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– BY MICHAEL KNIGHT
Death, taxes and Jenks and Union hooking up in an instant classic. Before a crowd of over 16,000 at TU’s Chapman Stadium, #2 Jenks got the best of rival, and top ranked Union 35-28. Jordon Curtis ran in the go-ahead touchdown with 1:15 left in the game and the Trojans held on to win. “I just thought our guys played great,” head coach Allan Trimble said. “We made plays when we had to and luckily they ran out of time.”
Union responded to the Jenks touchdown by marching right down the field and getting to the Jenks 15 yard line with seven seconds left. Two Grady Davenport passes to the end zone were incomplete and the Trojans held on to win. Junior safety Noah Strong made the game-winning pass deflection as time expired. Coincidentally, Strong also snagged an interception near midfield that set up the drive that ended with the go-ahead touchdown.
“He’s just another guy in a long line of safeties with high IQ’s that we’ve had here,” Trimble said of Strong. “He’s not going to blow you away with combine times but he just knows what to do at the right time.”
Jenks (3-0) pulled off another close win for the second straight week. Last week, the Trojans had to rally to knock off Bixby at home 38-34. Meanwhile Union (2-1) was slowed down for the first time in six quarters. They were great in the second half against Southlake Carroll and dominant all game long against Broken Arrow.
Union jumped out to a 10-0 lead and it looked like the Redskins could do no wrong. But of course, this is the Backyard Bowl and a ten point lead in the first quarter means nothing. Jenks quickly erased that lead to make it 14-10 in favor of the Trojans by the end of the first quarter. The second quarter came and went and Jenks led 14-13 at the half. “I didn’t see any changes from our guys,” Trimble said of getting down 10-0 early. “Maybe they’re just young and don’t think about it but we had the same feeling last week against Bixby.”
The second half went back and forth and Union’s senior running back Shamari Brooks took hold of the game. The future Tulsa Golden Hurricane back had an outstanding performance on his future home field. He finished with nearly 300 yards and a critical touchdown in the second half.
Union’s non-district schedule is in the books. They’ll take next week off before opening district play against Edmond North on September 23rd. Jenks returns home next week to face Springdale Har-Ber out of Arkansas in their last non-district game.