On a beautiful football night in Eastern Oklahoma County the Jones Longhorns (0-1) fell to the Bethany Bronchos (1-0) of Class 4A 27-14 in the first game in the newly remodeled Tim Wallace Memorial Stadium.
The evening started out with much fanfare as Dr. Carl Johnson along with the members of the School Board and Construction Project Team participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting 15 minutes before kickoff. The newly built press box created just enough shade for the home crowd to avoid the August Oklahoma Sun.
“This is incredible…kids around here for a long time are going to enjoy an incredible place, an atmosphere and stadium that is second to none, I’m so proud of our town and our school to have this” said Head Coach Dave Martin.
The Longhorns went three and out on the opening possession of the game. Little did anyone know that it would be a sign of the things to come. Jones found success moving the ball all night. Senior Quarterback Carson May finished the evening with 21-35 for 305 yards and 2 touchdowns. Senior Wideout Cayden Karl was sensational on the evening, finishing with 217 yards and two touchdowns on 8 receptions. With all the success through the air, Jones never quite got the ground game going. There was also the issue of drives stalling at inopportune times. The Longhorns were 5/14 on 3rd downs, and had three drives fall short in the Red Zone, issues that Coach Martin will want to correct for next week.
“We’ve got a lot of improvement to make…it’s all about the growing process, it’s August 27, when November rolls around for playoff time, we’ll be a much better team.”
While Jones did most of the their damage through the air, the Bronchos found success on the ground, gaining 213 yards on 33 carries. Leading the way was running back Jaden Gilliland who finished with 133 yards. Bethany played two quarterbacks on the evening and embarked on a number of clock eating drives. The Bronchos were 5/9 on 3rd down conversions.
Offensively, the highlight for the Longhorns was the play of Cayden Karl, May and Karl linked up on two huge plays in the first half, a 71 yard strike on 3rd and 17, and a touchdown in the second that included and acrobatic catch that left the defender on the ground and Karl with a clear path to the end zone. When asked what was going through his mind during the play, Karl said “my legs started cramping up when I landed, I’m just glad I could make it in.”
The Longhorns will try to rest and regroup this week as they face another stiff test in the Tulsa Lincoln Christian next week.