The Edmond Sun

November 19, 2009

SPRUIL: 'Dogs have nothing to lose

Eric Spruill

Bulldogs have a chance to break another streak, which is to attempt to end the east sides dominance — Jenks and Union have combined to win 13 straight Class 6A state titles.

That’s no small quest. This is David vs. Goliath. It’s the USA versus the Soviet Union in the Miracle on Ice in 1980. It’s Boise State over Oklahoma. Upsets do happen, but not here. Not in 6A football, not in the last 13 years, anyway.

The west side of the state hasn’t put up much of a fight in recent years. Midwest City was the last team to do it, winning back-to-back titles in 1994 and 1995. Since then Jenks has won nine titles, while Tulsa Union has won four. The Trojans boast 12 gold balls in its proud, and not so proud recent history.

No one on the west side has defeated Jenks since Westmoore did it in 2002, which was the year Union broke through and ended Jenks’ streak of six-straight state titles.

Jenks (11-0) hasn’t lost since Dec. 5, 2008, which was the state championship game — Tulsa Union 34, Jenks 20.

But teams from the west are getting close. Santa Fe hung around for much of last year’s quarterfinal matchup. Mustang played the Trojans to within 15 points in the semifinals.

And two scores is a still a big difference.

But you have to believe. Memorial seems to be even keel. Not overconfident following its 38-7 win over Mustang. And they are not hopeless, either.

They are going into Friday night’s game exactly the way they should — with nothing to lose.

Folks on the message boards are giving the Bulldogs no shot at winning. But all that matters is what is in the heart’s of the people on the field. The game is played on the field, not in chat rooms.

If people say you have no shot, well then so be it. But it’s when you start believing what people say when that becomes a problem.

This isn’t the same self-destructing team Memorial had been in years past. They make plays when they have to. They thrive under pressure.

Still, there are so many reasons to pick Jenks. But this is what makes upsets so special. This is why we remember the Boise State’s, the N.C. State’s, the Miracle on Ice, all the great upsets. An upset of Jenks wouldn’t make highlights on SportsCenter, but with the Trojans history, it would be every bit as impressive as the one’s above.