the last 15 years, although this year, the Sooner State has split the classification title into two divisions – 6A-I and 6A-II
Jenks has won 11 state titles in the last 18 years, Union has won four Oklahoma state titles in six. If you can’t do the math, this means these two Tulsa area rivals separated by ten miles have won every title since 1996.
Where do you think the 6A-I title goes through in 2014?
The interesting thing about the route is just like the two divisions in 6A, there’s usually been a Jenks/Union Part I and Part II.
Part I is the regular season match-up know affectionately as the Backyard Bowl that will take place this Friday before 30,000-plus fans at the University of Tulsa’s Chapman Field. And, barring the ending of one of the programs shutting down, the two will square-off again in the playoffs.
Winning in the regular season hasn’t been a sign of things to come, because since 1998, the two schools have met 12 times in the postseason with the regular season winner losing the rematch. That was not the case last year as Jenks beat Union twice – 20-16 during the regular season and then 38-22 in the state championship game.
In 2006 Sports Illustrated called the Backyard Bowl America’s Best Rivalry.
Jenks comes into the game ranked #15 in the High School Football America Top 25 and riding a 27 game win streak. The Trojans are led by junior quarterback Cooper Nunley, who was at the helm of last year’s title run. On defensive, Jenks is led by lineman Marquise “Que” Overton, who has given his verbal to the University of Oklahoma.
Nunley threw for 331 yards and four TD’s in last week’s season opening 66-20 win over Bixby.
Union, which is coming off a tough one-point overtime loss to natiionally-ranked Southlake Carroll last week, is led by running back Tyler Adkins and quarterback Mason Farquha.
Friday’s game will be the 53rd in the series with Jenks, the 2013 defending state champs having won 33 times to Union’s 19.