Mustang’s season came to an end on Friday night despite dominating the defending Class 6A-I state champions for a full three quarters.
The Broncos allowed 22 unanswered points in the final 12 minutes and surrendered a 19-point advantage to the Jenks Trojans in a 34-31 loss at Bronco Stadium.
Mustang’s final attempt to force overtime and salvage the game was denied as the Trojans blocked a 25-yard field goal try with four seconds remaining.
Coach Lee Blankenship’s squad was the better team for 36 minutes, out-gaining Jenks 377 yards to 235.
However, a 52-yard field goal from Trojan kicker Andrew Pursell (Sr.), followed by an interception by defensive back Sam Stone (So.), shifted the game’s momentum.
Jenks capitalized on Stone’s pick, scoring on a 15-yard pass from quarterback Ike Owens (Sr.) to Jayden Johnson (Sr.). The Trojans converted the ensuing two-point conversion to make it a one-score game at 31-23.
The Broncos, who passed for just 43 yards in the second half after reeling off 219 in the first, were forced to punt on their next drive. It was the team’s first and only punt of the game.
Jenks marched 60 yards on the following possession and scored on a one-yard run by Owens. Ty Walls (Sr.) hit Johnson to convert a second straight two-point conversion and tie the game at 31-31.
Mustang quarterback Tristen Russell (Sr.), who accounted for 409 total yards, was hit from behind while scrambling and surrendered a fumble on Mustang’s next offensive play. Four plays later, Pursell drilled a 21-yard field goal to complete Jenks’ comeback.
Mustang receiver and defensive back Jacobe Johnson (Sr.) caught five passes for 188 yards and two touchdowns in Mustang’s 34-31 state quarterfinals loss to Jenks on Friday, Nov. 19, 2022, at Bronco Stadium. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
Russell put up an inspiring effort, going 9-for-20 for 262 passing yards with two touchdowns. He was also Mustang’s primary ball carrier, racking up 147 rushing yards and two scores on 16 carries.
The senior signal caller even guided a drive with 1:32 remaining to set up the team’s final field goal attempt.
After moving from the Mustang 20 yard-line to the Jenks 28 on big plays from receiver Keegan Bass (Sr.) and running back Pryce Burgess (Sr.), Russell completed a 20-yard pass to Jacobe Johnson (Sr.) to set up the team’s final field goal try.
Johnson barely snagged the ball near his feet before landing at the Trojan eight with four seconds left.
The snap and hold on sophomore Aiden Jordan’s attempt was good, but Jenks defensive lineman Hudson Ball (So.) burst through the line for the block.
Linebacker Jaxon Bobbitt (Sr.) and the Mustang defense held Jenks to 177 total yards in the first half on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, at Bronco Stadium. (Photo by Ron Lane / Lane Images)
The Broncos built their lead with 307 yards in the first half while holding Jenks to 177.
They carried a 24-9 lead into halftime, which included two touchdown passes from Russell to Johnson, a goal line score by Russell, and a 35-yard field goal by Jordan.
Johnson’s first touchdown catch – from 23 yards out – gave the Broncos a 7-0 lead and an early shot of confidence. He caught a perfect pass with his fingertips and broke free for 90 yards on his second score, giving Mustang a 17-3 lead.
Mustang’s defense was lights out in what amounted to their best performance of the season over the first 36 minutes.
Defensive coordinator Sam Dollar’s unit created pressure all game and sacked Owens three times, including a 14-yard loss forced by Elijah Garcia (Sr.) on the final play of the third quarter.
Linebacker Jaxon Bobbitt (Sr.) brought Owens down once as well. Russell Zolicoffer (Sr.), Kaden Jones (Sr.), and Bear Meadows (Jr.) also combined for a sack on the same possession.
Owens was clutch for Jenks down the stretch, completing four passes on his team’s final two drives. He finished 10-for-14 for 151 yards. Running back Jalyn Stanford, who is committed to Houston, rushed 11 times for 89 yards.
Johnson, an Oklahoma-commit, led the Broncos with 188 yards on five receptions. Bass, an Air Force-commit, tallied 40 yards on two receptions.
The Broncos, who finish with an 8-3 record overall, have now been ousted by Jenks in the playoffs three times in the last four years.