Coach Gundy took the opportunity during the bye week to make the trip down the Cimarron Turnpike Friday night and watch a match-up between two of the top teams in Class 6A high school football. The Jenks Trojans hosted the Broken Arrow Tigers in a 6A-2 district showdown. It was a tough night for Broken Arrow. The Tigers often struggled to get any kind of momentum on the offense side of the ball, but the Tiger defense was solid for the majority of the game and gave their offense the ball numerous times in the first half. The Jenks offense dominated the second half of the game which resulted in a Trojans win.
The game featured three committed Cowboys...Devon Thomas and Gyasi Akem from Broken Arrow, and Dylan Harding from Jenks...as well as one of the top prospects on Oklahoma State’s list, Steven Parker from Jenks.
RB Devon Thomas finished with 18 carries for 54-yards. Thomas has been battling an ankle injury, but appeared to be healthy for Friday night’s contest. Proving that an injury wouldn't stop him, he had a 73-yard gain nullified by an illegal shift in the first half which resulted in his best run of the night.
OLB Gyasi Akem accounted for one solo and three assisted tackles which included two for a loss. Akem’s best individual effort game came on a sack in the fourth quarter giving the ball back to the Tigers who were down by 14 with a little over eight minutes left in the game.
S Dylan Harding had a hand in several defensive stops throughout the game for Jenks. He had a touchdown saving tackle on Devon Thomas in the first quarter and made a key tackle for a loss in the third quarter. Harding’s presence in the backfield helped the Jenks secondary contain the passing game most of the night.
S Steven Parker’s size and speed were on full display, particularly on the offensive side of the ball. With the game tied at 7 midway through the third quarter, Parker caught a pass on the Tiger’s 35, slipping a tackle and racing 53 yards for a score. He recovered a fumble later in the game, which resulted in another TD. Parker’s performance in this game clearly demonstrated why he is one of the most sought after recruits in the state.
It will be intriguing to follow the progression of these recruits through the rest of the season. Naturally all eyes will be on Parker’s decision as the anticipation of signing day nears. Thomas should return to form as a dynamic playmaker, while Akem and Harding will continue to make impactful contributions to their respective defensive squads. No doubt Gundy and the OSU coaching staff will continue to keep tabs on these talented athletes as they would definitely be quality additions to the Cowboys' program.