Every week through football season, SoonerNation writer Bob Przybylo will reveal five things he learned while out on the road watching the best in the Midlands area play football.
1. OU commit Jordan Smallwood (Jenks, Okla./Jenks) goes out a champion. There was no drama in the Oklahoma Class 6A state championship game as Jenks rolled to a 55-20 victory against Norman (Okla.) North. But that didn’t mean there wasn’t any emotion as Jenks won its first state title in five years. Smallwood had four catches for 50 yards and two touchdowns, including one signature 27-yard grab on fourth down where stiff armed a defender down by the sideline and back pedaled into the end zone. Smallwood said he dreamed of what it would feel like if he had won a state title. Following the game, he said it was better than anything he could have ever imagined.
2. The best 2014 in-state prospect might be Jenks safety Steven Parker. He wasn’t the most ballyhooed recruit entering the season, but Parker has played his way into the discussion. It was another brilliant performance by Parker, who has offers from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Alabama. He had eight tackles and an interception and once again was the unquestioned quarterback of the defense as it shut down Norman North all night. Parker is a strong OU lean at this point, twice admitting he has been close to committing to the Sooners. OU is struggling to win some top 2013 battles, but if the Sooners can nab Parker, not a bad sign for 2014.
3. The dream season ended with a nightmarish performance for newest OU commit Jordan Evans (Norman, Okla./North). Not Evans fault, really, but the talent level discrepancy between Jenks and Norman North was on full display. Evans finished the game with six tackles, including one for loss but could never make the impact he wanted to make in this one. Evans has been special on special teams this season and had returned a kick or punt for a touchdown in the three previous playoff wins. Jenks didn’t let Evans touch the ball one time on a kick or punt return and Evans was visibly frustrated by his lack of chances. Common theme throughout was watching where Evans was lined up because he can play defensive end, linebacker or safety. No idea where he’ll play at OU, but he should fit right in.
4. Tulsa (Okla.) East Central and OU commit Stanvon Taylor were a quarter away from an Oklahoma Class 5A state championship, but it was derailed quickly in a 24-8 loss to Midwest City (Okla.) Carl Albert. Tulsa East Central led 8-7 going into the fourth quarter. Taylor showed his all-around skills with six catches for 71 yards. He was 2-of-2 passing for 68 yards and caught a two-point conversion. But Tulsa East Central could not figure out a way to get Taylor free in space. He had a 34-yard reception in the second half, while the rest of his five catches totaled 37 yards.
5. Class of 2014 quarterback David Cornwell (Jones, Okla./Jones) is going to end up being one of the top in-state names next year, but he was harassed in a 35-7 loss to Blanchard, Okla., on Saturday in an Oklahoma Class 3A semifinal. Cornwell was 10-of-23 for 100 yards and was sacked nine times. Blanchard had squeaked out a win against Jones earlier in the season and this time they keyed in on Cornwell, who took a beating. The most impressive part of Cornwell’s performance was his toughness. All those sacks, all those hits, and he simply kept coming. It wasn’t his day, no doubt, but he’ll have some better ones in the future.