Backyard Bowl delivers once again

In a game littered with top recruits, each prospect for Jenks and Tulsa Union showed why it's the best game in the state.

Tulsa, Okla. -- Taking over at its own 20 yard line with just more than a minute left and no timeouts seemed like a challenge for Jenks (Okla.) against rival Tulsa (Okla.) Union.

Tulsa Union held a 16-13 lead, but anything can happen in the Backyard Bowl, and Oklahoma State commit Dylan Harding showed why it's always the most anticipated game of the Oklahoma high school regular season.

Harding caught a 76-yard touchdown pass with 25 seconds left to give Jenks a wild 20-16 victory Friday night at the University of Tulsa.

"It's amazing," Harding said. "You always dream about making a big play like that. I couldn't be happier."

Harding, a three-star safety pledge, is also playing wide receiver for Jenks this year. He was able to get behind the defense and nobody was going to catch him down the sidelines.

"As soon as he touched it, I knew he was gone," Jenks four-star safety Steven Parker said. "That was so awesome, incredible atmosphere."

More than 19,000 fans saw the game, including OU coaches Bob Stoops and Mike Stoops. Some to see the Jenks studs like Parker and Harding and some to see Tulsa Union's OU commits receiver Jeffery Mead and tight end Carson Meier.

All of them showed why they're so highly touted. Meier had three catches for 30 yards and showed his versatility in being lined out wide or at the line. It's that versatility that made him so appealing to OU in the spring. The Sooners offered, and less than a week later, Meier committed.

The second half was a one-on-one battle between Parker and Mead. Parker played safety for the first half and to start the third quarter. But midway through, Parker was told by the coaches to line up against Mead the whole time. Parker won some battles. Mead won some others.

"I am so tired right now," said Parker, who also had three catches at receiver. "I know he got me a couple of times."

Mead had two big catches in the fourth quarter against Parker and finished with three catches for 51 yards on the night.

Parker, an uncommitted Scout 300 prospect that is high on the board for both OU and OSU, closed with six tackles and two pass breakups.

And it was Harding who delivered the biggest play of them all. Under the radar playing with Parker, Harding jumped at OSU's offer this summer. He's showing everybody why he is a huge steal for the Cowboys. Harding had eight tackles.

"Dylan is a great player," Parker said. "We work so well together, and he can do just about everything. I'm so happy for him."


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