Choctaw takes state runner-up

By Ryan Horton
Managing Editor

The Yellowjackets concluded their best season in 60 years by securing state runner-up.

In a defensive battle, top-ranked Bixby knocked off No. 2 Choctaw 17-14 on Saturday at Wantland Stadium to win the Class 6A-II state championship.

It was the Spartans’ third straight title, sixth in the past seven years and their 36th consecutive victory. Bixby’s reign atop the state’s second-largest class nearly came to an end, but Choctaw finished just short of dethroning the perennial power.

Choctaw’s defense once again showed they’re the “GOLD Standard” in Oklahoma by keeping Bixby to the lowest point total since their last loss, the 2018 season opener with Jenks.

The Spartans only scored on two of their six trips to the red zone, and couldn’t score at all in the second half.

On offense, Choctaw blasted the Spartans yet came up three points shy.

Choctaw produced 384 yards of offense to Bixby’s 292.

Bixby was the only Oklahoma team to beat the Yellowjackets this season. The 2020 silver ball is Choctaw’s first team trophy since claiming their lone gold ball in 1960.
Outside of this year’s historic run and the 1960 Class B State Championship, Choctaw’s most successful seasons had ended with district titles back in 1981, 1965, 1963, 1962, 1961, 1960 and 1959.

Head coach Jake Corbin holds the 6A-II silver ball as he talks to his Yellowjakcets following a heartbreaking finale to a historic season. The Yellowjackets were looking to score in the final minutes of the state championship against Bixby, but time wasn’t on their side as they ended up on the wrong side of a 17-14 decision. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

 

Choctaw falls 17-14 in state final

Jackets claim state runner-up in second ever trip to championship

Choctaw was threatening until the final seconds of play, but came up just short of claiming the school’s second state tile.

Instead, the Yellowjackets secured Choctaw High School’s first silver trophy after a defensive battle.

Top-ranked Bixby knocked off No. 2 Choctaw 17-14 Saturday at Wantland Stadium to win the Class 6A-II State Championship.

The Spartans claimed their third straight title, sixth in the past seven years and their 36th consecutive victory.

Bixby’s reign atop the state’s second-largest class nearly came to an end, but Choctaw finished just short of dethroning the perennial power.

Choctaw’s defense once again showed they’re the “GOLD Standard” in Oklahoma by keeping Bixby to the lowest point total since their last loss, the 2018 season opener with Jenks.

The Spartans only scored on two of their six trips to the red zone, and couldn’t score at all in the second half.

Choctaw held senior quarterback Mason Williams, the most successful Bixby QB in history, to only five completions for just 34 yards.

Choctaw also stopped junior standout running back Braylin Presley in a scoreless second half. Presley had 206 yards on the night, but only 27 yards after halftime.

Defensive back Jordan Mukes, an OU commit, shut down Bixby’s Luke Hasz, who had just two catches for 26 yards.

On offense, Choctaw blasted the Spartans yet came up three points shy.

Choctaw’s Steele Wasel dodges the Bixby defense in the state final. (PHOTO BY LINDSAY TESIO)

Choctaw produced 384 yards of offense to Bixby’s 292.

Choctaw sophomore quarterback Steele Wasel passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns.

He connected 17 times including an 85-yard pass to Wes Zeigler for six.

However, Wasel was sacked 10 times on the night and five of those came on the Jackets’ final possession as they raced in an attempt to take a lead in the final minutes of play.

Choctaw’s final drive would go 31 yards on 11 plays, but the sacks would give Bixby the ball back at Choctaw’s 45-yard line with four seconds remaining.

“We had some trouble moving the ball. Our defense kept us in it all night as always. They’re the toughest defense in the state of Oklahoma,” said head coach Jake Corbin.
“We came here expecting to win, and fell short. I couldn’t be more proud of our kids. With or without a trophy, they’re champions.”

Zeigler had 110 yards receiving, Terrill Davis had 74, RJ Jackson had 63, Ray had 51 and Jax Burchett had 18.

La’Trell Ray led rushing with 45 yards, CJ Smith had 19 and Robert Ellis had 18.

Elijah Wilder was credited with nine tackles and five were solo, Donnie Wingate and Julius Pruitt each made eight tackles, Gabe Lopez had seven, Ethan Rone made six, Bolton Hawkins had five tackles, Spencer Boles and Jordan Thompson each had four, Mukes and DeSean Brown were each credited with three and Ray, Parker and Alexander Davidson were all credited with two stops.

Cage Butler, Davis, Ellis, DeQuasie Reed, Burchett, Cade McConnell, Aaron McCaffrey and Zeigler also contributed to the team’s 72 tackles.

Jacket defense swarms Bixby. (PHOTO BY RYAN HORTON)

Bixby was credited 61 tackles, but 10 were sacks combining for a loss of 61 yards. The most crucial of those sacks came on Choctaw’s final drive as the Jackets raced the clock to get into scoring position.

“Hats off to Bixby, they did a great job coaching and a great job playing,” said Corbin. “We didn’t want to come here and just participate. We came here expecting to win, and are honestly still in shock that we didn’t.”

Since Corbin took the helm at Choctaw four seasons ago, he along with a dedicated team of assistant coaches have been working to build the program into the state’s “GOLD Standard” and he believes they’re there.

FULL STATS from Class 6A-II State Championship

Choctaw senior Donnie Wingate lifts the Class 6A-II State Runner-up trophy. (PHOTO BY RYAN) HORTON

“We’re ready for gold balls. That’s what we want,” said Corbin. “I feel bad for our seniors. Those guys are champions and they deserved to win.”
With Wasel and a crew of underclassmen returning next season, Choctaw will be looking to take the throne in 2021.

Click HERE for photos of the game 

 

Jacket fans cheer on Choctaw to the school’s first silver ball. (PHOTO BY LINDSAY TESIO)

 

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