By MIKE MOGUIN
GTR Sports Writer
With a load of experience and talent, football observers could see once the 2018 season got underway, it was going to be Broken Arrow’s year.
Leading the charge for the Tigers that year were quarterback Quintevin Cherry, running back Noah Cortes and wide receiver Matt Kaiser. The offensive line was anchored by Andrew Raym.
Linebackers Gavin Potter and Zach Marcheselli were the defensive leaders. There were also Aaron “Trickey” Stokes and Myles Slusher in the secondary.
Broken Arrow finished with a perfect 13-0 record.
The Tigers opened the season with a convincing 33-10 win against rival Union. It was their first win against the Redskins in a decade.
They would follow up with routes of Mannsfield, Texas (28-6) and at Owasso (47-20), who was the state champion the previous year.
After a week off, Broken Arrow had a big matchup against Jenks. The Trojans had the upper hand early with a 13-7 advantage. But the Tigers would take over and cruise to a 28-13 win in their District opener.
The Tigers zipped through the remainder of their schedule with blowouts of Norman (63-7), Westmoore (69-10), Edmond Santa Fe (35-7), Yukon (56-3), Edmond Memorial (56-0) and Enid (76-0). Then came a domination of Moore (49-0) in the first round of the playoffs.
But in the second round, Broken Arrow got a stiffer challenge from rival Owasso in the state semifinals than they did in the regular season. The Tigers hung on to beat the Rams 10-7 in a defensive battle.
A rematch with Jenks in the state final at Chapman Stadium on the TU campus was next.
The Trojans scored first, beginning an exchange of scores from both teams.
The Tigers got touchdowns from Cherry in the first half on keepers of 13 and 10 yards, respectively. Cherry had a big rushing night. He made some big runs that set up each score and finished with three TDs and 146 yards on 21 carries.
Broken Arrow trailed Jenks 20-14 at halftime. But it bounced back, outscoring the Trojans 14-0 in the second half, en route to a 28-20 win and its first ever state title after coming up short in three previous appearances.
Cortes, who finished with 120 yards on 30 carries, got the go-ahead TD from three yards on fourth-and-goal with 6:11 left in the third quarter.
Cherry got his last TD on a 3-yard run with 7:51 left, capping a 16-play, 80-yard drive.
However, the Tigers had to endure some adversity. After Jenks turned the ball over on downs with 4:53 left in the game, threats of thunderstorms delayed the game for two hours. Both teams went to their locker rooms before coming back onto the field to resume the game at 11:45 p.m.
Broken Arrow took over possession at their 40-yard line but could only get one first down and had to punt. Jenks drove from its 13 to the BA 9, but Slusher picked off a pass at the goal line and the Tigers had sealed the right to hold the trophy.
Today, Slusher and Raym are preparing for their first seasons at the Universities of Arkansas and Oklahoma, respectively. Marchesseli and Potter are now gearing for year two, respectively at TCU and Kansas.