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Broken Arrow Express

B.A. Celebrates First State Championship

B.A. Express Sports Writer

BEST IN OKLAHOMA: Broken Arrow celebrates its first gold ball in football after winning the Class 6AI championship on Nov. 30 at Chapman Stadium at the University of Tulsa by defeating Jenks, 28-20.

Courtesy Broken Arrow High School Athletics

Broken Arrow was determined all year to capture the gold ball. Not even a thunderstorm was going to stop the Tigers from getting the championship.

Quarterback Quinteven Cherry rushed for three touchdowns and running back Ian Cortes scored one TD to help the Tigers to a 28-20 win against Jenks in the Class 6AI state championship game Nov. 30 at Chapman Stadium. It marked Broken Arrow’s first state football title.

Cherry rushed for 146 yards on 21 carries and Cortes produced 120 yards on 30 handoffs.

The game went back and forth before a weather-delay stopped action with 4:53 left in the fourth quarter. The teams went back to the locker room while fans took cover underneath the stadium bleachers. After two hours of rain and lightning, the teams returned to the field and fans came back to their seats.

“Coach A (Head Coach David Alexander) just kept us focused on the football game,” Cherry said. “They (coaches) didn’t let us take our minds off the football game. We just had to focus on what we did in the first half, good and bad, and that’s what coach did. We came out and finished the fourth quarter and got the win.”

“We just had to keep the gold ball in our mind and we just had to keep going,” Cortes said. “And, we just had to go in the locker room and stay focused and, we did what we did.”

With 4:53 left and the score already at where it would finish, Broken Arrow resumed possession at its 40-yard line after stopping Jenks on downs before the delay.  It would pick up a first down, but later had to punt the ball back to the Trojans, who took over at their 13-yard line with 1:14 left.

Jenks moved the ball to the Tigers’ nine and was in good position to tie the game. But Myles Slusher made an end zone interception with 20 seconds left. At five minutes before midnight, the Tigers could celebrate.

Cherry said he felt joy when Slusher made the pick.

“I just felt happy that I’ve seen Myles with a pick with seconds left. That was the ball game. Game over. I was happy.”

“We were coming down with it (the 6AI trophy),” Cortes said. “Jesus, our Lord and Savior, and my o-line is unbelievable. We just pushed through and busted through and just wore them down throughout the game, so that’s how we got this ‘W.”

“The feeling is crazy man,” Cherry said. “It’s something I never felt before. I never won a state championship before in my life. It’s a new feeling. Winning it with my teammates who welcomed me with open arms as I came to BA, the brotherhood we had built, I knew we couldn’t lose.”

With possession first, Jenks wasted no time scoring.

In one play, Ian Corwin hit Dreyson Watters on an outside post route. Watters escaped the grasp of two tacklers and broke free for an 80-yard TD. After a couple offside calls pushed the Trojans back on the PAT attempt, they missed it and it was just 6-0 with 11:48 left in the opening stanza.

BA went three-and-out on its first possession, but moved the ball on the next. A big pass play by Cherry to Matt Kaiser put the Tigers in business in Jenks territory. The Tigers also converted on a fourth-and-short on the drive. Cherry eventually scored on a 13-yard keeper. The extra point was good and Broken Arrow had a 7-6 lead with 2:58 to go in the first quarter.

When Broken Arrow incurred loss of yardage, whether from stops or sacks by the Trojans or via penalties, Cherry often responded with a long run for a first down.

“It was the offensive linemen, honestly,” Cherry said. “They just drove people back and opened lanes for me. I’m going to run through ’em. The offensive line did good, I’m proud of them. We were able to get the win.”

The Trojans regained the lead as Corwin passed 15 yards to Blake Pitcock in the end zone, making it a 13-7 game with 11:21 left in the second quarter.

Fueled by a pair of big runs, Cherry put the Tigers back on top 14-13 with 3:19 left in the first half when he scored on a 10-yard keeper.  

But Jenks answered right back as Corwin connected with Braden Phipps in the end zone from seven yards two seconds before halftime. The Trojans were back on top, 20-14.

Broken Arrow overcame adversity twice by converting on fourth down. Cherry hit Kolton Fair for a 31-yard pass, giving the Tigers first down at the Jenks three-yard line. On fourth-and-goal, a pitch back to Cortes paid dividends as he went to the end zone, giving his team a 21-20 lead with 6:11 left in the third.

The Tigers finished the night converting 4-for-4 on fourth down.

Cherry scored the last TD with 7:51 left.

Updated 12-19-2018

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