WICHITA FALLS – The Maskat Shrine 82nd Annual Oil Bowl Classic Football Game featured top notch players from all over the area last Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. Eleven of the 61 elite players on the Oil Bowl rosters lined up last fall for Archer County high schools. The West Texas All-Stars had six Holliday Eagles including Crue Jackson, Grayson Germany, Jett Johnson, Tanner Bayard, Carson Tyler, and Jake Turner. The East Texas All-Stars had 2 Windthorst Trojans and 3 Archer City Wildcats. The Trojans were Nathan Bales and Colton Bates. The Wildcats were Conner Byrd, Clayton McCasland, and Coltin Knobloch. The East prevailed with a 35-7 victory.
Bryan Ponder, quarterback from Bells, threw a 33 yard touchdown pass to Burkburnett wide receiver, Jacob Williams, on the first offensive play of the night for the East. Later in the first period Bales caught a 15 yard pass for the second touchdown of the night. Nocona’s Hunter Fenoglio added the extra points to put the East up 14-0 after the first period. He would add 3 more points after for the night. A lot of the success in the air could be attributed to the pass protection provided upfront by a group of solid lineman including McCasland.
The East hit pay dirt again on another Ponder to Williams pass. This time the West answered as Holliday’s Jackson caught a 7 yard pass from Anthony Vargas (WFHS) for a touchdown. The Germany point after made it 21-7. The seven points contributed by the Eagle players turned out to be all the West got. Johnson breathed a little rushing life into a turnover prone East squad later in the contest with 20 yards on 6 carries. Johnson, headed for West Texas A&M next fall, spent most of the night at safety trying to contain the talented core of receivers on the East squad.
Bates caught 8 passes for 54 yards to keep the defense from ganging up on Williams. Byrd caught 2 passes for 14 yards. Burkburnett’s Gentry Mullins caught a 4 yard quick out from Ponder in the third period to put the East up 28-7.
The last score of the night was a 38 yard fumble recovery by Decatur’s Zane Hickey. Archer City Head Coach Shad Hanna with defensive assistants Tim Pope and Donny Gray saw the East defenders dominate in every phase. The East picked off six passes, one short of the 1948 Oil Bowl record of 7. Nocona’s Fenoglio and Windthorst’s Bales each with two interceptions will get in the record book along with William Shankle (Willowridge, 1989) and WFHS Coyote Lawrence Williams (WFHS, 1971). Now there are 4 Texas players to have 2 interceptions in an Oil Bowl game. The other two interceptions were gathered in by Byrd and Bowie’s Joey Crawford.
Pass defense is not all Hanna’s defense managed. Defensive lineman Coltin Knobloch was the leading tackler with 9. He was also credited with 1 and a half sacks. The East got only 57 yards rushing on 28 tries. Rider’s Jeremiah Rodriquez was a major force on the East defensive with seven tackles, a sack, and two pass breakups.
The 2A and 3A players from Archer County high schools can all be proud of their ability to compete with talented players from 4A and 5A.