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Class 3A final: Father-son combine to help Lincoln Christian win state title

Class 3A final: Father-son combine to help Lincoln Christian win state title


Lincoln Christian celebrates with the gold ball trophy after defeating Plainview in the Class 3A state championship football game in Edmond on Saturday. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World

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EDMOND — Lincoln Christian football coach Jerry Ricke’s quarterback and son, Chase, has done everything ever asked of him, and even though winning a state title was never discussed, Chase did that, too.

The Bulldogs beat Plainview 42-21 on Saturday at Wantland Stadium to claim the Class 3A state title in Chase’s last high school game. He completed his first 11 passes before finishing the game 18-of-21 for 242 yards and two touchdowns. Chase finished his career as Lincoln’s leader in career passing yards with 9,683.

When the game was over — with his son celebrating with their family behind him — Jerry paused and swallowed to attempt to keep his emotions in check, but as the emotions overwhelmed, he became father over coach.

“He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do his whole life,” Jerry said. “To finish it off in style like this is just — it’s a lot of fun. It’s a little emotional. I think back when he was just a young guy, and he’s done everything I’ve asked him to do and he just loves being out here. …

“I think maybe it’s been in the back of our minds, but we have never talked about (winning a state title). I don’t know if we’ve even talked about it this week.”

The game started with Lincoln Christian getting an early 14-0 lead after running back Josh Kaste had touchdown runs of 16 and 2 yards in the first quarter. Kaste, a senior, finished with 146 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 28 carries.

Senior standouts Chase Ricke and Kaste were two of three star skill players who earned special recognition from their coach after the game. The third was junior receiver Kolbe Katsis, who caught 13 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown Saturday. He also leaped for an interception in the fourth quarter in the shadow of Plainview’s end zone as the Indians were trying to come back, down 35-21.

“We knew we had a lot of good skill guys and our offensive line was really experienced,” Chase Ricke said. “(We knew) that and our bond would help us be a great team.”

At least one of those three was involved in every Bulldog touchdown Saturday. After Kaste found the end zone twice in the opening frame, Ricke and Katsis connected for a 12-yard touchdown, during which Katsis extended his arms past the pylon to push his team’s lead, 21-7. That was the Bulldogs’ last score of the first half, as they went to the locker room with a 21-14 lead.

The second half started with a scoring drive from Lincoln Christian that ended with a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ricke to Connor Johnson. Kaste then notched his third touchdown of the day later in the quarter before Ricke took it himself for a 4-yard score in the fourth as the Bulldogs outscored Plainview 21-7 in the second half.

Lincoln Christian chewed up 6:53 on a 96-yard drive in the fourth quarter that ended with Ricke’s run after Katsis intercepted Plainview quarterback Brock Parham to ultimately end the Indians’ hopes of a comeback.

As the final seconds dwindled away, Jerry Ricke’s players swarmed him at the 50-yard marker just off the sideline to shower him with icy Gatorade before shaking their opponents’ hands. Although Lincoln Christian had just bookended the decade with a pair of state titles, the championship was Ricke’s first in his third season as the Bulldogs’ head coach.

Darren Melton was Lincoln Christian’s first football coach when the program started in 2002 and led the Bulldogs to their first state title seven years later. He is now as the school’s athletic director.

“Awesome day,” Melton said. “We have a program — and Jerry has come in, you hand him the keys and he just makes it better. I’m proud and happy for this team and happy for this school.”

Dekota Gregory


Twitter: @dekotagregory

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