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High school football: Jenks, Broken Arrow eye return to normalcy in District 6AI-1

High school football: Jenks, Broken Arrow eye return to normalcy in District 6AI-1

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Three storylines Will Edmond Santa Fe (or another western school) upset the apple cart again?

The 2019 season was anything but normal in District 6AI-1 football.

Jenks and Broken Arrow had dominated so thoroughly for the previous five years that it took almost everyone by surprise when Edmond Santa Fe pulled out narrow wins over both to capture the district’s No. 1 playoff seed.

Santa Fe became only the second western school to win a district crown since Class 6A Division I was formed in 2014. Norman North’s Timberwolves won 6AI-2 in 2016.

Could it happen again? Santa Fe, Westmoore, Norman and Yukon all appear dangerous again in 2020, but district coaches predict a return to normalcy with Jenks and Broken Arrow returning to the top two spots.

Jenks coach Keith Riggs returns 14 starters for his third year at the helm. That’s tons more experience than the Trojans had last year when they stumbled out of the gate but later rallied to reach the 6AI final for the second straight year.

Broken Arrow was riddled with injuries, and even a 9-3, state semifinal finish was a disappointment for the Tigers after they won the school’s first state football title in 2018.

Coach David Alexander returns his starting quarterback (Jake Raines), top running back (Sanchez Banks), a frequently dominant outside linebacker (Darryan Moss) and blistering speed across the board.

“We’re faster at almost every position than we were last year,” Alexander said.

How will Jenks be without top producer Will Clark?

It’s hard to replace a guy who rushed for 1,223 yards and 22 touchdowns in his final high school season. But the Trojans still have proven playmakers and a potentially dominant offensive line, led by 6-foot-6, 275-pound Logan Nobles, an OSU commit.

Stephen Kittleman threw for 2,705 yards and 25 TDs last year and played his best football over the final six weeks. Grant Lohr will have a chance to increase his production in a running game by committee when he isn’t helping lead the defense. He averaged 6.6 yards per rush last year.

Receivers must be developed, and Riggs thinks Jayden Patrick could have a breakout senior season.

Can Broken Arrow overcome the loss of elite players?

It’s natural to worry when a program has just graduated four-star prospects the likes of defensive back Myles Slusher — who signed with Arkansas — and offensive lineman Andrew Raym, who signed with OU.

“People see you’ve lost two high-profile guys and they don’t know anything about the rest of your roster,” Alexander said. “Honestly, I think we’re gonna be really good.”

Speed could be the difference. Maurion Horn, a junior running back/linebacker, and several others have clocked sub-4.6-second times in the 40-yard dash.

Three potential breakout players

Waylon Adams, Jenks

Senior tight end is expected to provide an answer in the passing game. Totaled 12 catches for 167 yards and two TDs last year. Also contributed seven sacks and two tackles on defense.

Sanchez Banks, Broken Arrow

Actually broke out as a junior, zooming from No. 5 on the depth chart to become the Tigers’ starting tailback in the fifth game. Rushed for 1,089 yards and 12 TDs and scored the winning TD in the closing minute of a quarterfinal win over Union.

Jadahian Floyd-Wright, Broken Arrow

Made an impression in limited starting time at strong safety and outside linebacker as a sophomore and is lightning fast. “By midseason, everybody will know who he is,” coach David Alexander predicts.

TEAM CAPSULES 1. Jenks Trojans

Head coach: Keith Riggs, 3rd year (19-7)

2020-21 ADM: 3423.53

2019 record: 8-5

District titles: 1944, ’48, ’54, ’60, ’61, ’62, ’63, ’66, ’71, ’74, ’81, ’82, ’84, ’87, ’89, ’90, ’92, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’04, ’05, ’07, ’09, ’10, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’16, ’17

State titles: 1979, ’82, ’93, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000, ’01, ’03, ’06, ’07, ’12, ’13, ’14, ’15

Top players: Stephen Kittleman, QB (5-10, 175, Sr.); Waylon Adams (TE/LB, 6-1, 230); Logan Nobles, OL (6-6, 275, Sr.); Haden Crawley, OL (5-11, 230, Sr.); Isaac Arsee, OL (5-11, 230, Sr.); Tyson Ward, LB (5-10, 190, Sr.); Grant Lohr, DB/RB (5-10, 186, Sr.); Jayden Patrick, DB/WR (5-10, 180, Sr.); Quinn Hill, DB/WR (6-0, 184, Sr.); AJ Brown, DL (6-0, 284, Jr.); Coleman Thurber, DL (6-3, 232, Jr.); Cade Stacy, DB/WR (6-1, 170, Jr.); Chase Jackson, DL (6-1, 230, Sr.); Adren Garnett, DB (5-10, 190, Sr.)

Notable: Lohr had a team-best three interceptions last year. … Ward transferred from Lincoln Christian and led the Trojans with 127 tackles. … Nobles is rated a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247Sports. … Last year’s finals appearance was the Trojans’ 26th.

2. Broken Arrow Tigers

Head coach: David Alexander, 7th year (54-18)

2020-21 ADM: 5184.00

2019 record: 9-3

District titles: 1945, ’46, ’49, ’50, ’54, ’55, ’56, ’65, ’74, ’83, 2002, ’03, ’11, ’15, ’18

State title: 2018

Top players: Darryan Moss, LB (6-2, 220, Sr.); Jake Raines, QB (5-10, 170, Sr.); Sanchez Banks, RB (5-10, 190, Sr.); Maurion Horne, RB/LB (6-0, 168, Jr.); Buddy Jack, LB (6-0, 205, Jr.); Robert Spears-Jennings, WR (6-3, 190, Jr.); Cory Williams, DB (5-11, 172, Sr.); Keyon Barnett, WR (5-10, 180, Sr.); Talon Wheeler, OL (6-3, 290, Sr.)

Notable: Tigers open the season hosting Bentonville (Arkansas) West for an ESPN national telecast on Aug. 29. … Alexander’s 54 wins are the most by any BA coach over his first six seasons. … Raines threw for 1,540 yards and 19 TDs last year, with only two interceptions. … Moss recovered a fumble and had 16 tackles in a 17-15 win over Jenks and totaled 95 stops for the season.

3. Edmond Santa Fe (8-3): Scott Phieffer takes over at quarterback and the Wolves return four-star prospects at linebacker (OSU commit Collin Oliver) and receiver (Taylen Shettron).

4. Westmoore (6-4): Nine starters return on defense, meaning likely improvement for a unit that allowed 31.7 points per game last year. Dayton Wolfe threw for 2,712 yards and 30 TDs last season and is also part of a veteran linebacker quartet.

5. Norman (7-4): OSU commit Jaden Bray had 936 receiving yards and 11 TDs season, but can the Tigers get the ball to him with the same frequency in 2020? Four quarterbacks are competing to replace graduated standout Cade Horton.

6. Yukon (4-6): The Millers gave Santa Fe its only district loss last season and could be coming up in the world. Brayden Dutton, Caden Hernandez and Makari Slaughter combined for 24 rushing TDs in a flexbone offense that is frequently difficult to defend.

7. Edmond Memorial (1-9): Rebuilding Bulldogs are excited about a talented sophomore class. Senior LB Ian McDonald totaled 140 tackles last season.

8. Enid (0-10): Former OSU All-American receiver Rashaun Woods takes the helm after going 54-18 with a 3A state title in six years at OKC John Marshall. The Plainsmen own four state titles and reached the 6A final in 2006, but haven’t had a winning season in nine years.

Mike Brown

918-581-8390

mike.brown@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @mikebrownTW

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