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The Red River Rivalry

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Oklahoma 14, Texas 3; Oklahoma thinks they have this game. Bragging rights are on the line. There is 13:02 left in the second quarter. We have time to get back in this one. A big play could give us just enough momentum to get some points back here. I am back to return the kickoff, the ball flies high in the air. It is coming right to me. I catch the ball at our own 4 yard line, so I have some ground to get. I take it left but then I find a hole to the right. I take a crossover step to the right and there is the gap I saw earlier. I suddenly notice there is a chance to return this ball far, or even for a touchdown. I get to the 50 yard line and I start hearing our side of the Cotton Bowl in Dallas go crazy. I have now only one man in my way. I look it is #17. I remember that that is Oklahoma’s kicker Jimmy Stevens. I just do a simple juke to the right and I am gone. Only 20 yards to go and I am running like I have never run before. I hear “Touchdown!! Texxaasss!!” I turn and see #3 Chris Ogbannaya and #6 Quan Cosby come to congratulate me. I am not really focusing on them; all I really care about right now is getting some air.

It is now 10-14. I am sitting on the sidelines and I see Oklahoma pull ahead with a 52 yard pass by Sam Bradford. It is now 21-10. There goes our momentum again. In the next return, they avoid me and kick to Ogbannaya. On that drive I had a couple key receptions and third down conversions. It eventually lead to a 1 yard touchdown run from Johnson to get the game close again late in the first half. I caught a 37 yarder the next drive with a few seconds left in the second quarter to get Lawrence in position to kick a field goal. He boots a 33 yarder as time expires and we have the momentum going in the locker room.

We are only down 20-21. Head coach Mack Brown was talking about why we should win so we can get rollin’ for the next few weeks. After that I listen to the receivers coach Bobby Kennedy telling us to keep advancing and bewilder the pass defense. It is not an easy schedule, we play #3 Missouri, then #17 Oklahoma State, and finally #7 Texas Tech. Never mind that I got to get my mind on the game, we have a possibility at a huge upset.

Going into the second half they get the ball. They score on their possession, once again gaining distance. I wouldn’t settle for that. Late in the third I caught a two yard touchdown pass to get within one. I have had a clutch performance so far but I feel it will be for nothing in a losing effort. Later in the quarter Lawrence booted a 28 yarder to give us our first lead of the game. Manuel Johnson ran one in for OU to give them a 30-35 lead. I finally get another chance to return it. I take it but this time there is no gaps and I get tackled at the 33. It was a decent return. I caught a key third down ball to get us in goal territory. Johnson ran it in and we now have the lead 36-35. #12 Colt McCoy threw it to #6 Quan Cosby, who bobbled it but still caught it to convert the two-point conversion. We now have a field goal lead of 38-35. Oklahoma goes three-and-out which gives us a huge amount of momentum.

Cody Johnson runs in his third touchdown of the game to put this game out of reach. McCoy knelt it and there it was. The Golden Hat was in our possession and I held it up with Colt McCoy and we celebrated. I didn’t get MVP but I did pretty well. I wasn’t expected to do so good for a white guy. I am #8 Jordan Shipley out of Burnet High in Temple, Texas.





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