OWASSO – Omarr Barker was there two years ago when fellow defensive backs Josh Proctor and Wayne Jones rose to regional acclaim.
He was there last year, in the lineup, as those Rams led a stellar Owasso team to the high school football state title. And he was there in the end zone Thursday night, 95 yards after catching the opening kickoff, celebrating a touchdown that put Owasso one step closer to playoff qualification.
The Rams defeated Mustang 35-10 on Senior Night. Barker had a banner performance, sparking the Rams with a touchdown return on the opening kickoff and an interception on the next Mustang drive.
“This was a little more of, really kinda a playoff mentality,” coach Bill Blankenship said. “If you want to play one more at home, you’ve really gotta win out. It’s gotta go 1-0 each week, you cant look ahead.”
Owasso led 14-10 at halftime, and the offense got by with slim production after Barker’s big plays.
On the third play from scrimmage, the Rams fumbled at their 28 and yielded a field goal to Mustang. The next drive ended with a redzone interception, and 21 minutes passed in this game before the heralded Ram offense put points on the board.
With 3 minutes left in the first half, Kelan Carney got open in the far right corner of the end zone and senior quarterback Will Kuehne let his instincts fly. He found Carney with a perfect shot, 14-3 Rams.
“I told ‘em at half time, this is way different from last week,” Blankenship said. “The score may have got them frustrated, but the passion was different. We were playing hard. Loved the way we got it started with Omarr on the kick and the interception, and I think that set up the d-line to get after them a little bit.”
With cornerback Deuce Mayberry injured Thursday, defensive backs coach Steve Craver said Owasso (4-3, 3-1) was looking to someone to take the lead.
“We sped up practice a little bit,” Craven said. “We’re doing a lot more one-against-ones, and I think that’s slowing the game down when it comes to game time.
“We told Omarr he’s gonna be our guy, especially on that boundary side. It’s coming together for him.”
Kuehne was 8-for-14 with an interception and a TD at halftime and finished with 203 passing yards as the Rams made adjustments to put the game in his hands once more.
With 7:13 left in the third quarter, Kuehne hit Trey Goins for a 7:13 Q3 22-yard touchdown. Christian Johnson kicked the extra point to make it a 21-10 lead.
Early fourth quarter, Isaiah Jacobs punched it in from the one-yard line to give the Rams a 28-10 advantage. He ran 15 times for 111 yards and one TD.
Fast Eddie Nava had an impactful cameo in the fourth quarter. He had four consecutive carries for 71 yards and a touchdown to give the Rams a 35-10 lead with Johnson’s kick.
With the win, Owasso is potentially one victory away from clinching playoff status. The head-to-head victory against Mustang keeps the Broncos at bay and heightens the tension with third-place Moore (4-4, 3-2).