By Kyle Dierking, for News9.com
TULSA, Okla. - Defending 6A champions, the Jenks Trojans head into enemy territory on Friday, September 12, to take on the Union Redskins in the annual Backyard Bowl. Kick-off is set for 7:30 p.m. at Union's Tuttle Stadium.
The Backyard Bowl has traditionally taken place at H.A. Chapman Stadium at the University of Tulsa, but had to be moved this year because of construction.
Tickets for the game will be limited because of reduced seating, and seats are reserved. There will not be any general seating. Fans should contact Union Athletics or Jenks High School for ticket information.
The rivalry between Jenks and Union is one of the biggest high school rivalries, not only in Oklahoma, but in the country. Thirteen of the last 15 6A state titles have been won by either Jenks or Union.
"It is high school football at its finest," said Trojans Head Coach Allan Trimble. "Both communities just turn out by the thousands to support the teams."
The Jenks Trojans started its 2008-2009 season with a 44-7 win over Bixby. The Union Redskins found itself on the losing end of its game against Broken Arrow. Head Coach Kirk Fridrich says the 29-7 defeat should be a motivator for his players.
"When you play a quality opponent like Broken Arrow, you're going to find your mistakes," said Coach Fridrich. "And I think our kids this week are eager to correct those mistakes and we better because we've got a great team coming in this week."
The polls are in and Jenks and Union both rank among the top teams in the nation heading into Friday's Backyard Bowl.
Jenks is ranked fifth in the country, according to the ESPN RISE Fab 50, while Union dropped out of the poll after losing to Broken Arrow in week one.
The RivalsHigh 100 poll has Union coming in at 54 and Jenks ranked 58th.
USA Today put Jenks 7th in the midwest division in its Super 25 Prep Football Regional Rankings.
BREAKING DOWN THE BIG GAME
THE TROJANS: 2007 RECORD: 13-1 (6A State Champions)
Last Week: Defeated 2007 5A runner-up Bixby 44-7 at home
FEATURED: Ball-control offense. Colton Dost only carried the ball 13 times for 75 yards but scored four touchdowns in last week's rout of Bixby. Former Bixby Spartan and new Trojan signal caller Zach Horn was 9-of-14 with one touchdown.
UNION SAYS: "This game brings out the best in kids. You'll see their kids make great plays, you'll see Union kids make outstanding plays. They will max out on what they're supposed to do. The game usually comes down to which kid makes the biggest play." - Union Coach Kirk Fridrich
KEY TO SUCCESS: "It'll be loud. The stands are close to the sideline and with our young team, the communication factor and all kinds of things having to be signaled in, there's going to be lots of challenges and things we're not ready for that you can't recreate until you're in the game." - Jenks Coach Allan Trimble
THE REDSKINS: 2007 RECORD: 13-1 (6A Runner-Up)
Last Week: Lost to Broken Arrow 24-9 marking first loss against the Tigers in 19 years
FEATURED: Union wide receiver Tracy Moore and running back Jeremy Smith combined for 235 total yards and three touchdowns in last year's overtime Backyard Bowl win over the Trojans. Moore caught Union's lone touchdown in last week's loss to the Tigers while Smith had 22 carries for 92 yards.
JENKS SAYS: "They're going to buckle down - they know they can play better. Broken Arrow played a super game against them. That's going to change their expectation and work habits because they're a championship caliber team." - Jenks Coach Allan Trimble
KEY TO SUCCESS: "We don't anticipate the early peak," said Union coach Kirk Fridrich, referring to the Redskins historically taking the lead only to relinquish it to Jenks late in the game. "I think the biggest thing after last week's loss is that we peak at all. Our kids are emotionally ready and ready to play another football game."
8/12/08 - Jenks Standout Looking For Third State Ring
8/12/08 - Trojans Ranked Nationally In Pre-Season Poll
8/12/08 - Union WR Hungry For State Title
8/19/08 - New Union QB Ready To Prevail