But not so fast. High school football games don't get much bigger than Friday's state 6A championship contest at Tulsa's Skelly Stadium. The eyes of the state of Oklahoma-- not to mention many around the nation-- will focus Friday on the monumental clash between No. 2 Union (12-1) and No. 1 Jenks (12-0). Over 40,000 spectators are expected, and the game will be televised statewide.
Union's only loss came to Jenks, 17-13, back in Week Two of the season in the game known locally as the "Backyard Bowl". Jenks is ranked No. 6 this week among USA Today's national Super 25. A Union win would almost assuredly cause the two teams to exchange positions.
It was to be able to play in games on such a grand stage that the 6-3, 195-pound Adams made the decision last summer to transfer to Union for his senior season. After throwing for 5,146 yards and 49 touchdowns in two years at Tulsa's Metro Christian Academy, Adams elected to cast his lot with Union for his last go-round in order to test his skills at the highest level of high school football.
"We wanted to go to Union for the experience," said Adams' father Jeff, who coached Mackenzi at Metro Christian and joined the Redskins' staff this season as an assistant. "Union is a perennial powerhouse, and is always expected to play for the state championship. We just wanted to be part of that experience."
It didn't take Adams long to put to rest any questions about his abilities. After winning the starting job in fall drills, Adams has completed 88-of-181 passes for 1,415 yards and 22 touchdowns. In last week's semifinal win over Edmond Santa Fe, Adams' five-yard scoring toss to Shawn Allen on a fourth-down play in the third quarter put the Redskins ahead to stay.
Last summer the talented prep quarterback became the first player to commit to be part of Vanderbilt's signing class of 2005. At the Commodores' All Positions football camp on June 13, Vandy coaches immediately noticed Adams' impeccably sound mechanics, and unexpectedly made the Tulsa signal-caller an on-the-spot offer. After conferencing with the coaches, Adams and his father accepted the offer.
Adams, who was also recruited by Alabama, Kansas State, Kansas, TCU and others, still plans to make good on his pledge to Vanderbilt on National Signing Day, Feb. 4. He made a return visit to campus with his father Oct. 23 to witness the Commodores' 19-7 win over Eastern Kentucky.
A rematch in the championship game is nothing new for Jenks and Union; the state's two most dominant football powers routinely collide in the title game for all the marbles. Between them, the two schools hold a slew of state titles and have spawned dozens of college prospects.
Adams possesses a strong arm, but with sub-4.6 speed he also has the ability to tuck the ball and elude tacklers. As a junior at Metro Christian, Vandy's prized recruit rushed for 1,063 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Behind the multi-threat Adams, an opportunistic defense and a strong rushing attack led by tailback Tony Moore, Union is riding a ten-game winning streak since falling to Jenks back in September. The second-ranked Redskins advanced to the state finals last week with a 20-0 shutout of No. 3 Edmond Santa Fe, while No. 1 Jenks advanced with a 29-23 come-from-behind win over Putnam North.
Tulsa-Union (12-1) meets Jenks (12-0) Friday at 7:30 CT at Tulsa's Skelly Stadium for the 6A Oklahoma state championship.
Click here to view junior film of Mackenzi Adams.
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