Ever since that 28-3 loss to Jenks back on Oct. 6, a question lingered with the Muskogee Roughers.
Are they good enough to beat the Trojans? MHS didn’t get to find out that night as quarterback Rell Lewis and tailback Dre Stout were injured.
Now with a rematch looming this week, the question comes up again and the Roughers would like nothing more than answer it an emphatic yes.
“I’m proud of our kids. They played their tails off and we get another shot at Jenks,” MHS coach Matt Hennesy after the Rough-ers toppled the Norman North Timberwolves 38-10 in the Class 6A quarterfinals Saturday night at Norman’s Harve Collins Field.
The rematch comes up Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Union Tuttle Stadium in the 6A semifinals.
Jenks is 11-1 for the season after defeating Lawton 29-12 last Saturday, while the Roughers are 10-2 and eager for another shot at coach Allen Trimble’s Trojans.
“We know them and they know us,” Hennesy said. “I’m glad we’re playing again. We were handicapped (the first time). We want a rematch to find out if we’re as good as them. To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.”
The Roughers staked a claim to be among the best after getting a 114-yard, four-touchdown performance from senior Jarryd Horn in the win over the Timberwolves. Muskogee’s leading tackler moved to tailback for the Norman North as Stout continues to recover from his injuries.
Before last Saturday, Horn had just 11 yards rushing and two touchdowns as a fullback.
“It wasn’t different than playing fullback,” he said. “We’ll celebrate this win, relax and start working even harder for Jenks.”
Hennesy was pleased with Horn’s showing.
“He runs straight ahead really well,” the MHS coach said. “He’s a powerful runner. Not to take anything away from Jarryd, but I could’ve run through those holes the offensive line made. They were huge.”
Not only did Horn run well, Vernon Scott, a sophomore, ran for 71 yards on 14 carries in his first start of the season.
The Roughers also got to see Lewis run the best since injuring his knee against Jenks. The senior quarterback had a 25-yard touchdown run. He bruised his shoulder, but returned to play, and he also completed 8 of 17 passes for 157 yards.
Braxton Owens, also a senior linebacker, is a little more outspoken about the rematch with the Trojans.
“We’re going to beat the mess out of them. I want to let everybody know that,” he said.
So far, the Roughers are 2-0 in rematches. Besides Norman North, Muskogee beat Tulsa Union twice this year, 21-7 in week three and 20-18 in the first round of the playoffs. Which, by the way, makes them 2-0 at Union’s home field heading into their third outing there.
While Muskogee and Jenks tangle, Enid (8-4) and Owasso (10-2) clash in the other semifinal at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Sapulpa. Owasso defeated Westmoore 31-19 and Enid crushed 2005 semifinalist Mustang 55-7.
The semifinal winners meet for the state championship next week at a date, site and time to be determined.
Meanwhile, in Class 4A, No. 1 Wagoner will meet No. 2 Bishop McGuinness a week earlier than form would seem to allow. The Bulldogs beat Elk City 42-7 on Saturday, one day after McGuinness demolished Broken Bow 34-13.
“You can’t fault the system,” Wagoner coach Dale Condict said. “The last year going into the playoffs, the top two teams were Glenpool and Clinton and they had to play (in the semifinals) and we profited from being on the other side of the bracket....In the end, the best team’s going to win this thing.”
Quarterback Durrell Parker was among the Bulldogs who did some advanced scouting on McGuinness by attending Friday’s matchup.
“They try to run it down your throat, but they haven’t seen a defense like ours, so we’re ready to play them,” he said.
The other 4A semifinal has 4A-4 champion Poteau meeting Grove, runner-up behind Wagoner in 4A-3, at NSU’s Doc Wadley Stadium on Saturday.
Vian, which beat Colcord 56-14, will play Alva, a 14-6 winner over Hobart, in a Class 2A quarterfinal at Vian’s St. John Stadium.
“They shut down Hobart, which beat Clinton (earlier this season),” Vian coach Brandon Tyler said. “They don’t possess the speed that Colcord had, but anyone’s tough at this point of the season.”
The Vian-Alva winner gets Saturday’s winner between Davis and Henryetta, at Henryetta, in the semifinals.
Staff writer Steve Schmidt and sports editor Mike Kays contributed to this story.
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