Jenks and Union are set to add another chapter to Oklahoma’s premier high school football rivalry this week. The Tulsa-area powerhouses – separated by just 10 miles – will meet in The MidFirst Backyard Bowl at 7 p.m. Friday inside the University of Tulsa’s H.A. Chapman Stadium.
Since 1996, the two schools have 21 combined state championships in Oklahoma’s largest classification. That, and the impressive list of top recruits on both rosters each season, separates this game from any other in the Sooner State. But it’s the drama that has truly made this a can’t-miss contest.
“Every workout, every practice, that game is on our mind,” said Jenks senior wide receiver Blake Pitcock. “As a kid, watching the Backyard Bowl was the best thing ever. It was like the Super Bowl to me. I just loved it and I couldn’t wait to play in it once I got older.”
The 2018 Backyard Bowl has the potential to be yet another thrilling matchup in the series. Jenks enters 2-0 coming off a 35-14 victory last Friday over Mansfield (Texas) Legacy, the preseason No. 5 team in Texas’ Class 5A. Union also scored an impressive win last week, rebounding from a season-opening loss to Broken Arrow with a 36-30 victory over Mansfield (Texas) Lake Ridge.
Both sides have plenty of talent again this season, including two veterans at quarterback.
Jenks senior Ian Corwin is in his third season as the starter. He’s been among the most productive quarterbacks in Jenks history. He threw for more than 300 yards and three touchdowns in the Trojan’s win last Friday. Corwin has the luxury of playing behind offensive lineman Brady Latham, who received a scholarship offer from Arkansas last month, and committed to the Razorbacks on Sept. 4th.
I want to thank God, my family, the Jenks coaches, and the coaches at the University of Arkansas for giving me the opportunity to continue my football and academic career. After a lot of thought, I’m excited to Commit to the University of Arkansas!! #WPS 🐗🐗 pic.twitter.com/XEWG7Galp4
— Brady Latham (@BradyLatham62) September 5, 2018
Union second-year starter Peyton Thompson has reported scholarship offers from Abilene Christian, Columbia, Cornell and Eastern Michigan. Thompson is joined in the Redskins’ backfield by Eastern Michigan commit Darius Boone at running back. Boone rushed for 132 yards on 18 carries last week, including a 26-yard touchdown run that gave Union it’s decisive fourth-quarter lead.
This Jenks-Union clash will be the first since 1995 without Allan Trimble as head coach at Jenks. Trimble, an Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame member, is arguably the most prominent figure in the history of the rivalry. He announced his retirement last April as he battles ALS. He spent 22 seasons as the Trojan’s coach, winning 13 state championships and compiling a 242-41 record. Trimble has been replaced by Keith Riggs, a longtime Jenks assistant. Union is promoting a fundraiser this week for Trimble.
Donate Today! Calling on our friends & communities from the 2018 Gridiron Classic to help us raise funds for our friend, Allan Trimble, his family & the Trimble Strong Foundation. https://t.co/OTLFWZRdl1
— Union Schools (@UnionSchools) September 4, 2018
“Both communities pour so much into it,” said Union coach Kirk Fridrich. “It means so much to the parents, the teachers and the students. Every play is celebrated.”
The Backyard Bowl will be broadcast live on YurView Oklahoma, available to Cox Communications customers. It will also be streamed live on Yurview.com.