Jenks tries to make it six straight

Tuesday, November 27th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ Jenks survived a poor first half against Edmond Sante Fe last week and now has a shot at a sixth straight Class 6A football championship.

Coach Allan Trimble knows his team can't afford to play as poorly in the final against Putnam City North on Friday night.

``These guys, they've got it together,'' Trimble said of the Panthers (13-0), who beat Tulsa Union 42-28 in the semifinals. ``I know Union real well. They have a really good offensive line and they'll knock you off the ball. We saw Putnam North bend, but we never saw them break.''

The victory by Putnam City North deprived Union of a fourth straight trip to the championship game. Many expected Jenks and Union to tangle again this year, and Jenks held up its end by beating Sante Fe 35-21.

It wasn't very pretty. The Trojans turned the ball over six times in the first half, but Sante Fe turned those chances into just 14 points. The score was 14-all at halftime and Jenks took control in the second half.

``I tore 'em up pretty good after the first half,'' Trimble said. ``You never worry about getting beat if you play good. You can live with a defeat if you play good. But we didn't play very well. I challenged 'em to go out and play better.''

They did. The Trojans held Santa Fe to 9 yards in the final two quarters, and made five sacks and three interceptions.

The Trojans' remarkable run of championships began with a victory over Midwest City in 1996. They beat Yukon the following year, and have handled Union in the past three title games. Putnam City North provides a nice change.

``Union and us have played each other so many times, it's like there's no secrets left,'' Trimble said. ``This is definitely new and challenging.''

Trimble figures his players will only need to watch a little film of the Panthers to realize they face a stiff test. Putnam City North is led by quarterback Matt Warren, who has thrown for 3,300 yards. Trimble raved about the Panthers' skill position players, particularly receiver Aaron Ivey. ``He makes everybody else look like they're running in sand,'' Trimble said.

The Trojans have won 37 straight games, a record for Oklahoma's largest class. They haven't lost since early in the 1999 season, and their string of titles has made them one of the most-publicized teams in the state.

All that publicity has required Trimble to do more than call plays.

``We're all guilty of reading papers and watching TV,'' he said. ``It's my job as a coach to continually remind and reinforce to the players and coaches what the recipe for success is. It's strictly performance based.

``You want your kids playing with confidence and out there excited to play, but you don't ever want them thinking the most important part is the bus ride over.''