Guy Ellis

Getting a two-for-one Friday night at Earp Stadium the Jay Bulldogs laid claim to the District 4A-3 Championship and the Delaware County Bowl Trophy in a 29-21 win over arch-rival the Grove Ridgerunners.

“It’s an awesome feeling,” JHS head coach Shane Holland said about the dual achievements. “I feel very happy for our kids on the team and the kids in our school and the people in the community. It’s (District Championship, win over Grove) something they’ve all looked forward to for a long time.”

The regular season finale sees the Bulldogs finish up at 6-1 in the district with a 7-3 overall mark. The Ridgerunners end their campaign with a 5-5 season record and a 3-4 district mark.

The game saw three lead changes and just as many momentum swings as the outcome lay in doubt until the final minutes.

A 28-yard touchdown run by Grove senior Casey Bartley pulled the Ridgerunners to within five points, 26-21, with 6:01 remaining in the game following a successful PAT kick by Walker Botts.

The ensuing Bulldog drive saw Casey Loomis break a 60-yard sprint from the Jay 20-yard line to the Grove 20-yard line. The run set up a 33-yard field goal from the JHS all-rounder that, with 2:00 left on the clock, set Jay up by eight.

“He had a great game,” Holland said about the senior RB/DB/kicker. “This game was very important to him. He came out and played hard.

“We (JHS coaches) knew he was going to be one of our better players this year and tonight he proved it,” the coach added.

Grove’s final drive inside the 2:00 minute mark ended in a fumble, sealing the game and giving the Bulldogs their first DelCo title since 2003 and their first District Championship since 1989.

“It’s important here,” Holland said about the cross-county rivalry. “One of the three major holidays around here is the Jay-Grove football game.

“It’s probably a bigger game down here than it is in Grove,” Holland noted. “But that might change after tonight.”

The first half of the game saw the Ridgerunners hold the advantage.

“They have some really good athletes and they played hard tonight,” Holland said about the Ridgerunner troops. “Their coaches had them ready.”

Bartley opened the scoring with a 36 yard scoring sprint with 8:58 left in the first quarter. The PAT attempt was blocked by Jay’s Dylan Stapleton giving Grove an early 6-0 lead.

The Bulldogs struck back with a 1-yard TD run from junior running back Bubba Baker midway through the second quarter. The Loomis PAT placed the home team in front by one.

The initial Bulldog scoring drive saw Jay convert a crucial third down play in the Ridgerunner red zone on a snap when the coaching staff’s attempts to call a time out went unnoticed by the game officials.

“We were in the wrong formation for the play that we had called,” Holland explained. “We didn’t get the time out but our guys were able to make something out of nothing on a busted play.

“Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good,” the coach surmised.

A JHS special teams miscue late in the first half returned momentum to the Ridgerunners. A muffed punt inside the Bulldog 10-yard line allowed Grove a short field. One snap after recovering the fumble GHS junior Trent Phillips went into the end zone untouched from nine yards out. An Adam Steffenson to Buck Maples two-point conversion play made it a 14-7 Grove lead at the break.

“We’re thinking that we’re going into halftime with a 7-6 lead when that happened. It was a momentum killer,” Holland said of the situation.

“I was probably more worried about it than the kids,” Holland added. “And Kyle (Shambaugh, the kick returner) shook it off and played a solid second half with some big hits and open field tackles.”

Like they had done on other occasions this season, the Bulldogs put together a second half effort that saw them overtake their opponents.

“We had several games this year where we were behind and then fought back,” Holland noted. “At Vinita we were down 20-0 at halftime and came back for the win. Against McLain we were down early but came back. And we put together a solid second half against Collinsville. Tonight we played better in the second half.”

A 13-0 Jay third quarter run started with a 1-yard TD run from Loomis with 6:23 left in the quarter. The scoring drive was fueled by a 37-yard reception by Chucky Larrabee off a Brandon Edge pass. The Loomis PAT evened the lights on the scoreboard.

The ensuing Ridgerunner drive saw the offense advance to the Jay 32-yard line before a fumble, recovered by the Bulldogs, gummed up the works.

JHS responded with a 27-yard pass from Edge to senior receiver John Davenport. Baker then cut loose for a 20-yard run to the GHS five yard line. From there Edge found receiver Josh Ramsey for the TD reception that put the Bulldogs in front for good. Grove blocked the PAT but with :41 seconds left in the third Jay had built a 20-14 lead.

The Bulldog defense got into the scoring act in the fourth quarter. The first GHS drive saw Jay leading tackler Delmo Crouch pull down an interception and return it 22-yards for a touchdown. The JHS two-point attempt failed but with just seven ticks off the fourth quarter clock the Bulldogs owned a 26-14 lead.

“Delmo has worked hard this season on dropping back in passing situations and that has paid off for us,” Holland said.

The remainder of the game saw the opposing Casey’s take over: Grove’s Bartley with his 27-yard score and Jay’s Loomis with the 60 yard run that led to the 33-yard field goal.

With the DelCo Bowl and the 4A-3 District Championship all in the trophy case the Bulldogs now begin preparations for the opening round of the playoffs this Friday when they play host to the Wagoner Bulldogs. Wagoner ended the season with a 7-3 record and a fourth place finish in District 4A-4.

THE DELAWARE COUNTY BOWL

November 6, 2009 @ Earp Stadium

Grove (5-5, 3-4)  21        Jay (7-3,6-1) 29

    1    2    3    4    F

GHS    6    8    0    7    21

JHS    O    7    13    9    29

TEAM STATS

            GHS        JHS

FIRST DOWNS    12        18

RUSH YARDS    131        230

PASS YARDS    39        115

TOTAL YARDS    170        245

TURNOVERS    3        2

PENALTIES        4-27        6-60

INDIVIDUAL STATS

RIDGERUNNERS

PASSING    CMP    ATT    YDS    TD    INT

Steffenson    8    17    39    0    1

RUSHING    ATT    YDS    AVG    TD

Bartley        19    144    7.6    2

Phillips    1    9    9.0    1

Team        7    (22)

RECEIVING        REC    YDS    AVG    TD

Maples            6    28    4.7

Medeiros        1    11    11.0

Scott            1     -

BULLDOGS

PASSING    CMP    ATT    YDS    TD    INT

Edge        9    18    115    1    0

RUSHING    ATT    YDS    AVG    TD

Loomis    14    111    8.0    1

Edge        19    73    3.9

Baker        10    36    3.6    1

RECEIVING        REC    YDS    AVG    TD

Loomis        3    25    8.3

Davenport        2    36    18.0

Larrabee        1    37    37.0

Shambaugh        1    11    11.0

C. Williams        1    6    6.0

Ramsey        1    3    3.0    1

DISTRICT 4A-3 FINAL STANDINGS

TEAM            DIST REC    DIST PTS    OVERALL

1. Jay            6-1        61        7-3

2. Oologah        6-1        55        7-3

3. Catoosa        6-1        47        7-3

4. Collinsville        4-3        19        6-4

5. Grove        3-4        3        5-5

6. McLain        2-5        (41)        3-6

7. Vinita        1-6        (49)        3-7

8. Locust Grove    0-7        (95)        0-10