If you talk to someone about all of the traditions surrounding Oklahoma High School football, it won’t take long before they bring up the Soul Bowl.
Truly one of the best traditions in Oklahoma sports, the Soul Bowl is an East Side OKC tradition that has been going on for 46 years between the Millwood Falcons and Douglass Trojans. They might be in two different classes and the two schools are only separated by 4.6 miles on Martin Luther King Ave. on the east side of OKC but that just adds to the rivalry.
Like most rivalries in sports, this one is a good game no matter how good or bad either team is but that might not even be the best part of the experience.
It’s the pageantry.
Have you ever been to a big homecoming game? If so, that’s exactly what this game feels like. There is so much pageantry that goes on between the game, the bands, the fans, the Soul Bowl HoF presentations, and they even have alumni basketball games the night before. It’s such a great experience.
But there is a game and as mentioned before, like every other year, this one didn’t disappoint.
If you have never heard of the name Rickey Hunt Jr., you should get well acquainted with him. He’s one of the most exciting players in Oklahoma. I call him “Mr. Do It All” because he truly does it all playing QB, RB, punt returner, kick returner, and a little LB, and it was the Rickey Hunt Jr. show all afternoon.
Millwood started the game on the defensive end but it didn’t take them long before they were on the board. They forced a 3 and out and on the punt return, Hunt returns it for a 95 yard touchdown to get the Falcons their first score of the day.
It was all Rickey Hunt Jr. from that point on.
A few minutes later in the first quarter, Hunt who lined up at QB, takes a QB keeper for 39 yards to the house and ran in the 2 point conversion to give the Falcons a 14-0 lead.
Outside of those two big plays in the 1st half, Douglass was pretty good on defense. They did a good job of containing the run and didn’t allow any big passing plays. They just couldn’t find any rhythm on offense.
The Trojans couldn’t find any space to run on the Millwood’s defense and Sophomore QB Kaleb Moore and his receivers couldn’t get on the same page at all. They were getting open but Moore either over/under threw them or they dropped the pass which helped Millwood go into halftime with a 14-0 lead.
After the Millwood band gave us an absolutely great performance, Millwood started the half by getting an 88 yard kick off return from freshman Xzavier Thompson.
Douglass tried to create some momentum as Moore and his receivers were finally able to connect and get themselves on the board with a 27 yard touchdown from Moore to Sr. Collin Stewart and it looked like the Trojans were finally able to get some momentum going.
However, every time they had a big play, they would have a mental mistake that would cancel it out.
They had a little going into the 4th and were coming up with the much needed stops to get back in the game but at the start of the 4th, Rickey Hunt must have gotten tired of not hearing his name because he made a great read and throw to find DeAunte Shaw for a 27 yard touchdown to give the Falcons a 27-7 lead and that would be the final score.
Hunt ended the game with a rushing, passing, and return touchdown to lead the Falcons to their 6th straight Soul Bowl victory and earned MVP honors for the performance.
The Trojans didn’t play bad despite what the score says though. They had too many mistakes, gave up 3 big plays with 2 in special teams, and Moore and his receivers just couldn’t find a consistent connection. They do have a lot of talent and will have a lot of key players returning for next year including Moore so they will have a great opportunity to turn things around in the East Side Classic.