By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sport Writer
While uncertainty lingers within the 2020 Oklahoma high school football season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, here’s a look back at Owasso’s state championship season from a year ago.
The talent-loaded Rams recognized its strength and had faith in the preseason that it would have the year 2019 marked on the press box as a year of winning state. There was an arsenal of college D-1 products on the roster.
The team was led by quarterback Cole Duggar, running backs Emaud Triplet and Isaiah Jacobs, defensive lineman Hayden Grant and defensive backs Duece Mayberry and Dawson Adams, who made a game-clinching interception in the 2017 Class 6AI title game.
The Rams opened the season by winning a high-scoring battle against Bentonville (Ark.), 47-34. In the home opener against Fayetteville (Ark.), where head coach Bill Blankenship coached for one season before coming to Owasso, the Rams dispensed with the Bulldogs, 51-19.
A trip to rival Broken Arrow, for a game now known as the Patriot Bowl, was next. The Tigers won state the previous season and had the upper hand early leading 7-0.
But Owasso rallied with a pair of touchdowns set up by turnovers. Broken Arrow scored another TD on a blocked punt before halftime to tie the game at 14-14.
After a BA field goal opened the second half, the Rams dominated the rest of the game outscoring the Tigers, 28-2 for a 42-19 win. Owasso had established itself as the team destined to win in Class 6AI by that point.
After a week off, the Rams rolled over Union at home, 34-10 in their district opener. They would continue to breeze through the schedule, getting one-sided wins over Edmond North (44-0), Norman North (52-13) and Southmoore (55-3).
Owasso then fought for a 24-10 win on the road against Mustang in a key district win. It closed the regular season with victories against Moore (34-7) and Putnam City North (49-14).
It was then on to the playoffs. The Rams trailed early in its first-round game against Norman, but eventually breezed to a 52-14 win.
A second meeting with Broken Arrow in the state semifinals came next. With the game played at Jenks, Owasso got a tougher challenge from the Tigers than it did in the regular season clash. But the Rams overcame and finished on top, 42-27, setting up an encounter with Jenks in the state final.
The 6AI final had been played in Tulsa in recent years, but in 2019, the game, along with all other class state championship games, was played at Wantland Stadium on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma in Edmond.
The Rams had to overcome turning the ball over on downs in Jenks territory four times and a touchdown deficit to win 14-6.
All the scoring came in the third quarter. The Trojans scored first with what would be their only TD of the game on the first drive of the second half. After their last turnover on downs, Hayden Grant picked off a Jenks pass, giving Owasso a first down at the Trojan 31-yard line. On third-and-15, Cole Duggar hooked up with Kelan Carney for a 36-yard TD. The Rams took the lead for good at 7-6.
Emaud Triplet, who is expected to play a key role for the Rams this season, added a 2-yard TD on the next possession, bringing the score to 14-6, where it would end.
Duggar finished the game with 246 yards on 24-of-34 attempts.
Grant impacted the defense. Along with his pick, he made six stops, including sacks and tackles for loss, accounting for losses of 15 yards. Tristan Profit led the unit with eight tackles, including one for a loss of a yard.
After the last second ticked off. Owasso would celebrate its second state championship in three years and third in school history.
This fall, Grant is at the University of Tulsa, Jacobs is at Maryland University and Mayberry is at the University of Kansas.