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Deep Sixed: Owasso upends No. 1 Tulsa Union, 50-47, in six overtime thriller

Once 1-4, Rams now move on to play for Class 6AI title

By Mike Moguin | Photos by David C. Fisher 

BROKEN ARROW - It took a half dozen extra periods to do it, but Owasso pulled it off.

That is, an upset of top-ranked Tulsa Union, 50-47, in six overtimes Friday night in the second game of the Class 6AI state semifinals at Memorial Stadium in Broken Arrow.

The game lasted three hours and 41 minutes before a winner came out on top.

Rams’ quarterback Mason Willingham was the offensive star of the game as he scored the winning touchdown from a yard out.

“It really hit me, that we just proved everybody wrong,” Willingham said.

When that happened, Owasso players stormed the field in celebration, knowing victory was theirs and a trip to the 6AI state final had been clinched.

The Rams (9-4) will play at 7 p.m. next Friday night at Chad Richison Stadium in Edmond, where they will meet third-ranked Bixby, a 28-14 winner earlier in the day against No. 2 Jenks. That brings to an end of 27 years of either Jenks, Union, or both playing in the state finals in the highest classification of Oklahoma high school football.

The win also marks the eighth straight for Owasso since a 1-4 start and ends what had been an unbeaten campaign for the Redhawks (11-1) throughout most of the season.

Willingham finished the game accounting for 308 of Owasso’s 385 total yards of offense. He rushed for four TDs, including the game-winner, for 141 yards on 30 carries, passed for another two scores on 162 yards on 15-of-26 attempts, overcoming two interceptions, including a pick-six.

The Rams' signal-caller scored twice in the first half with rushing TDs of 1 and 3 yards. The 1-yarder was on a fourth-down keeper, plowing through behind a herd of blockers into the end zone, as Owasso went up 7-0 with 3:02 left in the opening period.

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Then Willingham's second TD came within him scoring from 3 yards, making it a 13-0 game with 1:45 left in the half.

The Redhawks could only produce 65 yards and two first downs in the first half against an Owasso squad that looked determined. The Ram defense was shutting the Union running game down at the outside corner and pressured Union quarterback Shaker Reisig, who was limited to 113 yards passing and sacked once.

The Rams, on the other hand, accumulated a total of 211 yards of offense in the first half.

“The team effort was really good,” Willingham said. “I thought we played good complementary football. It was really cool to see that.

"And the second half didn’t start off the way we wanted it to, but we got the finish and that was good.”

Owasso picked up where it left off in the second half, but the Redhawks pulled off a surprise when Isaac Covington picked off a pass from Willingham and took it back to the house for 38 yards. Union drew within 13-7 and had the momentum.

“He made a great play,” Willingham said. “You don’t want to throw a pick-six for sure for different reasons. It definitely changed the momentum, but as a team, we kept playing together and it ended up working out for us.”

Union scored on a trick play with 6:11 left in regulation on fourth-and-9 from the 10, and D.J. McKinney took the snap, handed it to Grayson Tempest on a reverse, who ran a few yards before throwing to Reisig in the end zone. The extra point was also missed and it a was tie ball game, 13-all.

The Rams’ Chase Everett missed a 42-yard field goal with five seconds left that would have won it in regulation for Owasso. Instead, the game went into overtime and more.

After an exchange of field goals in the first extra session, the teams kept exchanging TDs. Then in the sixth overtime, with fourth-and-goal at the 1, Union chose to kick a field goal, which Cameron Sarey made from 19 yards, making it 47-44, Redhawks.

Knowing all it needed to do was get a TD to win, the Rams took advantage. Willingham moved 9 yards from the 10 to the 1, then cashed in on the next play.

It was over. But the Rams' unlikely march to the 6AI championship game isn't.